Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sweater Weather

Every year, the transition from summer to fall is more than just the leaves morphing into color, picking apples and digging through sweaters.  There's something else between melancholy and mindfulness ..... and feeling strange that both can exist simultaneously. 
The summer months are filled with exposure and expectation. The days are long and lean, soaked in salt water while the nights are a cricket-filled symphony- easy to lull to sleep.  But, August has an abrupt ending and almost immediately the early morning air changes from hazy to crisp and the past comes rushing back.  

I remember the silhouette of my mother calling for me from the side door,  wiping away my runny nose after playing outside in the fall.  I remember the kitchen in the house I grew up in and the smells of chicken soup, apple crisp and sweet candles my mother used to make.  I remember hiding under the kitchen sink every night when I'd hear my fathers truck pull into the driveway and anxiously await for him to find me.  He always acted surprised to see me in there!  I remember sitting around the kitchen table and talking about our day and it always felt warm and safe inside my home.  I remember imagining what it would be like to see my family from the outside of the house, looking in and thinking how lucky I am.  The smells and sounds of fall remind me of those times.  Still, as an adult the season makes me feel safe and warm.  It's forced me to find those old recipes my mom used to make and recreate them for my own kids, passing memories down.  Carving pumpkins, warm sweatshirts, back to school routines, soccer games and hot chocolate .... The expectation of summer to be out until the sun vanishes at 9 - is replaced with my favorite blanket at 5 pm and a good movie, guilt-free.  The movie and blanket are even more wonderful when the leaves turn to snow.  

Sometimes a sweep of sadness rushes over me too as the sun rays change its direction, and new shadows form.   Sentimental ties to the past, missing "being parented" and longing for those lost along the way.   The upcoming hustle of the holidays seems daunting,  but like any parent I love seeing my kids enjoying the performance someone else is producing. I'm the producer now, and I'm amazed by what I can throw together.  I'm amazed by my own parents.  The anticipation, the safety of the dark, the stillness.  The fall reminds me that the gifts provided to me as a child, has provided the gifts to my own children.  Blessed by the past.  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Wyatt Henry and the run for my money.

And when I say "run" I mean run like from a burning building, or to a finish line. Wyatt is one of three loves of my life. Born in July of 2007 with dimples your fingers could get lost in, Wyatt is truly his own person. My pregnancy with him was somewhat of a sadistic comedy show where the star of the show (me) would vomit her way through New England managing to eat only pre-packaged, out-of-season watermelon and orange soda for the first 3 months. I knew this kid would be trouble of the best kind by the second hospital stay from dehydration. And sure, I complain about him being crazy and tough to handle but the truth is - I wouldn't want him any other way. He's an amazing little spitfire who hits the ground running at 6 am and crashes and burns around 8. It's a long day for the little guy, but I assure you its a longer day me. He's a typical "younger sibling", competing over nothing, outgoing, extroverted and curious but he's unique in that he absorbs everything he sees and tells everyone with the great detail of a Key Note Speaker. A few years ago at camp, a woman from an aquatic center dropped by with sea creatures (lobsters, clams, crabs) to show the kids. Wyatt got into trouble for not listening (not surprising because he wants to learn by doing, not hearing). He apparently picked up his friend Mason's hand and began hitting him with it trying to be funny. For him, this type of erratic and impulsive action is as common as breathing. But after dinner that same night he began explaining the difference between the "crusher" claw on a crab and a "Pincer". So, while he was playing with his friends hand and being spoken to by the teacher - he was filing away the info about the crab. Now, I'm not sharing that info to say "wow, look at how smart my kid is".... I'm simply saying this because, well..... he's smart. When he finally drifts off to sleep each night, I find myself starring at him like I would a still hummingbird. I touch and smell his hair. I look at each finger, some with the days dirt still caked under the nail and I can't help but to smile. As mischievous as this little person is he is absolutely
perfect for me. He is a free spirit so loving and kind but so curious and adventurous. He tells me he want to go to Vegas and be star. He wants to dance and sing and make people smile. As much as I'd like to keep him safe in a box with me for all eternity - the day I saw him for the first time, I knew I was releasing him to the world. I had no choice but to set this bird free - to fly.