When I stepped outside yesterday, I had to pull my jacket sleeves down over my fingers and tuck my face into my collar. Somehow, without me really realizing it, the season had changed. Of course I knew it was Autumn-there are pumpkins everywhere and much to my dismay, the back-to-school items Have been put on clearance to make room for trick-or-treat buckets and Twizzlers. The calendar declared it Autumn a long time ago, but the weather stubbornly ignored the date and kept on beaming summer. Fall is my favorite time of year without a doubt, and yet no matter how much I’m looking forward to all that these months bring-every time I feel a change of seasons I mourn the loss of the last one. You see, this summer changed my life as Summers often do. I have been given a gift that I grow closer to opening with each passing day. With this gift in my belly, I have watched the end of spring, the start of summer, and yesterday – to my surprise – the chill of an Autumn in full swing.
Just as the air is changing outside, the winds are also changing inside. A season is ending. A season of a quiet home, spontaneous matinee movie trips, laying in bed laughing and whispering until Saturday mornings become Saturday afternoons. It has been the most beautiful season of my life. Building our oneness through millions of conversations and no words at all, perfecting our routine and watching the fruits of our labor grow a friendship sweeter than I could have imagined. I am aware that these days are special- they’re the kind of days that fill up scrapbooks. I’m growing life for the first time and just a wife for the last time.
Last night, my husband brought home a pizza after a long day of work. I cooked up some veggies. I went for a walk in the last of the evening sun and crunched all the fallen leaves. He took a nap with a book on his chest. We scrolled through On Demand until we settled on a movie that we both hadn’t seen. Snuggled up on the corner of the couch with a blanket and some Tums, we halfway watched and halfway tuned out. We wandered to bed where we read and talked until we fell asleep. Oh my heart. How these nights fill my soul. And with every twitch and jab of my belly I am made aware that I am being prepared to love something with just as much of my heart, but for now I can’t imagine saying goodbye to this season.
When my husband looks over at me and sees a certain expression on my face, he reminds me that each new season only gets better than the one before it. I think back on the month after I got engaged and try my hardest to slip back into that skin for a moment. My husband and I were eating dinner and as I waited for my rack of ribs to arrive, I looked down at my ring catching the light. Before too long, I burst into tears. I remember blubbering “Everything is going to change. My childhood is over. I’m not going to be a Singletary anymore. This is my last summer as just me.” You name it, I cried over it. My poor husband-to-be stared at me with a helpless blank face, unsure of what to say but sure there was no consoling me. I look back on that moment and I’m filled with warmth from head to toe- if only I knew then what I know now. How sad would life be if we only knew one season?
Truly, I have dreaded change for as long as I can remember. Not fear-dread. I am not necessarily afraid of what will happen when change comes I just don’t want to face the fact that things will one day not be as they are now. Even when I was little, I used to sit on my bedroom floor crying because my dad would be eighty. Mind you, he was probably 43 at the time… But he Would be eighty one day and I didn’t like it. Same went for completing another year of school, family vacation ending and the arrival and passing of each holiday. I realize this is my natural bend; both a symptom and side effect of my passionate heart. I am learning, though, that I would rather hang onto the coat-tails of each passing season for as long as possible, acknowledging each coming and going, than to wake up one day and not even have realized a whole season had passed me by.
It has become my mission for these last few months before bringing a child into the world to be fully present in this time. Not mourning the loss of something that isn’t gone and not living in the reality of something that isn’t yet here. I will savor each random trip to Target together, every evening filled with nothing but Musiq Soulchild and Scrabble and the sacredness of our Sunday afternoons. When the time comes to welcome a new life into our home and hearts, I will be ready. For now, today is supposed to be uncharacteristically warm for this season and as much as I’m looking forward to all that Autumn brings, I’ll be sure to savor the last few moments of summer air.