Fall has snuck up on me. One day it was hot and I was sitting by the edge of the wading pool watching the girl splash around and then the next day a cold wind had blown in and the pool was deserted. The sky was overcast and the rain smelled like the end of summer. Then the pool closed and that was that.
Every day is bringing us one day closer to Fall.
I have grown to love Fall. The cooler weather is so welcoming after the heat of the summer. The long sleeves feel cozy against the chilly days. The red leaves I see out the window make me smile.
I didn't used to love Fall. It meant the return to school and mixed emotions. Excitement about being in a higher grade. Nervousness about new teachers and what they might expect. Happiness at seeing old friends after a long summer. Wariness of frenemies and tension from last year. Joy at being one year older.
Now it's Fall again and I am filled with some of those same mixed emotions. Excitement about the girl starting kindergarten. Nervousness about how it will go and if she will like it. Happiness that she will have friends in her class and that she will make new ones. Wariness of the tensions and struggles that come along with friends. Joy that she is one year older. Sadness too.
I find myself looking at her sometimes and wondering who she is. Her tall, lean body. Her long face devoid of any babiness. Her vocabulary that she uses to cajole and explain and demand. Her pink backback worn constantly in anticipation of school.
She is four and starting kindergarten. She is just beginning her season of Fall.