christmas at halloween, autumn in the summer

By the time Halloween hits, we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving. Christmas, even. In September we welcome fall, buying “Leaves” candles and changing our door wreath. Cider follows, then the salted caramel, and at last, the peppermint hot chocolate takes over. We’re in JULY, and already I find myself skipping my summer wardrobe entirely, shopping for new autumn clothes, scents, and colors. Fall product launches. When did July become September? When I let it.

Here Comes The Sun

The sky looked as if an inkwell had tipped into a glass of water
On my way to pick up the kids yesterday, a mantle of blooming backlit clouds darkened the roads. Once I’d arrived at camp, it still hadn’t rained. While I waited for the beans in the parking lot, the clouds burst into a downpour, turning everything white. Yet, no animals scattered, counselors didn’t seem to take cover, shirts weren’t pulled over heads. My kids, I knew, were prepared, as I’d loaded each of their bags with a child-sized poncho (FYI: a bitch to find – Camping section of Target). As I waited for them to be escorted to my car from the main building, I wondered if it was raining only on my car, as though I were a doomed cartoon character. On the edge of the lot, there’s a fenced basketball court with a dozen college-aged men, half skins, half shirts. Not once did they flinch or wince from the sky’s outburst. They continued to dribble, block and shoot, racing up the court after a rebound. Their bare chests glossy, as if they’d been dipped in oil. I felt like a grandparent. I’m not sure if I said it aloud, but I thought, “Well, would ya look at that.”

My own kids came marching down the hill with their tongues out
Looking to drink the rain, hair sopped, clothes dripping, then smiles of sunshine. Abigail looked like a wet mouse, Lucas like a lizard. They wanted to play in it. At what point to do we no longer take pleasure in rolling down a hill? When do we stop trying to catch a snowflake on our tongue? I wanted to yell, “What are you doing? Get in here!” Knowing they’d leave wet markings all over the car’s interior, that they’d now have to change clothes right away, more work for me. I didn’t yell. Mostly because I was acutely aware of how old I sounded, how old I’ve become. I was already steps ahead in my mind, anticipating the work ahead instead of enjoying the moment. I’d like to say I ran out into the rain to join them. I did not. I think I’d only really enjoy being drenched if I’d been running or breaking up with someone. Still, I was at least able to be present, to appreciate the moment in the making, complete with dry ponchos tucked into their wet bags.

By the way, this is what I write when I truly can’t think of anything to write.

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  1. Speaking of thanksgiving…we’re flying to NYC from Australia for our 10 year wedding anniversary and will be in the city for thankgiving…do you have any personal recommendations for where to have thanksgiving dinner?? It will be the one and only time we ever get to do thanksgiving…ever! I know how seriously you take your menu planning…so I 100% trust any recs you could send my way :) xx

      1. Yes, please!! And while you’re at it, I’m DYING to know what you thought of Bravo’s Princesses of Long Island :)

  2. I liked this. A lot. It was a helluva lot better & more enjoyable to read than the ridiculous (sorry!) perfume posts and even the makeup posts. This has more heart and I can completely relate to forcing yourself to override the “Get in here!” to enjoy the moment. Also, already longing for months ahead.

  3. When we longed for the turning of the season or the much anticipated vacation, my wise mom always said ‘don’t wish your life away’. Little did I realize how profound those words would be.

    It seems we’re always jumping ahead, no matter how old we are. When we’re small, going to the bathroom alone is a big deal. Then your first bra, first period, first date, first boyfriend, first kiss.

    Fast forward again – first real job, first husband, first house, first baby, first mortgage.

    Then it starts spinning out of control. First night someone slept through the night, first tooth, first day of school.

    Faster still. First gray hair, first divorce, first ailing parent, first child graduating from high school.

    Life is no moving so fast that taking a moment to breathe – to play in the rain – to not resent the extra laundry – seems impossible.

    Your writing today is a good reminder. Life isn’t going to slow down, but we should make sure we don’t wish our lives away by moving too fast.

  4. You know…I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with looking forward to various holidays, even well in advance, if in the meantime we’re enjoying the now. If that makes sense.

    I think it’s human nature to “look forward to” things. It’s part of our psychological knowledge (or hope) that we *have* a future. We may be the only animals who do this; it may be unique to the human condition.

  5. lovely how my comments just don’t get through here… does make me wonder. is it not allowed to ask after Mr. Bikini?

    1. Stefanie – I can see both your comments? Your first one is 5th one down :)

    2. Author

      Sorry, I’ve been negligent with regard to posting comments in a timely manner. Nothing personal, obviously. Okay, I will cover my mortifying behavior, Mr. Bikini, a huge falling out with a friend, and just some random daily “here’s what I’ve been up to.”

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