I think this was my favourite Halloween ever. We have celebrated the season gently and simply, and the joy Jessica has found in it has been just heart warming.
Our Halloween has never been about dripping blood or zombies or monsters (I’ve been horrified by some of the Halloween costumes for small children this year) but about pumpkins and a more low key celebration.
I need to borrow Carl’s phone, because mine is too full to take any more photos, and so all the photos I want to illustrate this post with are on his phone. But on Saturday, we went to the Beth Chatto Gardens near Colchester and did their pumpkin hunt. They had hidden a number of carved pumpkins around the gardens, and gave you a map. Each pumpkin had a rubber stamp with it which you used to mark your map. When you completed it, you could pick a small prize. We had the loveliest time waking around the gardens in the hazy bright afternoon autumn light. Leaves drifted from the trees, and everything was so beautiful. Seeing ajessica start to run as she spotted another pumpkin, watching her concentrate as she stamped her map…it was a wonderful afternoon.
Yesterday morning, the soft play near us had a little event where the children were given ready carved pumpkins to decorate. Oh my, it was the first time Jessica has had free reign with the glitter and did she ever love it!
Then on the bus to visit Mum. I still can’t quite get used to Dad not being there any more. Jessica helped mum decorate her porch with pumpkins and candles while I cut up squares of orang and black crepe paper and filled them with little bundles of sweeties. When trick or treaters knocked at the door, I held the basket and Jessica gave out the bundles. I thought she might find it a bit hard giving them away, but she knew she had a bundle of her own waiting for her, and she just loved it. She waved goodbye to the trick or treaters, calling ‘nice to see you!’ And ‘happy hello beans!’
Each time the door knocked, she was so excited she jumped up and down. When there was a lull, she shouted through the letterbox ‘come on other ones, come on!’
This for me will always be Halloween, a small child jumping with joy, eyes sparkling, curls bouncing. Crepe paper bundles of sweeties in a basket, pumpkins and candles. Sweet, gentle joys. Time with my Mum, time together.
When Carl came after work, Jessica thought he was another trick-or-treater…she came running through saying ‘My Daddy, I found MY Daddy!’
Home cooked dinner…oh how I miss my Mums cooking! Chicken casserole and dumplings with white pepper…delicious! And a drive home through swirling mist with a sleeping toddler in the back of the car.
I hope you had the happiest of Hello Beans!