An unexpected benefit of parenthood is the renewed joy we get to feel during holidays. I’m basically the opposite of a Scrooge; I love the sentiments and traditions of each holiday throughout the year. But having a child means I get to experience them in a new way. It’s as if each special day of celebration is dusted off and brought into the light again. I get to revisit my own childhood, share old traditions with Oden and make new ones, and enjoy the sparkle of each season. I love that!
I’ll leave it to my biology-major husband to explain what “seasons” are and why the trees change color. I’ll try to expose him to the fun! Park City has all sorts of fun holiday events, which is part of why I love living in a small town. For Halloween, there’s a big gathering on Main Street for families to safely trick-or-treat around local businesses, followed by a parade of dogs in costume! The adorable local nursery has a mini corn maze and pumpkin patch. Right now, there’s also a Scarecrow Walk behind the big white barn at the historic McPolin Farm. We’ve seen the scarecrows in the distance from the road for years, but a toddler in our lives brings a reason to actually go check them out. Different groups can buy tickets to decorate a scarecrow along the paved path during the month before Halloween and the money goes toward maintaining the farmstead. Oden and I took advantage of a rain-free day, bundled up for the chilly weather, and took a stroll to the barn. First, we met a cow (MOOOO!) followed by plenty of interesting characters along the way!
It was clear that we were a bit early for the event; there were lots of blank spaces where more scarecrows would be decorated in the coming weeks. But for an 18-month old, it was something new and fun. I love seeing his senses be stimulated by things he’s never seen. For his mama, it was a welcome distraction from Oden’s sniffly nose and a pleasure to see the colorful fall hillsides (with a touch of frosted snow on the peaks!).
When we got to the barn, I was charmed as usual by the big white barn and silos, the little white house with its wrap-around porch, and the lovely setting. The buildings date back to the 20s and it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So cool! There’s an event space and there was evidence of some kind of recent kid-centered fun- painted pumpkins everywhere.
After exploring the lovely old barn for a bit, Oden had really had enough of stroller time, so I let him wander. This boy loves a taste of independence and took off for the little trail back to the scarecrow path. He found a stick and some cool rocks for throwing and revisited the scarecrows we’d met earlier. He tried to steal a pumpkin before his energy ran out and he let me put him back in the stroller. We moooo-ed at the stuffed cow near our car before heading home for Oden’s dinner.
Last year, Oden was so tiny during the holiday season. This year, I think he’ll start to have that gleam in his eyes that we’ll come to recognize for years to come. What a gift! We’ll definitely come back to see more scarecrows this month, and I can’t wait to experience more seasonal, fun events with our little explorer. Stay tuned!
One year ago: Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce