Fall is here, with it's brisk winds, gray skies and bright but cool sunshine. Outside the window the trees compete to find the perfect shade of orange for their last color of the year. The smell of a homefire burning touches my nose. It's the time of year that urges us to snuggle up together on the couch, making Christmas lists and tearing out recipes while watching the leaves get blown across the yard. Time to put on a pot of stew to simmer and light a cinnamon candle on the table. To slip on fuzzy socks and my favorite corduroy, at-home-only shirt.
Now, will somebody please read this to my daughter! This year, thoughts of snuggling up are constantly interfered on by a one-and-a-half year old with energy like I've never seen before. Georgia doesn't know, or really care, that the brisk winds outside are the perfect excuse to make a cup of tea and pull out a book to read. She sees the leaves racing across the yard as a beacon to come out and play a game of chase. Even the squirrels, out gathering the last of their winter loot, entice her to scamper and find her own little treasures.
We also have a large basset hound, Bernie, who is generally sprawled on the floor next to the couch, so as soon as you put your feet down you step on him. But he loves this time of year when he can sit out on our porch and sniff the many scents of fall in the wind. He likes to find a sunny spot out there and just lounge and sniff to his heart's content.
But now every time he scratches at the door to be let out, Georgia is there with him.
"Side, Side!!" she says in her sweet baby voice, with that hint of expectant joy that children get when they think they'll get something just because they asked.
"Pheas", she adds, since saying 'Please' guarantees delivery, right?
I try to explain to her the brisk winds, the gray skies, my hot cup of tea, but she refuses to be understanding.
"Side!" she says again, a bit more urgently, as though I don't understand that if she doesn't go out now that big yellow leaf will forever be blown away and out of her reach.
I try a new tactic with a bit of urgency in my own tone, explaining that mommy is truly weary at 8 months pregnant with a little brother, and that I may not even be able to reach my feet to put my shoes on to go out and certainly not pull a jacket around my expanded belly.
"Shoos!" She abandons the door to run across the room. Oops. She know we put shoes on before going out and I had to go and mention them. She tosses her pink sneakers on the couch next to me and runs back to the door, reaching tall to turn and turn the baby-proof knob on the handle.
"Side!!' she says once more, with that beautiful smile that gets me every time.
And I know my plans have changed from enjoying this beautiful fall day from the couch to getting outside and experiencing it through my little girl's laughter as she races across the yard, bringing me leaves of every color. And I smile and enjoy the moment, because I know there's always her afternoon nap time to get my cup of tea!