The brisk temperatures and biting winds that have swept in these last two days have seemed to align with my mood this week, feeling in a bit of a fall funk as we close out this pretty October. Nothing bad by any means, just several small inconveniences that end up snowballing, causing me to stop functioning at my usual level of happy. I'm a person who operates best as close to 100 percent as I can get. Take the house for example. A few weeks ago, we discovered a paint issue with the plank ceiling in our living room, where the wood started showing through what was supposed to be pre-primed boards. Being that this is one of the focal points of our entire home, we made use our warranty and asked for it to be redone. This process, which involved our painter completely sanding down the ceiling not once, but twice, after the first round didn't go well, has been occurring in our living room over the past two weeks. Our living room has been torn apart, there is a thin layer of paint dust over every surface of our open floor plan, and I CANNOT FUNCTION IN THIS SPACE. What, the living room is torn apart? Might as well stop making beds and doing dishes. What, we can't sit on our living room furniture? Might as well watch movies and wallow away in bed every night until it's fixed. Beau does much better with this and says it's because I was a straight A student in school and he was a B (or C) student. :) I have trouble functioning at 50 percent and I feel like this week has been one big fat meh. I am slammed with my doc courses, completely behind on a very big tenure review I have due in less than a month, and our fridge sounds like it has a bird living in it. I've been feeling overwhelmed at night lately, leaving me with little to give in the areas I care the most about. But I've lived through enough of these stages as a mom to know that they are important because they remind us of all sorts of things. They give us perspective, grace, and the chance to reevaluate and priortize. And when all else fails, they always give us weekends.
Eventually, the meh weeks will always be replenished with these sweet moments that keep us going and bring us back to our happy. And when you're blessed with two little people and allow them to lead the way, especially in those moments when you find yourself not functioning well, it's amazing the places they'll take you.
Sunday, we went for a walk around campus. I had been raving to Beau every night about how gorgeous it was around there this year, and we are at that point in the season where every sixty degree day might very well be our last until March. So, at about 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, we parked in my usual spot by Lang Hall and let the kids take us on a little stroll through "college," as Cruz likes to call it.
Soon, we found ourselves on a green space right next to the library, although the space wasn't really green anymore because it was nearly calf-high with the biggest, most colorful world of maple leaves I have ever seen. Without trees or a backyard full of leaves at our own house, we soon started forming a little pile of our own as Cruz danced around and Mila marched to the beat of the crunch crunch crunch of the leaves under her feet.
What started as a nonchalant little pile of leaves soon grew and grew until we started to wonder if this was even kosher. Stressed college kids spending their Sunday studying started to observe through the window as our pile and smiles grew. There was no plan for this, no expectation, and these have come to be my favorite moments of all, those small, unexpected opportunities where we pause and jump right into a world that seems so very far from our reality, losing yourself and all that weight of this hard world, if only for a moment.
I love that every time I walked by that space this week, I went back to our Sunday stroll through "college", our leaf pile that grew much bigger than we ever anticipated, and looking like fools as we jumped as high as we could into our own little world. And as we heard the bells of the Campanile usher in dinner time, we decided to leave our pile there, hoping a few of those college kids watching from the window would follow our lead. It's the moments when you have the chance to feel like a kid again that replenish us the most.
Until we meet again, October. Thanks for all your pretty.