Fall has well and truly arrived in NC after a freakishly warm September and early October (90 degrees? In October?). I love Fall - it is by far my favorite season. I love the trees turning, I love the crispness of the air, and I really love the golden quality of the light. M and I have spent the last couple of Fridays and Saturdays at the local science museum looking at the farm animals and bears and lemurs and playing with their wind exhibit. All summer the wind-focused section was boring - sitting there limply in the humidity - but now the steerable toy sailboats on the pond really fly and the seedpod launcher is super fun.
M has turned a corner and is so much fun lately. Right when I started to look out my door at every passing car, hoping a band of gypsies was coming by that I could give her to, M became a doll... I swear they know when you're hitting your breaking point! She still has her moments, don't get me wrong, but at least the fun-to-sucky ratio is more 9:1 instead of the reverse.
I've been trying to be a more mindful parent lately, trying to stop planning and focusing on the future so much and start enjoying what I've got. One of my colleagues at the research center where I work died of a rare autoimmune disease two weeks ago. I didn't know her that well - we worked on different research areas - but I started reading her blog in September: diaryofadyingmom.blogspot.com
Although you would think the posts would be depressing, Michelle was such a fighter and idealist that, without candy-coating anything or denying how horrible the situation was, her posts are an uplifting call to really LIVE. When she died on Oct 11th, on her 11th wedding anniversary, people from all over the world wrote in to say how much her writing meant to them... I'm not good at expressing that kind of emotion, but I guess my way is to try to incorporate the lessons she was able to communicate into my life the best I can.
Gratuitous kid pic: