It’s September again. It just doesn’t feel like a whole year has passed since the last time I saw this month. But here it is, and here I am, feeling a little low in energy, a little under the weather (ho), but glad that the air is cooling and the leaves are reddening and I can stop wearing summer clothes, which I hate.
September used to be my favourite month. It seemed many significant things happened in this month, but it has been overtaken in recent years by October, which seems fuller now, plump and jolly and bursting with promise.
It’s at this time I miss America, and I wish I could be in New England or Boston. At home, we change the cushion covers, I make felt leaves and hang them on the walls. Fabric and knitted pumpkins don our Seasons table and a line of Autumn bunting lies waiting to be finished in my craft room. More than any other season, I want to bring Autumn inside. I want to have a carpet of leaves and fat pumpkins piled on top of each other on the stairs.
Autumn is such a perfect time for gratitude. We are about to collect our gratitude ‘tree’ from outside, hanging the things we give thanks for on the tiny branches. I asked Ava what her favourite thing was yesterday and she said ‘apples’. I can’t argue.
I’ve been spending a lot of time reading and buried under quilts, allowing the season to change and using this time to rest and restore myself a little. I have. Ava is a ferocious creature who swings from the cushions curtains windows and throws her little body hard into the floor, laughing wildly. She swings backwards and dances, spinning and crashing into the furniture, her long legs clambering over anything in her way.
I look at her and try to imagine the baby she once was, not so long ago really, curled up on me (always on me) like a tightly drawn comma. I try to see that baby but can’t quite imagine it, she is so much child now. In a flash she has leapt onto my lap and pulls my quilt over her head, nestling roughly into me for a few seconds, before returning to her toddler duties.
‘Mama’ she calls. ‘Maaaaaama’ and I get up, wondering what she has climbed under, onto, behind. ‘Mama, stuck’ she says, and I pull her out of the crevice between table and box that she has squirmed into. I swing her up and hold her, so heavy, so long, and her legs dangle gleefully at each side.
‘Mama, dance’ she says, and I take my cue to waltz her around the dining room as she throws her head back and grins. We’ll do this outside soon, in the leaves, as soon as my energy returns.
She turns two in October, and I think, not for the first time, how happy I am to have an October babe, with October hair. Sweet little Ava, my favourite thing about Autumn.