Here in western New York state, especially in our snowy little valley, our seasons are a little bit messed up. Summer lasts only from the end of June to the middle of August, and then fall hits. Even now, some trees and bushes' leaves are starting to turn in anticipation of the upcoming fall season. Fall will last until the middle of October, and then the snow will begin, usually in the end of October or beginning of November. Although fall is a gorgeous season in these foothills, it is a little bittersweet, because it reminds us that the snows are coming. We can usually count on having snow from November through the middle of March. And then in the beginning of April, spring slowly blossoms and lasts through June.
Last year, the fall was a season filled with anticipation as I was GREAT with child, and resembled a pumpkin ripe for the picking. The winter began with a bang as our little Z entered our lives December 5th, and then I went through a dark, shadowy time of exhaustion and overwhelmed-ness, feeling my way through the first weeks and months of parenting. I usually don't mind the snow, but being shut in the house with an often-screaming newborn was a difficult experience. And then, slowly, as spring always comes, an attitude of joy and peace began to blossom in my heart and, subsequently, in our home. I emerged from the fog of exhaustion and self-pity and chose to enjoy my little man. And this spring and summer have truly been a time of joy and love and fun for our family. Although we have been busy with summer camp, we have found joy in each moment.
And now I see the leaves beginning to change, and it is bittersweet for me, because every day brings me closer to my little boy's first birthday. When he won't be a baby anymore, but a toddler. While I am looking forward to the changes that I will surely see in my little man throughout this fall and winter (crawling, walking, running, talking, eating real food, etc.), it reminds me that the time goes all too fast. And it is teaching me that when God gives us a 'next time', I will vow to cherish every moment. Every 3am feeding. Every screaming fit that can only be calmed by walking up and down the hallway, singing 'Amazing Grace' until my throat is hoarse. Every tiny smile and every squeaky giggle.
I love you, little man. More every day.