Autumn is rolling on.
Our many trips up north over the last month tell us that Autumn has taken a stronger hold up there; leaves are determinedly more golden, ochre and rust coloured. Autumn's grasp is gentle here by comparison and many of the trees are stubbornly green still. But we have had glorious blue skies almost every day since the equinox, the hours of sunlight are shortening rapidly, and the temperature is dropping nicely along with it.
It's half term this week and once again I have learned so much from spending the week with Frankie-Rose. Juggling freelance work, whilst Dave is away all week, and trying to be present with her, and enjoy this most golden of seasons, is so very, very hard. We managed a quick trip to the pumpkin patch on Sunday, and despite it being far bigger and busier than we were anticipating, her sheer joy at choosing pumpkins, even if she had to elbow past hoards of other kids, was infectious. This week we have made little trips here and there, to the park or into town, and every seemingly banal outing has been turned into a magical adventure, purely because she lives so very in the moment. A walk down a dog-shit and beer tin littered back alley in Faversham was turned into something otherworldly due to her eulogising about the wondrous red leafed hanging vines we found there. We stopped all the way down so she could pick leaves up and stuff them in my pockets, and take photo's of each other and hide amongst them. I technically needed to be back for a work conference call but how could I rush that utter perfection?
My wise friend Melanie writes about this beautifully on her blog, Geoffrey & Grace; there is something profoundly beautiful about the way children force you to stop, and be present in the moment. I am a busy, buzzy headed sort of a person, so her constant presentness is a balm for me, every.single.day. I have passed on my love of each season to Frankie- and she has magnified it, 10 fold; beyond measure. She daily helps me to stop and wonder at the blueness of the sky or the deep rosiness of a leaf or the fact that we have "dragon breath" first thing in the morning when we step out of the front door. She speculates excitedly about whether Jack Frost visited over night, and talks animatedly about the days plans, which often contain the sweetest, humblest things; lighting a candle or a morning fire or making a leaf collage. She is a constant reminder to focus on the good right now, right this second, and I remain pathetically grateful for it. This is never more apparent than during the kindy holidays when she is with me every day.
Some pics of the last week, a mix of DSLR and i-phone.
So I am letting her remind me daily to slow down. I struggle with balancing mine and my businesses needs with hers, daily, and especially during half term. I know most mothers do, especially freelance ones. So, whilst I flounder onwards doing the best I can, I am letting her prompts to be present bury deep. Taking heed when she asks me to stop and look at that squirrel collecting nuts and this (often manky!) feather. Because these moments are IT, literally all we have, and I don't want to rush through these precious days of 4 yearold-dom.
Thank you, baby girl....
Anyway- I hope this half term has been kind to you, and I'd love to hear any words of wisdom from any fellow guilty working mama's too.