I love the Autumn. I love the cold crisp weather and the crunching of fallen leaves under foot. The weather is turning, Winter is coming – but not just yet.
The children love throwing the brown leaves around like they are made of paper – we get to take chilly walks, sip hot chocolate and search for conkers in the park. As I get older I feel like I am getting much more appreciative of all the amazing colours on display, almost in a romantic way.
This year the children are old enough for us to take them to a bonfire and they are so excited about it.
They have watched the fireworks through their bedroom windows for days now – always insisting that curtains stay undrawn just in case they should catch a glimpse of a sparkly shower. Every now and then a loud boom makes them jump out of their skins and they feel the need to tell me how loud it was, each and every time.
Bedtimes have taken that little bit longer – soothing to sleep is understandable, and reassurance needed as fireworks displays carry on throughout the night. We are lucky as our children seem to sleep quite well once they are actually asleep and so we have not suffered any sleepless nights (touch wood!).
When I was a little girl I remember loving the fact that we all got to stay up past our bedtime. The smell of the bonfire as it catches light, the anticipation of the firework display and a real sense of community as other families gather round the warm glow of the fire.
This year as always, I am unprepared.
I have been out to buy new wellies to replace those grown out of. I have managed to think far enough in advance to make us all some sort of bonfire themed supper (sausage sandwiches to fill up empty bellies) to be eaten before we go out in the cold. Wrapping up with extra socks and jumpers – making it too warm to be indoors – and searching through drawers for wooly hats and gloves, just in case it should get too cold for little ears.
As the darkness draws in the children’s excitement grows. As does mine.
My husband dashes to the shop for an even more ‘last minute’ purchase of sparklers. Surely every child needs to write their own name against the night sky?
It has been a long few weeks for me. My health has not been the best, and my back helpfully decided to give up on me just after our trip to the theatre. More time off work, more tears and more worries about things I am trying to put to the back of my mind. Bonfire night is the perfect distraction – my favourite night of the year by far.
This night is all about family – and after all that is what it’s all about isn’t it? I have to admit that I am a little worried my little girl is still too young for the loud noises and the cold, but we can always leave early should we need to.
Life is for living.
The evening might not work out the way we had hoped – it might rain, someone may throw a ‘food strop’ (hopefully not my husband), the firework display might even be a flop BUT all we can do is try. Try to make the good times and enjoy the here and now. Just in case tomorrow comes too soon.
Nowadays it seems that neon flashing sticks have replaced sparklers, chocolate crepes in place of toffee apples, and there is a barrier around the fire where once we lit our sparklers as children (pre health and safety days). But one thing remains the same, the tradition of gathering around the fire and gazing into the dancing firelight is just mesmerising.
All too soon the evening draws to a close once more. Tired little faces try to stifle yawns and pretend that they are not tired. It is time to go home, and a lovely time has been had by one and all, another one for the memories.