As in, outside in the fall with my boys.
Autumn has been my longtime favorite season, at least since I worked on an apple farm as a teenager. The change in the air creates this energy and expectancy. My boys look up at the trees on a daily basis, evaluating the content of our yard’s cover. Suddenly, snow pops up in conversation, and we remember the flip side of summer, remember activities we haven’t considered in many months. (Well, months. This is Maine.)
We go the apple orchard seeking a crispness in our crunch that matches the snappiness of a frosted morning. We rejoice at the beginning of the tree’s shedding, bust out the rakes and make piles. We throw the leaves – run and jump – we create paths and racetracks. And we run. And run. And run. I mostly stand in place and time them. There is no match for their energy.
When my boys try to tell me they don’t want to go outside and it’s sunny and warm, I overrule. Winter is coming. There’s an urgency now. These days are numbered.
Pumpkins are carved. Another year of trying to convince them to stick their hands in the messy weirdness that is the inside of a pumpkin. Another year of mom and dad mostly doing the work.
I find Bronson breaking out his snowboard, practicing hand plants against the chair downstairs. He wears his helmet. He should wear it everyday, since this fall, we revisit the experience of falling and hitting one’s head on the brick fireplace. I feel the next time this happens, we’ll all be pretty calm about it. We’re basically pros now. We’re in the system at the E.R.
Oli jumps on his board, too, and Bronson teaches him how to do a little jump. Boy boarders, reunited and waiting for snow.
And Halloween comes. A thrift shop miracle produces Buzz and Woody. Adorable overload.
Buzz figures he isn’t a one-day performer. He has stuck around everyday since Halloween. When Oli wakes up, it’s his greatest joy to transform into Buzz. His eyes tell it all – this is stuff childhood is made of. Buzz costume becomes the greatest negotiation tool every known to this household. Praise God!
Daylight savings time happens. More like national take-parents-who-are-barely-surviving-toddler-years-and-torture-them-even-more. Let’s see if they break. We do. Every morning. Broken. New rule: no one leaves their bed until 6 a.m. when dad opens the door. Hope emerges on the horizon.
I meant to make a thanksgiving tree or something for November. Whoops, it’s November 12th.
That’s okay, I think. But this November, I am oh so thankful for these two littles and their unending ability to drink in the present moment.