My older daughter is very into the word “aesthetic” these days. I’m sure it’s something she picked up from Instagram, but suddenly, everything is an aesthetic. VSCO is an aesthetic. She wants a certain aesthetic for her birthday party in a few months. And of course she is deeply committed to the aesthetic of autumn, even though it’s still so hot that I have to wring out my bra after so much as walking around the block.
She is wearing gold and burnt orange and leggings and ankle boots; she is drinking pumpkin-spice lattes and eating pumpkin-spice Pop-Tarts and putting pumpkin-spice marshmallows in her mugs of pumpkin-spice cocoa; she has made her computer background a bunch of fall leaves.
Georgia, my younger one, who cheerfully describes herself as “morbid” and also “Goth,” which comes out as “Goff” because she’s missing her top two front teeth, doesn’t care a whit about the aesthetics of fall, but she is absolutely giddy over Halloween.
Her Wednesday Addams costume is hanging up in her closet, and we’ve purchased some black lipstick to complete the look. Every day she asks me when we’re going to start decorating for Halloween, and I don’t know how to tell her that the most I am capable of doing is plunking an uncarved pumpkin on the porch steps (and leaving it there until it rots, typically).
I’m just not a fall person. It was never on my radar growing up, and I thought it was beautiful exactly once in Missouri, and then I hated it forever because after my first fall, I knew just precisely how terrible winter was, and I knew fall meant winter was coming.
I don’t like cold weather, and I don’t like cinnamon, and I don’t like bundling up. Flip flops and iced coffee in January is my jam, and I honestly just want to drink margaritas on the beach year-round, so I don’t really know what to do with my daughters’ shared enthusiasm for this season.
I’ve bought the Halloween costumes. I’ll buy the pumpkins and maybe even scare up (get it?) some fake spider webs or ghosts to hang outside. I’ll stock up on hot tea and cider. I won’t stop my kid from wearing scarves even though it’s in the 80s.
But I’m never going to be a fall person, no matter how much I love my kids. It’s simply not my aesthetic.