She sits there all teenager-ish on the wagon ride, sipping her hot chocolate, and I am distinctly aware that they're all seeming a lot older than usual. We visit this place almost yearly but this time all my children sit quietly, bumping along, arms resting on the rails, pointing out pumpkins and brilliant leaves shining in the sunlight. This time there were no tantrums in the corn maze, or crying because of the cold temperatures, or falling from the hay bales. There was only one bathroom break and one moment of begging for a treat. It's not until I'm at a location that I frequent only once every few seasons that the disparity between who they were last fall and who they are now is obvious.
I stand at the opening of the corn maze and in one minute they all race out exclaiming this is way too easy now and how the riding toys are too little. We just may be out-growing this place but I still savour the aroma of the freshly baked pies, choosing pumpkins and apples and taking photos in the crisp air. And as we load up our goodies and pile into the truck at the end of the afternoon, one by one they call out, "Thank you, Mommy for taking us!". I pull out of the driveway of this nostalgic farm and I'm thinking about how much they're growing up but also, how much this autumn tradition is still a sweet thing.