If you recall last weekend was delightful, weather-wise. Saturday was a crisp fall day—well technically it’s still summer, but you get my meaning—a sweatshirt and shorts kind of day. So it was in an almost spontaneous, certainly unpremeditated, moment that I said it. I’m not sure I had ever actually uttered the words before. I mean, I’m sure I had, but I may have blocked it out. I don’t know why but the weather must have caused a sudden surge of sentimentality. So I said it: we should go to the pumpkin patch.

I was met with a trio of astounded faces. Cranky, Whiny and Punch all staring at me as if I had grown a second head. Eye-roll, raised brow, uh no, a triumvirate of disdain. Was the idea that absurd? Cranky (15) checked her phone. Whiny (14) returned his attention to the pantry and Punch (12) resumed a video game the object of which, one can only assume, was to eat I.Q. points. Perhaps it was my own presumption that startled me the most.

You see there are two things at play here; first, when did my children become too old or too cool or too busy to go to the pumpkin patch, but more importantly, when did I suddenly develop the desire to take them? There’s nothing cuter than a toddler on a giant pumpkin but let’s call a spade a spade, the pumpkin patch is a nightmare. Seven of the 10 things parents fear most are at the pumpkin patch (germs, strangers, animals, animal feces, a maze, speeding cars, costumed characters). My God, if they had an unguarded body of water, sharp knives and some faulty wiring, no one would get out alive.

I guess I just felt a temporary swell of nostalgia. Not too long ago, a crisp tinge in the air meant pee wee soccer, early bedtimes, and snack schedules. Now it’s learners’ permits, term papers and math homework I cannot do. (To be fair, I haven’t been able to do it since sixth grade, but it’s really hitting home now.) Now it’s worry about making a team and getting good grades and choosing a college. I think if I had known what was coming I might not have looked at a field trip to the pumpkin patch with such trepidation. What’s a candy apple in your hair compared to a teenage driver?

I miss the pumpkin patch. I’ve thought about driving out there by myself and just watching the kids run around, but apparently that’s frowned upon. And truth be told, I probably don’t miss the actual outing as much as I miss three little sandy haired children begging me to take them to climb on hay bales and pet baby goats. I miss the me looking to the heavens and begging for rain, or the day when my children would outgrow this little excursion. Be careful what you wish for…

More Tangential Thinker articles.