Happy Halloween! You are our little pumpkin and you are visiting your mommy’s school today so her students can see you in your ballerina pumpkin 1st Halloween costume. Your mommy is dressed like Amy (Dr. Fowler) from “The Big Bang Theory.” You’ll have to look that one up when you get older…
Lucky Nana is bringing you to lunch with her friends and then taking you over to the school. You did visit me today, so you could trick or treat with the preschool kids at our parade, so I didn’t get too jealous.
Kaylee, make sure mommy reads “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” to you. It is one of her favorite Halloween memories.
My favorite part of Halloween today was, of course, kissing you on the cheeks over a dozen times. This is like taking vitamins and your cheeks are my daily allotment. So, no matter what candy I eat today, you will still be the sweetest treat!
Here’s more Halloween memories from Grandpa.
The first thing my brothers and I had to do was carve pumpkins. I don’t remember where our pumpkins came from, but because we lived in a city that was close to farms in Wisconsin, I suppose the local farms supplied them. My daddy, your great-grandpa would carve a pumpkin, too, and it was always silly, rather than scary.
I would also go trick or treating with your uncles. We knew everyone in our neighborhood and so we would go out by ourselves, while your great grandma and grandpa would stay home and hand out candy. My dad would always hand out full size candy bars because he wanted the kids to get something real good! After a few years trick or treating, you learn who has the best stuff.
We would get some things you probably won’t get when you go trick or treating. Apples, popcorn balls, and maybe even five pennies taped together with Scotch tape. I guess those people didn’t like candy, but I think it is more likely they ran out and so they improvised!
We would use pillow cases for the candy and they would hold a lot. Because your uncles are brothers, we would fight sometimes. This was especially fun when you would hit each other with pillow cases full of candy. Your Uncle David is the strongest, and so when I was swinging at him I wish I had all apples in my pillow case!
Your mommy didn’t fight with your uncles, though. She was always tougher than they were until they got older, and then they liked her too much by then to fight, though she could still punch them good if she needed to!
Another thing that happened on Halloween is that older kids would try to scare you. They would hide and jump out from behind a bush or a tree. They would be ghosts or monsters or something else scary. This didn’t work for us Hanson boys, however.
You see, Kaylee, our daddy and grandpa were funeral directors. We grew up seeing dead people at our grandpa’s house because he lived over the funeral home.
So, when you’re used to seeing dead people at your grandpa’s house, some kid with a wolfman mask who jumps at you from behind a bush might surprise you, but he sure isn’t going to scare you!
No one will scare you when you go trick or treating because your daddy will be with you and he is a strong man who doesn’t even need a pillow case full or apples!
Halloween is coming up! This is an American holiday where children get to dress up in make-believe and go to their neighbor’s houses or apartments and do something called, “Trick or treat.” This is when your knock or ring the bell of your neighbor’s house and say, “Trick or treat!” Then they open the door and put candy in a bag that you are carrying. When you are finally done, you go back home and your mommy and daddy help you sort out your candy and tell you how much of it you can eat.
Well, minus the candy that mommy and daddy sneak out of the pile and eat themselves, that is!
If this sounds like fun, that’s because it is fun! You already picked out your pumpkin, too, at the pumpkin patch. When you are a little older, you will get to carve your pumpkin and give it a scary or a silly face and there will be a candle inside that makes the light shine inside and it looks amazing at night. You will really love that.
So, what was Halloween like for Grandpa?
Well, we would dress up in costumes just like you do. Grandpa’s favorite costumes were a Superman costume and being a cowboy. Grandpa liked Superman so much that he insisted on using his name for a long time. In school he even signed his homework,
“Dana Edward Superman Hanson!”
Grandpa’s teacher didn’t think that was a good idea…
Kaylee, your mommy had really cute costumes! Nana would make them. My favorites were Princess Jasmine and a cow. We still have the Jasmine costume so…guess who is going to be Princess Jasmine for Halloween in a couple years? My guess is-
What is going on behind those eyes of yours? I think at your age you can see clearly about 15 inches or so. I notice you like bright colors and patterns. So, close up, I’m holding colorful objects, shaking a small rattle back and forth, laying you on a colorful mat with stuff hanging above you and watching you look around- those kind of things.
When we are involved in these activities, I wonder if you are thinking,
“Why doesn’t that guy just relax and let me be?”
