With our October issue each year, we immerse ourselves back into those early chapters of childhood.

Dear Columbus Parents,

Whenever I look back at the years I've been blessed to be a parent, I find that I tend to think of each child in terms of chapters, with each chapter kicked off by an event that serves as a mile marker. There was that first blast of adrenalin that came when the little stick registered a "yup, you're preggers": That was Chapter One. Then came the "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!" moment in the delivery room: Chapter Two. With our October issue each year, we immerse ourselves back into those early chapters. It never fails to amaze me how unique and powerful other parents' stories are about those first chapters. In this issue, my 10TV colleague Angela An shares the story of her journey to motherhood via in vitro fertilization. Keep a tissue handy!

And then I was reminded of another chapter when Tracy Townsend, another 10TV colleague, devoted her bimonthly column to the topic of Halloween. When we first kicked around the idea of what she would write about, I suggested Halloween and she was convinced that her son, having just entered the 6th grade, would decide he had outgrown trick-or-treating. Guess what? He made it clear to his mom that he hadn't. And I can tell that Tracy is relieved that this chapter isn't quite done for her.

So I went home and asked my now 15-year-old son if this would be the year he gave it up (he hadn't the year before). I have to admit I felt the thud of a chapter closing when he answered, clearly a little reluctantly, that, yeah, this was going to be the year he retired from the trick-or-treat circuit. He's considering my offer to dress as the scarecrow that slumps on the front porch and comes to life (scaring the living hoo-ha out of trick-or-treaters, though only the ones that are old enough not to be traumatized). But it just won't be the same. A new chapter has begun.

So indulge me just a moment here as I use the space for my photo to close out a wonderful chapter in my parenting life with a happy memory of costumes past (that's an "elephant astronaut," by the way, and, no, it wasn't a compromise costume - that's exactly what he wanted to be).

Now read on through this issue and enjoy reliving chapters past, present and possibly even future for your families!