Over the past 10 years I haven’t been the hugest fan of Halloween. It’s not that I don’t like an excuse to get together with friends for a party, but I hate the pressure of dressing up and going to a crowded, overpriced, overdone Halloween celebration—all the while feeling way too old to be there at all. At the age of 32 I am by no means old, but there are definitely activities I feel I should leave back in high school where they belong.
Having a child has changed all of that. Not the part about dressing up and going out, but the part about feeling too old. Now I’m just the right age to dress up my little man in costume (this year he’ll be the most adorable boxer ever, which completely fits his 21-month-old personality) and bring him to every kiddie Halloween party possible. I may even throw on some ‘80s garb myself to get into the spirit. When I sit back and think about how different my attitude is from just two short years ago, I realize that this kiddie-inspired excitement has permeated so many different areas of my life.
Take a casual night after work. Before having a child, I might have grabbed drinks or dinner with friends or ran errands before coming home to make dinner. Now I find myself running home frantically just so I have enough time to dance around to toddler tunes, put together a 10-piece puzzle (over and over and over again), eat grilled cheese, and snuggle before bed.
And then there’s the zoo. And playgrounds. And apple orchards. I hadn’t been to any of these venues for years before having my son, but I can now count on more than two hands the number of times I have chased my son down (and up) the slide, swung on the swings, and visited one of NYC’s many zoos. The Bronx Zoo’s Children’s Zoo is seriously my favorite place—watching my son’s wide-eyed expression as a little goat nibbles treats from his hand brings me the kind of joy I can’t quite explain. Not to mention getting to feed those cute little goats myself! And next up on my wishlist . . . Sesame Place! Now who would have thought?!
Sure, my son is the impetus for racing home early on weeknights and planning family outings to kid-friendly places on weekends, but the point is that I actually enjoy myself. I have a new appreciation for doing the fun, sometimes silly activities that having a child suddenly gives you the excuse to do. Not only do I get to take my son to music class and jump around on a trampoline at gym, I also get to enjoy activities I would look pretty ridiculous doing without a child in tow.
So while I sometimes feel a little old for certain things (and often purely for the fact that I am old enough to have a child at all) I am lucky that I get to experience life through the eyes of my child and gain a whole new perspective—Halloween costume and all.
Author: Lauren Rubino
Lauren Rubino is the director of marketing and strategy at Kidz Central Station. She is also a mom to a very active toddler boy, so she’s no stranger to kids’ classes and activities! Have a question? Need help finding a class for your little one? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.