Monday, October 5, 2009


Oh, my. I thnk fall is upon us.

I'm still in denial over here. I know, I know. It's October. It's not going to warm up again. Not for a long, long time. But -and I know I say this every year --I'm not ready.
Now don't get me wrong. I love the change of seasons. I love autumn and the colors and the crisp air and the smell of the dry leaves on the ground. But the transition from summer to fall has always been a difficult one for me.

And, I have learned to embrace winter, in spite of myself. This was a monumental effort for me, which took years. And I had to be paid to do it. More on that in another post, someday.
For now, I'll dig in my heels a bit and sigh as I put on my fleece jacket. I'm not ready quite yet for this.

The kids, on the other hand, are elated. L looks out the door every morning: "Oh, looks like it rained a bit last night! And it's getting so cold outside!"

Or, when we leave the house, J will yell, joyously, "Smells good!" as he takes in a breath of air so huge I expect him to physically expand.

I really ought to thank my kids-they constantly bring me back to the here and now. I snap to attention, and recognize some of the beautiful things Ihave had a tendency to overlook lately. The smells. The temperature. The visual changes everywhere-in the trees, the grass, even the sky.

I forget the leaf-identification games and the tales of animals preparing for winter (all good activities in their own right, mind you, but for another time--that's not that we're here for)
For fun, I ask them to tell me what's going on in "nature" (a.k.a the yard, for our purposes these days) and they point out incredible things for me. I like to make a game of it, and they are happy to show me the world through their eyes.
I've found that academic, "school-y" questions like, What do you notice about the change of seasons? or What's happening out here? are a bit much for young ones. They're a little too "big" and abstract. To make things easier for my kids to explain, I get specific:

"Tell me what's happening in the garden?" I ask, or, "What seems to happen to the trees in all this rain?" and, "Can you show me one nature treasure?"

"All the plants are shaggy" She tells me, pointing out the frayed petals, the sagging leaves.

"This tree is wearing a wet jacket" she says, rubbing her hand across the slick bark.

Or, my favorite: "There are nature treasures everywhere! And they're wet!"

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