We woke up on September 1st in Meridian, and the temperature was 43 degrees. The sun came up at 7:20. I went outside with a sweatshirt and flip-flops to drink coffee with my Dad, as is our ritual whenever possible, and my toes froze into teeny ice blocks. That crisp fall air knocked a couple of apples off the tree in front of us while we sat, and *plonk* fall had arrived.
And then we arrived back in DC, where all week it has been in the 90s and humid and felt very much like summer would never end. So we’re hanging in some summer-fall limbo world right now, as is always, always the case in September in DC.
It is in this limbo world that I attempt to bridge all the things that I failed to blog about over the summer with all the promise of the coming fall. We had a super busy summer, and not infrequently I wanted to (and did) complain about the never-ending pace of things, but it was all really good stuff that kept us hopping. A beautiful new kitchen. Visits from family and friends. An awesome mega road trip to Tennessee to hang out with our dear ones, taking in Ohio and our favorites there on the way home. Cousin-filled time in Idaho, bookended by Henry’s favorite activity of all, riding in an airplane. VBS and swimming lessons and visiting every playground within walking distance. It was good.
And now I could not be more ready for some routine and order!
That is coming starting this week, I think. We got back from Idaho Wednesday night and have been in recovery mode—laundry, cleaning, sorting bags of hand-me-downs, waking up at odd hours of the night and morning, throwing in the towel and meeting friends at the park—but this week both BSF and MOPS start up, and, though I’ve been anxious for our weeks to have a predictable ebb and flow, I am suddenly not quite sure I’m on the ball enough to be, well, on the ball!
A few other random notes:
- Yesterday Jason took the kids out and left me to my own devices for a bit. First, I went to the farmer’s market and bought about ten pounds of tomatoes, since squirrels have eaten every. single. tomato in our garden this year. Devastation and despair.
- And then I decided to “tidy up” my closet, per Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” I’ve gone through a series of useful purging and organizing kicks over the past few years, but we seem to be on the cusp of a new stage of family life that begs for a more thorough tidying up. We can gather up the baby toys and the burp cloths, for example, and I can approach my wardrobe with a critical eye that does not judge things based on whether they work for nursing a baby. I’m tired of trying to maneuver around all this…stuff…all the time. Let’s do this thing.
- This morning while we were getting ready for church, Henry and Lucy ran happily around her room singing the ABC song. For at least 20 minutes they were each other’s favorite companion. I cannot tell you how, after months and months and months of never being able to leave them alone together, that made my heart sing. We have this one year before Henry starts school for them to play together all day, and the hope that fills my soul in these moments, well…
- On a similar note, the other day Henry said to me, “Mom, maybe when Lucy is two she will start obeying me.” So there’s that, too.
- I have been listening to Harry Potter over and over for the past ten or so months, which I realized recently is a pretty good indication of the level of tumult in my soul. Harry has been my companion, the sand in which I bury my head, during a number of difficult seasons, like moving to DC (15 years ago now!) and recovering from a miscarriage. I spent the first hard year of Lucy’s life reading Jane Austen and Anne of Green Gables and listening to Harry—my trifecta of dependable friends—when I was trying to mother my two kids and be effective at work and feeling like Sisyphus, doomed to push a boulder up a hill only to watch it fall down the other side. Giving up that fruitless effort has been a relief, but it also set off a long chain of grieving processes that often feel unreasonably fresh. But the other day I thought about listening to something new instead. I think there are good things to come with the fall.