Tomorrow is the first day of September and let me tell you, it is one of the most anticipated months of the year, both for the goods and the bads that it brings.
Here's a few indicators from the Riley perspective.
YOU KNOW IT'S SEPTEMBER WHEN...
- College football is back. After repeating the same "Disney Channel" kind of music in the boat and in the car, I'm actually tuning in to the College Football channel on Sirrius to fully immerse myself in the love of collegiate football. And, the UO Football flag is back up. Eugene is amped for it's first home game...it's a beautiful thing.
- Prep football is back. High school football. My son is playing HIGH SCHOOL football. Let me remind you that he is not yet 100 pounds (maybe 96) and probably just skimming 5'0". The coaches have mentioned he might be the smallest kid they've ever had in the program. And, here we go again, sitting in the stands at his first jamboree, hoping they'll "give the little kid a chance". And, then, when they do, wishing with all our hearts that something magical will happen and something dreadful won't happen. It will take a while to be able to carry on a real conversation in the stands with other parents as I'm so distracted by what's going on in his head as he waits on the sidelines or finally gets his chance on the field.
- Brayden becomes an enigma. After a blissful summer of his "playful otter antics", we hit September and he draws into himself. I know it's a result of these changes in his life being so overwhelming - being conflicted with the overlap of football, new high school friends, high school ministry activities, Camp Harlow, and the anticipation of what Marist will be like. He stops "openly sharing", gets much more short-tempered/self-centered, and leaves John and I at a loss on how to parent and deal with it. Fortunately, we've seen this happen before, which offers a bit of comfort as we've seen him come out of it, but I feel like I'm walking on tip-toes right now in terms of how to handle any situation - and constantly feeling the tug-of-war between being ticked at him for not being a positive contributing family member to feeling an intense empathy for him as to all he's going through.
- The home is overflowing with school supplies. And, this year, textbooks - as we have to buy them in advance for Marist. It probably stacks up 18 inches and who knows how many pounds of textbooks...sheesh. And, in pure irony, Brayden scored one of the top lockers (a coveted thing at Marist). We all aren't totally sure that he'd be able to reach that top hanger in it. I guess he could always use those textbooks as a stepstool.*
- Fall is in the air. Trees are turning colors, leaves are falling. I'm longing to pull out my fall decor. Word on the street is that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes have even returned early - making so many of my coffee drinking friends incredibly happy.
- I'm at my heaviest weight. It's an annual thing. And come Tuesday - that will hopefully be reversed. Time to buckle down...and literally be able to cinch up that belt buckle. It's time.
- As our neighbor put it, we Oregonians are "Jonesing for rain". When summer doesn't start until July (like last year), I was ready for summer to continue through October. But, when it began in May like this year...we are ready for a change. And, even moreso for me, dropping the temps from a high of 80-something to a high of 60-something.
- I could care less about my tan. In fact, even the Jergens self-tanner which has worked so well this summer to accent any sun effects is now put back in the cupboard. I'm really at a point I don't care, and would like to start wearing white camis that don't end up stained brown from the tanner's effects.
- I am SO READY for boots and sweaters, and jackets and scarves. Browns, crimsons, cream colors....hopefully by the time the weather adjusts to accommodate this apparel, my weight will accommodate it as well.
- It's time to drop the "blondish" highlights and return to auburn hair color. September 23rd...me and Christi at Bello....can't wait.
- I'll get to see "my girls" on a weekly basis. I've missed them, and their presence in my home. September 12th marks our first TNL night...
What are some of the hallmark seasonal changes for you?
* This issue about Brayden's small size - I want my readers to know he's such a GREAT sport about it. Both John and I were one of the smallest kids in the school when we were freshman - we were just very late in hitting our full height. There's every indicator that Brayden hasn't hit that growth spurt or all of the other stuff - so he (and we) has/have every confidence that he'll end up surprising everyone by eventually reaching a standard size. On the day he showed up at Marist to take pictures and get lockers, he actually saw and heard folks talking about him, saying "Don't stare" as he walked by - apparently taken back by a kid that small. He takes it all in stride just like we did, and actually not only rolls with it, but occasionally relishes it. As Amy picked up the boys the other day, she walked behind a handful of girls that were pointing out some of the freshman boys. The comment she overheard was "Yeah, but he's still my favorite". Pointing to Brayden. Sure, it's "favorite" as in the cutest puppy (runt!) in the litter....but, Brayden will use it to his advantage. If nothing else, he's noticed. =)