White, orange and yellow from top to bottom, with an ultra sugary sweetness that is both intoxicatingly addictive and sickening at the same time. Fair warning though, they are hard to put down once you start eating them, and you always regret eating them. Well, at least I do. Eating Candy Corn is not something I intend to do, where as eating bacon is intentional. I am not sure I really even like Candy Corn, especially the ones that take the form of little pumpkins. (That’s even more sweetness per bite than a mock kernel of corn) The most important thing to know about Candy Corn is that for me, Candy Corn means the start of fall.
I remember when it started. It was the summer I moved away to Montana for 3 months, the first time I left home. It was right after graduating High School. I received care packages from my mom. I loved getting those! It was like home came to me! Opening the carefully wrapped package from my mom, shipped from my hometown so far away created a pocket of space just large enough to envelop me. For a moment in time, my family, their love, the smell of home, the feelings of security and acceptance, were as real as if I was home. There were always three things in these care packages. Pop Rocks, Candy Corn, and a letter telling me about life at home and encouraging me in what I was doing.
I moved back home after the summer, a few years later I started an internship a several hours from home, got married, had kids, and life marched on. One thing never stopped. Every year in October a bag of Candy Corn would show up from my mom. Every year I would eat that Candy Corn, and the Candy Corn Pumpkins and feel both happy and sick (sugar).
This will be the first October when a bag of Candy Corn will not arrive for me. I won’t stare at the bag and tell myself that my mom is sweet, but I just can’t eat that candy. I won’t resist for several hours before finally tearing it open and inching just a bit closer to diabetes. This year October will come and go without that pocket of home forming around me as I break open a package from my mom.
This year Fall will not be quite as amazing as it usually is. I cannot imagine the smell of the leaves being as sweet. The rush of life that comes from a bitter cold breeze against my face as it attempts to defeat my jacket, beanie, scarf … won’t be quite the same. All the fun small clues that winter is coming will be diminished this year.
It’s time to pass this little Candy Corn tradition on. I think this year I will send a bag of Candy Corn to one of my kids. All my kids still live at home, but I am sure I can find an excuse to send a package. The Candy Corn experience must live on.