The beginning of fall, or at least the end of summer, is such a welcome relief here. Last Sunday evening, as I finished cleaning the kitchen, I heard the sound I've been waiting for: Canada geese honking as they flew over our house. My heart fluttered and I smiled to myself: the first sign of early fall. Chris told me that he was telling the boys a bedtime story when they heard the honking. The boys looked at each other and said, "Fall!" I love that I've taught them to notice the signs of changing seasons.
The light is changing too. Our backyard string lights have stayed dark this summer as we usually turn in before it's dark enough to turn them on. (Early bedtime for life!) Just this week I realized that dusk is falling earlier and I've been clicking them on. I am loving the return of that cheery backyard light. With these first signs of fall I feel the weight of summer begin to lift. By the end of the month we should be able to open the doors in the morning and let in cool air. The summer heat is not why we live in Arizona and every year I feel renewed energy when its slow withdrawal begins.
Feeling fallish, I took the boys to get a treat on September 1: a pumpkin cream cold brew for me (perhaps the best drink Starbucks has ever engineered) and steamed milk with pumpkin spice for the boys. I let Cedric smell all my fallish candles and pick out his favorite to light. He chose a nutmeg candle from last year's Trader Joe's Christmas collection and it is perfect.
With the sounds, sights, and smells of fall beginning to appear I feel waves of memory and nostalgia for falls past. It's a feeling that I love. This year there's an additional layer of memory and nostalgia remembering seven years ago when Dashiell was the exact same age as Maeve. Experiencing Maeve's babyhood along the same seasonal timeline as Dashiell (since their birthdays are only four days apart) is reminding me of our first year as parent's to Dash. It's comforting to look back on that time and to feel more confident as a parent this time around. I love having a baby during the cozy seasons and I'm looking forward to adorable fall and winter clothes. Plus the adventures of feeding Maeve food and watching her learn to crawl.
Summer's end will mean that we can start enjoying the outdoors again. We've been venturing out here and there: an evening family walk on a cloudy day when it was a bearable 105 degrees, a trip with the boys to big open parks where they climbed trees in the shade and ran through sprinklers, letting the boys roller blade to the basketball court if they take a walkie-talkie. I am so excited to spend time outside again.
I'm also very very cautiously optimistic that the fall will bring us a new president and perhaps the first effective coronavirus vaccines. (Look how much I wrote before mentioning the pandemic!) I can't really let myself fully imagine either because I need to stay in the mindset of "this is life for the foreseeable future" lest I get sucked into a doom spiral. Fall brings a feeling of hope and for now I'm going to embrace it.
Big things happening in September:
+ Labor Day weekend. We rented a house in Scottsdale (with a pool!) for a two-night family staycation. I'm so excited for a weekend of family fun and to be somewhere other than our house haha. We're surprising the boys with the news of our little trip after they finish school today.
+ Chris's birthday. 43!
+ Prepare for October writing challenge. One of my 2020 goals is to complete month-long writing challenge working on a novel draft. I thought that by October I would be getting into a rhythm with Maeve. Little did I know that I would also be getting into a rhythm of distance learning. Oy! This month I want to decide what my daily writing will look like (timed? word count? when will I do it?), how I'll keep track (thinking a daily sticker system), and what structure my writing will take. I want to re-read First Draft in 30 Days which I'll use as a template for the challenge. I'm excited!
+ Twice weekly budget meetings. We're making plans for some house updates and are motivated to stick to our savings goals. To help us do this we want to have short budget meetings twice per week to review potential non-necessary purchases.
+ Get a flu shot. We get these every year and it seems especially important this year. The kids (still getting used to not saying "the boys") will get theirs at the pediatrician in October. Chris and I will get ours at Walgreens this month. I did hear a health expert say that we could have a very mild flu season which makes sense because there has been so little travel between hemispheres (the flu usually travels from the northern hemisphere to the southern and back again, following the winter season. Isn't that interesting?) plus people are staying home and wearing masks. Regardless, getting the flu shot is important to increase herd immunity and keep yourself and your community safe.
+ Complete three things from my 20 for 2020 list.
Wishing you a hopeful start to the season, friends.