Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
I knew it would be a gorgeous autumn day the moment I stepped onto the sidewalk for my morning run. The air had the most subtle bite of chill to it – not frigid like the past few mornings and not heavy like hot summer mornings. Perfect running weather. The sun had been up for an hour by the time I got out to run and it greeted me with its cheerful self warming my bare legs. I love this time of year with the beauty of the leaves, the cool temperatures, the smell of fireplaces heating homes, the cheers of people at the football game.
Maria and Mario greeted me with a resounding “MOM!” when I opened the front door after my run. Is there anything that makes you feel more loved than the sound of children excited to see you? Mario grabbed two Berenstein books for me to read and we sat in his room with the blinds up and sun pouring in reading about “Too Many Commercials” and “Camping out with Ghosts.” I love it when Mario initiates reading because he so rarely wants to do it. He is not into anything at age 4 except super heros, wrestlers, and fighting. I make him sit down at times and color or work in his workbook but after five minutes he is bored to death. Other moms console me and tell me that it does get better but I have my doubts…. Maria is doing really well with her reading lately because I have made it my number one priority to make her read every night. She is starting to see the fruits of her work when she gets a card and can read a lot of the words or sees me reading the paper and can decipher some of the headline. Of course, I received two cards for my birthday that had the word “Bitch” in the inside of them (gotta love my friends and family!) and wouldn’t you know that she opened them and pronounced “You are a bitch!” just perfectly! She immediately sensed that “b–” was a bad word and covered her mouth laughing. Leave it to my girl to immediately know how to spell and sound out the cuss words. Taking after her mom.
After reading, we got on our sweatshirts and went outside to rake the leaves and play soccer. Maria is so funny – she is the little worker bee as long as it is work she wants to do (never cleaning her room). She is also the boss directing how things should get done. As I raked, she announced that I should rake near the trash cans because that needed it more. She then went into the garage and began moving things around to “places that they should really be.” When I asked her to help me with bagging the leaves, she looked at the work and decided against it.
Rather, we took a stroll to the library. Mario begged to take a family walk so we decided that would be a good spot – four blocks away. I was so excited to see the kids both ready to take a walk! I was so excited that I even agreed to skip most of the way with the kids after they begged me to do it. I felt 10 again. We dropped Maria off at a friend’s house after the library and headed home to those dreadful leaves. To my glee, Mario couldn’t stop helping Jon and me. He loves that type of manual labor. He raked and raked and raked for me. I would sweep the raked leaves onto a tarp and we would take it down the drive to drop off the leaves at the curb and start the process again.
“Mom, we are quite a team, aren’t we?”
“Yes, doll, we are.”
“Are you proud of me for helping you?”
“I am so proud of you.”
Jon and I could not get over what a machine he was raking those leaves up, and kept stopping to stare at him in complete awe. I promised him the park after we raked the leaves – anything to stay outside on this gorgeous Autumn day. I could just eat it up.