Finding the Light in the Darkness

Parenting Blog

October 29, 2015

It is getting darker outside not only with shorter days and longer nights but with rain and cloud coverage blocking the sun. We look forward to the time change this weekend so it's brighter in the morning and easier to get out of bed. This coincides with earlier sunset and bedtime, increasing the chances of getting the sleep we crave. A warm, cozy bed looks inviting. Even toddlers play bedtime, setting themselves up side by side with pillows and blankets. It's time to move inward, to feel the warmth there and find the light within. Traditionally at this time of year, people carve pumpkins and burn a light in them in keep the darkness at bay. At the Rose Garden, we celebrate Halloween by carving pumpkins, roasting and eating pumpkin seeds and telling seasonal stories. One of my favorites is about a little mouse who is searching for a warm and cozy house. Although mice do not hibernate in winter, they do decrease their activity. It is easy to imagine a little mouse seeking shelter from the elements. In the story, the mouse finds a carved pumpkin and peeks in through the eye. When he crawls inside, he realizes it would make a comfortable dwelling, a place to rest and stay warm. It becomes his golden home and as it gets colder (and the pumpkin shrinks), the eyes and mouth close, blocking out the wind and making the home even cozier for the little mouse. The mouse is warm and safe. All is well. Stories of animals finding protection feed into the young child's yearning for security. If you celebrate Halloween by trick or treating, keep it simple, sweet (of course) and highlight returning home to a warm drink, a snack, and a quiet story. Happy Halloween!

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