Last year, due to Covid, we were unable to properly celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night. Now, I’m not a huge lover of Halloween, especially all the clowns covered in blood or death masks they have hanging in shops from September – I’m more of a Hocus Pocus Halloween fan. Silly spells, apple bobbing and punches oozing gummy worms and more E numbers than you can shake a stick at. We do however, always try and amalgamate the two dates and have previously always had a smallish party where tiny ghouls run around eating burgers from the BBQ, while the teenagers carve pumpkins and we all gather together to watch a small selection of fireworks.
Our three additions have, unsurprisingly by now, never celebrated either occasion. So, as usual, they looked at me like I was a crazy person whilst I tried to explain that we wave sticks that sizzle (sparklers) around, paint faces with mainly black and white (cue, ‘Can I be a zebra then Jess?) and scoop pumpkins guts out so we can decorate the front of the house. I guess they had to see it to really believe it.
So, on Saturday 30th we had one family over to join our celebrations. This is a family that we see a huge amount and that have fully embraced all of our new lives. It started off slow with the adults beginning the BBQ and rapidly gained speed when the giant sparklers were whipped out.
Teenagers, I understand, are rather ambivalent to most things family orientated, yet, even they were enchanted by writing their name in silver sparks as they flew across the air. Our new teenager was positively giddy at the new found concept of ‘s’mores’ and I could have watched her for hours being shown by our youngest how to turn her stick, not leave it in the same place for too long and to watch her mouth so she didn’t burn herself. We then stood back for main event and as hundreds of multicoloured shots flew over us I glanced around and could feel nothing but love as everyone stood, eyes wide and mouths open at the beautiful explosions.
Most of the time fostering is really hard. You’re balancing your old life with a new one. But one of the things I can not love any more is showing children, who have lived such a sheltered life like ours have, the world. Experiences they will never forget and hopefully memories which will go on to shape their lives as parents in the future.