Let Autumn Come: a toddler’s dream & a home ready for fall

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Every fiber of my being wants autumn.

The first day of autumn comes on the day of my birth and so the month of September is something incredibly sacred.

In my Native American tribe, the Potawatomi, seasons are celebrated by lighting a fire at the equinox of fall, spring, summer and winter for four days at a time, to celebrate each of the four seasons.

Instead, I’ve been pacing myself. I’ve been waiting and practicing patience, because, after all, it is still summer.

But I raise a son, a four year old boy who loves the changing of the seasons.

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He’s watched me decorate and re-arrange rooms for four years, putting out pumpkins and wreaths, replacing them with a Christmas tree and nativity in December, later with winter whites followed by spring blooms.

So it is no surprise that when September hits, he is ready to celebrate fall- and my birthday.

For days I tried to distract him from it, but he persisted–

“Mom, let’s decorate! It’s fall!”

And finally, after days of struggle, he woke from a nap one afternoon in tears, waiting another day to see fall come to life in his home.

I was ready to resist again, just one more week, but my husband, who sees his boys with intense love–

he looked back at his oldest on the car ride home and said, “Sure, son.”

And he and Eliot planned our evening– pumpkin waffles for dinner followed by a fall decorating celebration.

I found an autumn jazz Pandora station.

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And we listened to it and ate popcorn and read poetry while the bacon sizzled in the pan; the event was just as it should be, full of impatience and excitement and a tantrum or two.

Our ideas or reservations mean nothing to the dreams and hopes of our children, no matter how small.

Eliot longed for something beautiful and good; he longed to welcome autumn, just a little earlier, into his home this year.

So we let autumn come, even though summer is still lingering for a few more weeks.

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And in the mornings we wake up to orange leaves and red raffia and pictures of acorns, and we take life slow and steady and let it seep into us, the promise of a new day, the treasure of time together, the magic of the season happening upon us, giving us permission to see each other, to honor each other, to remember that we hold a fire never to be snuffed out.

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