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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Stealing moments

I sometimes worry that I’ve not taken sufficient care to help my children enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Here I sit on another Sunday afternoon and the weekend has literally flown by in a flurry of kids’ activities and household chores and errands. It’s inexcusable that there are entire weekends when I don’t sit except in my car. I hate that feeling just as I recognize it’s within my own power to change. Then it hit me:

Attention must be paid or life’s simple pleasures will be lost to the next generation.

It was a rainy, gloomy morning, the ideal setting to roll over, pull up the blankets and sleep a little longer. That’s what we did this morning. No alarm set for practices or games. I wasn’t going to push to get everyone to Mass. Heinen’s can wait until later in the day. No program for the day. This morning was for lazing about.

One of my simple pleasures is to be up before everyone else with the coffee on and the Sunday paper spread before me. Because in all the frenzy of our daily lives, it’s quiet I most desire. Time to either think or not think.

This morning I was thumbing through the Sunday ads shaking my head at all the Christmas promotions and decorations. Can it be? Of course, Halloween has passed and we’re on to the next big consumer-driven holiday. What happened to fall? Have I missed it completely?

With sadness, I realized how we never did take a Sunday to go apple picking. We missed the divine taste of biting into a tart apple picked right from the tree. We missed the peace of wandering aimlessly through the orchard, giving our kids the chance to sample what it feels like to roam with no fences or neighbors' yards, driveways and streets delineating the boundaries. The only reference points are where the Macintosh trees start and the Jonathan’s end.

I almost missed this fall’s golden-colored trees. So much of the past two months has been spent right here, with my back to the window and my face to the computer screen that I realized how easily I could’ve missed fall completely.

The leaves have turned late this year and it seemed as if they were just waiting for sunny days to warm their hues into the striking brilliance we’ve seen the past few days. Fortunately, I was driving home from Columbus on Wednesday afternoon and had miles and miles of brilliant color lining my way home.

While raking yesterday I inhaled the sweet, smoky smell of autumn and I wondered if I’ve told the kids how each season has a distinct smell. Have I told them how you can taste winter’s coolness? Or how snow clouds look so heavy hanging in the sky? Have I told them about the earthy smell of spring and how the green of new growth is only visible in nature for a few short weeks?

Perhaps they won’t care at this point (Mom, we’re missing the game!), but I’ve got to steal the moments while I can. Someday they will be out raking with their kids and remember how mom described the smell of autumn.


Jill said...

Wendy - I love your instincts and am going to be sure to use some of this blog entry for my January '06 column on why i'm a bad mother and my new year's resolutions to be a better one.

But seriously - you know the writer's adage, show, don't tell? I say the same re: the smells of autumn, etc. I just know that your kids are getting it all in without you telling them about what you're sensing - I know they're sensing it because of how you expose them to it. It might not be something they describe now, but when they reflect on the memory, it will be there - don't you think?

Not that that gets you off the hook for being such a lousy mother (gag me), but the opposite - I know from what you tell me, those kids are experiencing it all.

Do not worry. :)

Kelly said...

Lovely post. Yesterday's high winds took down most of what remained of the leaves on our land. It has been a lovely extended fall here in Northeast, OH.