Hello friends! After a long hiatus, it feels good to be exactly here where you see this photo. Back to thinking about you, me and the suburbs.
I don’t know if it’s the ages of our kids, the weather or some other cosmic transpiring, but so many of my fellow suburbanites have been saying it. Maybe you, too. “I didn’t want summer to end!” This is the first time in my memory that I have actually been clutching on to summer with both hands, not willing to let it go. Hence, the lack of posts. I gobbled up as much time as possible with those curious little humans I call my children. We camped, we hiked, we swam. We rode on ships, kayaks, canoes and airplanes. We celebrated their two birthdays. We spent time, we wasted time and we killed time. As I was fortunate to have to work very little this summer, I was able to do these things… I want to be with them while they still like me. And while they can’t drive.
Also, as my kids and my friends’ kids get older, they are less dependent on us to make fun for them. They do things to occupy themselves and there is not as much hands on care as there used to be. For the entire summer, we just hung out. I don’t remember yelling once nor a single utterance of “I’m bored.” Bliss, I tell you! For some of the other families I know with younger kids, I have heard those famous words, “school can’t come soon enough.” But for the most part, it appears that summer was really magical. And fleeting.
So…thought I’d share some things I notice around suburbia that signal fall is coming. Like it or not.
- that subtle browning of the leaves of tomato plants.
- darkness at the end of soccer practice.
- orange-spread over the face of growing pumpkins in the garden.
- the thrill of pencils and binders and crisp loose leaf paper.
- the crinkle of leaves under your step.
- a gradual decline in the whoosh-whoosh sound of your neighbor’s sprinklers.
- your neighborhood store has undergone a Halloween metamorphesis.
- you reach for a sweater, or a hoodie with more regularity.
- apples and pears ripen in the trees.
- mums, kale and sunflowers are the showpieces at your local nursery.
- life begins to feel more ordered and predictable.
- warm and comfy shades of red, brown and orange make a reappearance.
- you start thinking obsessively about boots you want (okay maybe that’s just me).
For those of you who have read my “September is the New January” post, you know I love to make a fresh start this time of year. It’s the absolute perfect time to get your shit together. Really. What changes do you want to make? For me, that pile of photographs needs to be sorted and placed into scrapbooks. And most important to me right now is getting family dinners back on track. Nothing wraps up the day better than sitting down to a home cooked meal where everyone gathers to share and reflect. Oh, and also I would like to quit being hard on myself, do 5 pull-ups in a row, write in my journal, and be more organized. The end.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have a middle schooler this year. All those Halloween displays with ghosts and goblins and zombies don’t hold a candle to the fear invoked while watching your child disappear behind the doors of your local middle school. Now that is fucking scary. It’s a rite of passage, you tell yourself when you see your child make an ill-advised clothing choice. They have to make their own mistakes, you tell yourself when they forget their ID card and beg you to go home and get it. We had a great summer, I say to myself when I start thinking that I somehow haven’t prepared her properly for this transition. In the end, I know she’s a great kid and I know she’ll be fine. Will she avoid be embarrassed, socially awkward or teased? Probably not, altogether. But I remind myself, this is not your experience, this belongs to her. And I decide to enjoy it. And go eat an apple.
What signs remind you that fall is coming?
What are you going to do to get your shit together?
Thanks again to Barbara Paulsen at Mt. Hood Mama. She gave me tons of gorgeous vacation photos, but this one is my favorite.