This is the first fall that I haven’t spent two hours a day commuting in over a decade. No more days spent driving home, trying not to doze off in the warmth of the afternoon sun while the kids stare sleepily out their windows. This is the first fall I haven’t been able to dress up for spirit week and dance in a homecoming rally. I miss the kids and my people at school. This is the first fall in a long time that I haven’t had to pay daycare or tuition costs, though it is also the first time in twenty years that I no longer have a regular paycheck. This is the first fall I don’t have research papers to grade. That right there just makes me giddy. I didn’t have to memorize names, agonize over college essays, or get used to a new schedule. I didn’t get to fall in love with 110 new kids, a new lunch crew, and a new department member. This is the first fall I don’t have a work phone number to fill out on forms, while I figure out what my new job title really is.
This is the first fall I get to walk with my daughter to the bus stop every morning and give her a hug just before the bus turns the corner and comes into view. Occasionally little brother comes along but that requires him to be dressed and put on socks and shoes. It also results in a pathetic walk back home with his head hanging low and mumbles of how much he will miss his RyRy. This is the first fall that I have had the opportunity to coach cheer in many years, and coaching my daughter was surprisingly a joy. I only say that because our stubborn, willful natures aren’t generally conducive to teaching/coaching situations. She…*gasp*…trusted my previous experience in cheer. This is the first fall that I get to take Justin to the park, decide what task I want to accomplish that day, and plan for the future. I am determining what my days look like, not the bells and the whims of teenagers. When someone is sick, I am there for them at home without worries of a sub and meaningful plans. This is the first fall I have time to make festive treats for my kids and their friends, however, both of their schools have the rule against homemade treats. Their teachers, bus drivers, and directors are going to reap the benefits of that rule, as I can’t not bake yummy fall treats. I am in so many ways experiencing fall with very new eyes.
This is the first fall that I will be ripping out 16 overgrown, rotting, stinky tomato plants…as soon as it is cold enough for the evil bugs to die off. This is the first year that I am wondering if growing tomatoes will even be worth it next year unless I keep a couple plants in my greenhouse (on the list of winter projects). My family doesn’t eat them anyway, so they’re essentially only for salsa. This is the first fall that I am in need of jeans, overalls, boots, hats, and gloves for my daily toils. The dress clothes are being sold off here and there, making room in my closet for different types of garments and gear. This is the first fall on our property so I am wondering when the last big mow will be before winter sets in. Big mow means the pasture, as mowing our actual grass in front of the house takes less than five minutes. I love my time mowing, so I am actually sad that I won’t get to for many months. I don’t use earphones when I mow so I can hear the kids if they holler from the house, and also I enjoy the hum of the engine; it is very meditative and peaceful to ride back and forth across my land just thinkin’… or not thinkin’. This is the first fall that I am planning for spring. I have so many things to build and so many things I want to grow and make. It is a strange feeling to be planning the best, quickest ways to make some money so that I can continue to grow my business. It is a scary feeling, but exciting and inspiring as well.
This is the first fall that I am a mom and wife first and foremost. Business plans and endeavors are wonderful, but nothing beats this feeling right now in my life of being here for them, all the time. Except for 7-9 on Tuesday nights, that’s Mama’s yoga and wine time.
I am loving this fall of firsts.