Fall Mantel

If you live in the United States, Thanksgiving is a nice buffer between Halloween and Christmas.

No such buffer exists in Ireland.

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But, old habits die hard and traditions are important.

I have no idea if our grocery store will stock whole turkeys in November or if I can find the ingredients to make my grandma’s pumpkin chiffon pie recipe, but I’m curious to find out.

Even if I can’t find those things, it’s really the spirit of Thanksgiving that matters.

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While the leaves are still turning colors here and the temperatures have started to drop dropped, I’m going to savor autumn.

Because I get to experience it in Ireland.

Because I know this is a season of our life and I want to soak it up.

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Because this scene below happens in my home on a daily basis.

Even though I can see a lego brick lying in wait on the rug and I know I’m probably definitely going to step on it, I’m acutely aware of the precious nature of this view.

Like all seasons of our lives, whether I handle it with grace and optimism or hang onto it kicking and screaming, it will pass.

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The other day the kids asked me about another season of our life. They asked how many diapers I had changed.

Like it was a funny joke.

Ha!

Time for some math, kids.

Roughly 8 diapers a day (probably more) multiplied by 365 days per year is 2,920 diapers per year. Between two kids, I will round down and conservatively say that’s 5 years of diaper changes or 14,600 diapers (or nappies as they say in Ireland – don’t ask me what a nap is).

Kids: Wow, Mom! That’s a lot of diapers!

Me: Indeed.

Kids: How many diapers did Daddy change?

Me: *choking on my coffee* Not enough.

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This conversation with my kids was a poignant reminder that while I sometimes miss the season when my kids were babies, I don’t miss all of it.

I don’t miss the diaper blowouts – especially that one on the airplane. I don’t miss that helpless feeling of watching the clock turn from 3:00a.m. to 3:01a.m. while wondering why I can’t get my child to stop crying. I definitely don’t miss that time one of my children spit up in. my. mouth.

Without perspective I didn’t know what I would or wouldn’t miss – not really – until the season had passed. I don’t miss the middle-of-the-night crying, but I miss holding my babies in the quiet of the night. However, that season had to pass so I could see my kids with their two front teeth missing right before Christmas…even though helping them pull those teeth out made me gag! And that season had to pass so I could see my kids learn how to ride a bike and learn how to read and perhaps best of all, make their own breakfast while I stay in bed a few minutes longer.

I sometimes think to myself, “Stop. Slow down. You’re going to want to remember this.” Staying in the present is difficult. I fail at it all the time. That’s why I am so thankful for every day that I get a do-over because when I get it right, it buoys my soul to discard the noise, soak in the moment and simply be…happy.

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P.S. Read about how to make color wrapped wheat here.
P.P.S. Read about painted wood arrows here.
P.P.S. to the S. Watercolor by me from a long time ago.

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