Last week the trees were full and blazing with color, but now the October wind blows and the leaves fall by the hundreds. Out the window I can see a tree already half-barren that shone gold just yesterday morning.
Georgia runs outside to spin and laugh among the raining leaves. This is the first year that she’s tuned in to the changing seasons and how one leads to the next, how time works.
I love that maniacal laugh of hers, and the crescent shape of Aidan’s eyes when he smiles, and Vincent’s up-for-anything grin.
They’re not perfect, and there’s at least a minute or ten every day when I want to lock them up in a padded room and throw away the key, but even as I curse them under my breath I love them with a ferocity that bewilders:
How is it that I’m a mother of three, that this exuberant trio belongs to me? I know how, obvs, but still, how?
October makes me panicky. Another year is accelerating to its end, and I think, I’ll be 90 when Georgia’s my age, which is not a useful thought but there it is.
When Mum died, I lay down on the bed and tried to imagine it, being dead and absent from my kids’ lives, missing it all. But I felt my breath catch, my heart stutter — I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t go there. I want so much to be here.
Of course, it feels verboten to verbalize this, as if I’m inviting disaster. Such superstition we have! I’m already picturing the clickbait AOL News headline (“Mom Blogs About Fall, You’ll Be SHOCKED by What Happened Next!”).
I can’t be the only one — I’m not that original a thinker. (And not that I waste any less time than the average overly self-aware person either.)
But when we walk to school, smelling the organic clove rot of wet leaves on the sidewalk, or see the slow creep of frost on the windows first thing in the morning, it’s the kids, always my kids who catch me out, and get me out of my own self-orbiting head. I won’t be here forever, but the least I can do is be here now.