As Chris always says, I’m perpetually ready for fall. I love the crisp, cool air, the need to wear a sweater, the chance to open up the windows and let the breeze flow through the house, the crunchy leaves on the ground, the smells, the colors, the foods…I love it all. But this year…well, it kind of snuck up on me and I find myself, believe it or not, wishing for more summer. Did I really say that? I feel like I’m cheating on fall. But, it’s true. As much as I’m enjoying the changing of the seasons, I’m having to quell a longing for the weather to stay warmer for just a little bit longer, for the leaves to stay on the trees for just a little bit longer, for the evenings to be lighter for just a little bit longer.
I could blame this on a lot of things, but basically it comes down to this: for the first time in my life, I’m starting to feel old. I’ve had the usual hints of that feeling over the last few years–a kid I used to babysit getting married, a month here and there feeling like it’s flown by, realizing that “15 years ago” now no longer refers to my childhood, turning 30. But this is the first time I can remember feeling like the days are truly fleeting and realizing that I must take advantage of the time I have right now before that time is gone. Because this summer I didn’t do that…and I so wish I had.
Back in June, for the first time ever, Sean and Ben started listing off things that they wanted to do over the summer. Things like make popsicles, ride bikes, go on a walk in the wagon, have a picnic in the backyard. It wasn’t a long list, but I knew, probably even more than they did, that it was an important one. And I naively believed that in the middle of finding our new baby routine, and t-ball games and practice, and getting ready to leave for three trips, and being gone on three trips, and recovering from being gone on three trips, and having company, and working, and the usual day-to-day busy-ness, we’d somehow just work in the things on that list. But that didn’t happen. And instead, when fall rolled around this year, I was left with a short list of summer things that I knew my boys really wanted to do, but only a few of which we actually did. All because I failed to recognize the importance of right now.
So I’m vowing, from here on out, to do my best to take advantage of the here and now, to put aside the urgent and focus on the important. Because 20 years from now our family won’t care how clean our bathroom was today, or how many crumbs were on the kitchen floor, or how many books and toys were scattered throughout the house. But we will care about whether our early family memories are either of mommy being too “busy” to play or of mommy taking the time to make popsicles, ride bikes, and have picnics in the backyard. I’m creating memories right now for these little boys, and I want to make them good ones.
I’m keeping our unfinished summer list from this year to help me always remember. But I think it’s time we start a new one for fall…and this time make plans to finish it.