The first flutter of gold and brown leaves swirled down around us with a breath of chilly air.
Josie turned her face toward the sun, squinting her blue eyes up at the trees. She ran out into the squishy grass with arms outstretched. She twirled around and tried to catch the first crunchy leaves as they somersaulted through the air.
“It’s fall!” she yelled. “Summer is over and it’s finally fall!”
I guess I was in a contemplative mood, because her 6-year old exuberance paired up with the falling leaves led me to wonder:
What season am I in?
Every mom’s life is a whirlwind of seasons. They change from one to the next with barely any warning at all. Somehow we all manage to weather the seasons, whether they are gentle and warm or hard and unforgiving.
My children are in the springtime of their youth. I’m always there to help them, to take care of them, to watch them grow, to help them dig in their roots. Their lives are new, exciting, and full of energy. Sometimes we forget that we moms have had a former life, too. We spent time in the childhood season of friends, silliness, playing and carefree lazy afternoons.
I guess right now, I’m in the summer of my life. I’ve made it through the difficult years of growing up and “finding myself.” I’m comfortable with who I am and how I’ve chosen to live. I’ve learned to be happy with being a wife, being pregnant, being a new mom, being a mom of toddlers and pre-schoolers and 7-year olds.
Sometimes I find myself twisting, reeling in the summer storms of life, grasping for something to hold on to. But in my own way, I’m flourishing, tending the garden I’ve planted – my marriage, my children.
But the season of fall, the season Josie is so happy to twirl into, is when you reap the real harvest, right? I think of my own mom, who is like my best friend now that I'm an adult.
Not only do we have a good relationship, but she also completely adores her grandchildren. She plays all kinds of crazy games with them, lets them make terrible messes, tells them endless stories, listens to all their corny jokes, lets them eat whatever they want, buys them whatever they ask for – all because she loves them so much she can hardly bear it. I can’t help but think that they are part of the bountiful harvest she planted when she sowed her own garden back when I was small.
My wonderful, wise grandmother has moved into the years of winter’s rest – quiet, deep, sheltered. She spends her days reminiscing about the days of her youth, sharing the insights of her child-rearing days, telling me about her own harvest of grandchildren, and now, her great-grandchildren. Winter is a time to reflect and to remember.
My fellow moms, before we know it, this summer season of our lives will be over.
We all want our kids to grow up slowly, but maybe by the time they do we’ll be like Josie. Maybe we won't be sad. Maybe our children will end up being our best friends. Maybe our grandchildren will be the best thing that ever happened to us. Maybe we’ll say “Hooray! Summer is over and it’s finally fall!”
Let’s all tend our summer gardens well, so we can truly enjoy what we reap in the harvest.