A silence lingered in the still autumn air as we slowly approached the orchard. The rows of seasoned trees were met with overgrown grass and fallen apples that smelled of candied sweetness. A sweetness that yearned to find its way into freshly baked pies, cinnamon applesauce cooked on the stovetop and warm vanilla muffins and breads.
We were the only ones in the orchard. The stillness surrounded us and we ran quickly from apple tree to apple tree. The red delicious merged into the golden delicious and our baskets immediately filled with an array of colors. Bursts of deep reds and bright greens rolled from our hands as picked the pops of color from low hanging bows. The changing leaves brushed our hair and scratched our bare arms; we reached as high as our fingertips would allow, standing on tippy toes and swaying for balance in the soft wind.
My kitchen counters are covered in those sweet apples, an entire bushel of them to be exact! I always wondered just how many apples are in a bushel. Forty-two pounds later I now know. The autumn air has traveled from the orchard and into our home. October, we welcome you with open arms.
Jonas: Finally feeling better and back into the routine of life.
Joshua: Small but fierce. This boy has blossomed on the field and doesn't let his size get in the way.
Jessica: She stands her ground. Always.
Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.
I think it's been pretty obvious that things have been busy around here. I haven't even had time for Instagram these days! I'm hoping to revisit this blog more often and get back into a groove of writing and documenting with photographs.
Joshua: Practicing and creating his own music.
Jessica: Making friends.
Joshua: I will always have a soft spot for this boy.
Jessica: Discovering independence as I watch in the distance.
These past few weeks have been hectic and full. I decided to omit Jonas' portrait during these weeks. He's been feeling a bit under the weather and I'm not one to snap his photo when he's not up to it. After several missed days of school, we've been working hard at home to get caught up on school work. Balance that work with our other schedules and I've had little time to myself these days. The good news is he is back to school and back to soccer!
I never imagined the day would come when I would send my youngest off to school. Even though we're only talking about preschool, it's still the beginning of the "school years," and as parents, we all know how quickly those years pass by. It honestly feels like yesterday that I dropped my oldest off for his first day of preschool. I can remember the smile on his face, his brand new backpack that was three times too big, the anxiety in my stomach and the hustle and bustle of the classroom. It seems like yesterday, but that same little boy is now a tall third grader who stands next to my shoulder. His backpack is no longer too small and his smile has become laughter and giggles that he shares with friends on the playground. Inside jokes that I don't understand. Suddenly, the kisses goodbye have disappeared and I'm lucky if I get a wave before he runs out of the car and into school.
So how do we embrace these early school years? How do we hold onto each moment and each small detail before they slip away?
I'm not sure there is a concrete answer to that question, but the answer I discovered is embedded in time. The time we spend with our children. Most parents out there are all in the same boat. Our days are filled with rushing here and rushing there, homework, sports, laundry, lost water bottles, lost jerseys, piano lessons, ballet lessons, later dinners, messy kitchens and the list goes on. Pair this chaos with life and jobs and the thought of time quickly goes out the window.
Somehow, though, we need to learn to slow down. For the sake of our children, we need to slow down and embrace every moment we have with them. We need to make those moments count. Spending twenty minutes with your child, fully engaged and focused on them, is far better than spending an hour with them your with phone by your side or running off to cook dinner. Taking a half-hour break during the day or after school to spend time in the park can be rewarding for both parents and children. Taking time period is important.
So how do I embrace the school years? I take time and enjoy them. I get as involved as I can with my children's activities and events, I volunteer in the school, I pop into the classroom, I sit and listen to their stories and I listen to their days. I know this time with them won't always be at my fingertips, so for now, I clench it as tightly as I can and pray that some of it stays forever.
*This post is in partnership with Stuck on You
Stuck on You provides name labels, personalized gifts, kids clothing, gifts and more. As a busy mother of three, Stuck on You has helped my life become a bit easier. When you enter our mud room you'll quickly notice a line of labeled backpacks and labeled lunches, you'll see soccer bags and uniforms with name labels ironed on the inside, you'll see labeled water bottles and even labeled shoes. When you have three active children, all involved in sports, labeling items becomes essential!
You can visit Stuck on You on their website, Facebook and Twitter.
Labels: school thoughts
Jonas: He smiles! He actually smiles all the time, I just never capture it in photographs.
Joshua: He can't stop smiling.
Jessica: She smiles into the wind. She is filled with soul and spirit.
Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.