I’m a summer girl all the way. Sun, sandals, shorts. But there’s something magical about Fall that entrances me. The light is golden and bathes the world with sparkles. The delicious scent of leaves, and earth, and spices fill the air. Farms throw open their doors with festivals and hayrides and pumpkin picking, and everyone seems pumped and excited.
I had a perfect family weekend. We visited one of those farms with the boys and sampled it all. When we snuck into the haunted house and picked our way through the fog and flashing skeleton heads, my boys clung to me with fear (including my father for some reason) and screamed in terror. We boarded the tractor for a bumpy ride up the hill to the pumpkin patch, to pick the perfect size pumpkin and take pictures with the scarecrows. We sipped apple cider, munched on popcorn, and watched the kids bounce like crazy in the bouncy houses. We got lost in the corn maze and cheated when we got tired. The kids got their faces painted with bats and vampire fangs, and we breathed in the crisp fall air, feeling perfectly content for those few precious hours.
My favorite part was meeting the animals. There was a whole batch of baby pigs. Their fat little bodies, and funny snouts and tiny grunts converted me. Already a vegetarian, I was so glad I didn’t eat bacon! They were precious, and I got to hold them and learn a whole new side about animals.
But I fell in love with a llama named Trish. Holding herself high with dignity, she walked over to greet me, her beautiful, heavily lashed dark eyes staring into mine. The owner of the petting zoo explained Trish had been very depressed because she lost her mate two years ago, and the baby llama she had adopted in her care had just died. The owner said Trish was extremely loyal, loving, and now spent hours laying down, staring into space. She didn’t want to eat, or socialize. Her heart was broken.
And mine broke for her. I crooned to Trish and she did the most amazing thing. Mother to mother, we stared into one another’s eyes. And then she lowered her head and kissed me.
The owner said she was very careful of who she bestowed her kisses on. I had passed muster. I stroked her neck and said good-bye, and I have been thinking of her ever since. One mama to another.
Those are the moments I live for in motherhood. When we are all together, enjoying the moment, happy and carefree. I can look at my kids and their silliness and joy for life and feel my heart crack open to the world around me.
And I remind myself again, to take what is given, enjoy the gift, and hold it close to the heart. There are bad days and good days in parenthood, but oh, for those few joyous hours, everything is so worth it.
I wish everyone more of those moments as we move forward.
Happy Fall everyone!