Time is a funny thing. The days seem to rush by in a hurried mess of exercising, cleaning, working, playing, cooking, parenting, doing...and then I stop to take a look around and realize a whole month went by! On the other hand, it already feels like I've been back at work for a lot longer. I am still meeting people and learning my new environment, but the work part came back very quickly and easily. I am confident I made the right decision, so hurray for that.
Things are going well, but I do recognize the need to stop and take a look around more often. This week, I decided to take more scenic back roads to work for no other reason than to admire the beauty of historic New England towns in Autumn. It's almost too difficult, because I want to stop and walk around Walden Pond and admire the foliage, but the drive alone is spectacular. I've also left the music off at times, appreciating the silence. I am reminded of the daily meditations that I used to enjoy at the end of my work days, after the kids went to bed. I haven't done that since I stopped working, but I didn't miss it. I was finding many moments of peace throughout the day. Now I think I'll have to go back to being a little more purposeful about making time for it. Life is too short not to appreciate and savor every day.
We are all settled into the school and work routine. Nathan read his first entire book to me last night, and I am still smiling as a result. Aaron is learning about butterflies and knows more U.S. state facts than I do. School is fun, and it is a joy to be able to go through it again with my children. Aaron also started reading Harry Potter, and I must admit I am excited to experience the series again.
The boys have been working on their lists for Santa - yes, already, I think they started them in August - and we've been discussing plans for Aaron's 8th birthday party. He's thinking Lego, which is awesome and fun. But up first - Halloween! And a very full house for Thanksgiving! That most wonderful and busy time of year is upon us, and I am so looking forward to it all. It's time to start planning...
We are in the parenting sweet spot. At 5 and almost 8, my boys are firmly out of the baby/toddler years. They eat well, they sleep well, they are independent in so many ways. But they are several years away from the pre-teen/teen years that can come with confusion and angst and rebellion and emotional distance. They still snuggle, and they run to me when they get hurt. They hold my hand. They like to help out around the house. They say "I love you" without reservation and not only in response. They ask for permission (most of the time). They want and expect to spend time together as a family. Hopefully most of these things will continue through the teenage years, but for now, I'm choosing to soak them all in. Every sweet moment with my boys.
This weekend, we plan to go pick out our pumpkins and start raking the leaves. And as I watch my boys run and jump in the resulting pile, I'm going to make sure I stop what I'm doing and appreciate that moment.