Thursday, September 8, 2016

Savoring the Season

It started with a check yourself moment Monday morning. I began to feel sorry for myself, because the holiday day was starting to look like a pretty ordinary morning. And, with Charles off, wasn't I supposed to have a lovely, photogenic family day?!? It lasted about 30 seconds before I snapped out of it, reminding myself that the media, and especially social media, are not purveyors of 100% accuracy in their portrayal of life. Besides, our afternoon plans were for the pool and burgers on the grill. What is more hashtag-worthy than that?

So I righted my thinking, got over it, and got on with my day, which proved to be perfect in that it gave me, not an Inta-worthy photo, but deep, penetrating, soul-feeding contentment. That happiness is so very much better.

Four hours after my momentary pity party, I found myself reflecting on the whole thing. It was a strange Labor Day Weekend. On the one hand, the calendar had flipped to September, so we (societal we) were all about apples and pumpkins, scarves and boots. Fall, in all its glory, had arrived. On the other hand, here we were, celebrating the waning days of summer, on the last "official" (if artificially designated) day of summer. Knowing the days ahead will bring the fall of the media and the catalogues in fits and starts for weeks, months even. Knowing that the public's taste for autumn will come and go all too soon. The Christmas catalogues, surely, are already being prepared for mailing.

So there I was poolside, nursing Dominic, while Charles took the big kids to play in the water. Watching the scene before me, my eyes welled with the simultaneous recognition of how blessed I am and how fleeting it all is. 

Change, like fall, is in the air. Charles' and my minds are occupied with figuring out what follows residency--and where. Mulling possibilities and futures and dreams.

Clare was running and splashing and squealing -- oh! how she squeals! -- in French braids and her purple tutu tank that will surely be too small next summer.

Peter was there, a home body away from home, but happy with his people. His safe place. Fumbling his toddler-ish way from baby to boy, his cars and his family never too far away.

And tiny Dominic, 4 weeks old, and already filling out, growing. I'm going to blink, and he'll be Peter's age. Clare's. And they'll be...I don't want to think about it.

I want to rebel. Stop rushing time. Stop declaring the commencement of fall before summer ends. Stop running headlong into Christmas before the turkey is roasted. Stop wishing away today's challenges, tempted by the promise of tomorrow.

Instead, I want to savor the little girl squeals (even though they pierce my ears), the cars under foot (even when they make me curse under my breath), the sweet baby who has dozed off in my arms (even when it means the laundry won't get folded). I want to savor the present, not because it is perfect, but because it is good, intrinsically, life affirmingly good. Because I can already feel it slipping through my fingers. 

I want to savor this season, because I only get to taste it once.

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