No, my hunch is you like to have things happening around you so you can get to know your world. Yet, it is at a very quiet, very focused time that I see you the most attentive. It is the time your eyes are most still and most focused, staring right into my eyes. It is when I am cradling you in my arm and feeding you a bottle.
I love that time of the day. You are safe, hugging close to your grandpa’s side, and the look in your eyes says,
“Everything is going to be alright…”
As it should be.
Your uncles were home for the weekend to celebrate their birthdays. As you know, they are twins, so one birthday means two cakes! Your other uncle, Matthew was with us, too, and we all went out to the Pumpkin Patch. You were fascinated looking around and seeing all the commotion. There were tons of people, a band playing music, we saw many animals- what a day! We took pictures, of course, but we couldn’t sit you on the hay bale because it bothered your bare feet! The pumpkins were big and small, with many strange shaped gourds, too.
Your uncles especially liked that some of the gourds were really strange shaped, but you will have to wait until you are much older to ask your mommy why your dad, your uncles and grandpa were laughing so hard…
When your mommy picked out your pumpkin it was just the right shape and size. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it is carved and lit up.
When we left, I just wanted to hold my pumpkin, who is just the right shape and size.
My Kaylee-pumpkin doesn’t need a candle inside, though, because her smile is always lighting up wherever she goes!
Are your grandchildren having a problem with bullying? This is certainly an issue in our society, especially at school. What do we do about this. Listen in to this podcast and you will hear some solid ways to address bullying that have been around for a long time. Grandpa’s might be the ones who know best.
Today is your Great-Grandma Hanson’s birthday. She will receive flowers from Nana and me today. Irises. Her absolute favorites! My mommy used to have irises bordering our yard, irises at our cottage on the lake, irises at their townhouse after I moved- Irises and more irises.
They are beautiful flowers and when I see one I instantly think of my mommy. That’s how it is with beautiful things. Beauty always points us to something beyond ourselves. Flowers are amazing, because in every culture that is capable of growing flowers, they have grown flowers. Who doesn’t like flowers?
People are just like bees and bunnies. They looove flowers!
And how wonderful that flowers come in so many gorgeous shapes and sizes, and especially, O, the colors!
This is just another reason I know how much God loves us. God could have just given us drab looking plants, and there you have it. Instead God is a thoughtful artist who uses all the paints on his palette.
Hey, Kaylee, guess what is my favorite flower? Iris.
And one of the funny things that some men like grandpa like to say? We call the women we love, flowers. When you put a bunch of flowers together, it’s called a bouquet, so let me tell you about my bouquet.
My most special bouquet is centered around your Nana, the most precious flower, worth more than the rarest orchid in the world. Then there is the Kristina flower, who is the the woman I love more than anyone except your Nana. She has a strong stem, with the gentlest of petals. Your Great-Grandma Lindgren is in the bouquet because she loves me lots, and she raised your amazing Nana. Then surrounding the whole bouquet is irises, because my mommy showed me how much God loves me by just being my mommy.
“But, what about your Kaylee flower?” I can hear you say.
Well, because you are new in my life, I have to admit, I think about you more than any of my other flowers. So, for now, you are my little boutonnière, closest to my heart. The rest of the bouquet won’t get jealous, though, because…they feel the same way!
It was your uncles’ birthday yesterday. Uncle Greg and Uncle David are 22 years old. This made me stop and think. This means that the last time Grandpa changed diapers was over 20 years ago!
It doesn’t take long to change you. We used cloth diapers for your uncles and that meant diaper, pins, and plastic pants. Now we use disposable diapers and its “Zoop, clean, zoop, ready to go!”
By the way, I call you “frog” when I am changing you because you kick your legs back and forth as I am getting down to business. We are getting pretty good at the routine. I am thinking about promoting synchronized diapering for the next Olympics. Grandpa and Kaylee can be in the “senior” division.
One thing you are learning about your uncles that you will grow to appreciate. They are both hilarious. They will be fooling around with you all the time, just like they do with your mommy and daddy. Uncle Greg said he wanted to teach you a bad word for your first word.
So, your mommy said if he does that, y’all are going to call him “Uncle Crappy.” Sure, enough, your mommy sent a birthday picture yesterday to “Uncle David and Uncle Crappy.”
Don’t worry, Grandpa will make sure to put a stop to this particular shenanigans. We’ll teach you a different nickname for Uncle Greg that starts with the letter, “G.”