Spectacular Fall! I don’t know about elsewhere but the trees in New England are “Fire” as the kids say. Colors ablazing. They “slay.” I have already reported to you that I love Fall. It’s a reset button. People are back.
This is our first Fall since 2019 where life is generally normal. We attended a homecoming this weekend and it was so fun. Lots of games being played, people meeting each other without masks, hand shaking, hugging, laughing, talking, eating, drinking all being played out with a back drop of ruby red, orange, yellow and gold. New England at its best. It feels great to be a human.
I will have some fantastic interviews for you over the next several editions (including Marian McEvoy famed Elle Decor editor and craft doyen Insta: @gustthepoodle). But, they aren’t ready yet.
Bare with me.
I don’t mean to harp on the kids leaving home thing. It’s just that it’s my first Fall experiencing it. In the car ride home from said homecoming at a small New England college there is plenty of time to reflect on how the past twenty years have gone vis-a-vis parenting and life in general.
It just struck me how not having your kids around gives you some time to think about what the experience of bringing them up was like. There is not time to do so when they are around. Even if they are stewing in their room or at a friends house, they are still present. It’s rare to sit and have a productive, big picture conversation about what life has been like on the parenting treadmill. Choices made. Kids’ friends, activities. You just don’t have the mental space or actual time to do so when you’re day to day in it. Which is kind of a shame. In some cases. And not at all in others.
Age + Time = Reflection
Maybe this period is like a novel. You read a novel not knowing the end. You’re turning pages, acquiring information. Eventually, you reach the end and close the book. Then you sit with that information and think on it. I find that a good book, or movie, will do that for days. Keep coming back and showing me what it was up to through the pages. That’s what is happening now, but with real life. It’s nice, actually.
By the way, I think this is true whether or not one has kids.
At a point, there is a change in the rhthym of life. I like to think of this new phase as a downshift in life’s sport car. A gathering of power. Not that our kids will get the reference of a stick shift car. But we do. A car speeding downhill gets shifted into a lower gear at the curve to get more control of the steering. A car trudging up hill is downshifted to consolidate power to make it up the hill. Then when we reach the pinacle or the curve, we shift up. Sling shot. Release the power and the flow and the car feels right. It loves you for harnessing it’s power so that it can get to this point of unbroken stride. Freedom.
We have down shifted, people. Gathering power. Reflecting.
Terrarium Photo Essay: