Thursday, October 18, 2012


Something about this time of year makes me feel really reminiscent. It makes me think of the days when I was single.  I was talking to my sister this morning and my friend Stephanie the other day about this same phenomenon.  What is it about autumn?

I know part of it for me at least is that Autumn was always a time for new and fun stuff.  Soccer, Halloween Parties... My study abroad trip to London was in fall.  New school year and people to meet in your classes.  And Fall is when I first met Tad in our party-filled apartment on Frederick Avenue and every single night, there was something fun to do.  The weekend started on Wednesday with Burger Night at the BBC.  Thursday we had soccer and then went over to Paddy's Pub. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were....well, Friday Saturday and Sunday. 

Here's me and Beth in 1996.  Look at us with our hemp necklaces.  And am I wearing overalls?!!!  That fall meant new found freedom for my sister, moving out for the first time.  It meant house parties and meeting people at UWM.

The next picture is Beth and I in 1997 in Barcelona, Spain.  We were there on a brief holiday from school during our semester abroad in London.  That year fall meant British poetry, creative writing, dance clubs, fish n chips and pubs.

Down below was taken in Tad's apartment in fall of 1999. Foot ball is probably on and I'm mocking someone's touchdown celebration, quite possibly.  That fall feels so pivotal to me.  I was waiting to hear back from the Peace Corps about my assignment.  Tad and I became friends.  That fall meant soccer, parties, lots of time in East Side Bars.  It was my first year out of college.

This picture is the last year I dressed up and went to a Halloween Party that had nothing to do with children.  It was 2002.  I was just home from the Peace Corps, Tad and I were together.  I lived with my sister again.  That fall meant being Tad's girlfriend.  It meant starting my career in the disability field.  It meant balancing the parties life with trying to be an adult. 

I am a fun-addict.  I admit it fully.  And I think part of the reminiscence of fall is that it used to be a time to play and go out and do exactly what I wanted to do.  But now, as a mother, it means getting back into the swing of having a routine.  It means having to schedule any and all time to do exactly what I want to do.  It means suddenly having to figure out what to do indoors with my children because it's cold or rainy outside.  And that's why fall can be a bit melancholy, at least for me.

But you know what? I look at those pictures and in 1996, my journal is FULL of lamentations about loneliness, single hood, not always feeling good about myself.  That picture in Barcelona?  Right before we went back to our hotel, I was with my sister by these beautiful fountains crying my eyes out about who-knows-what.  The picture watching football?  I was having lots of fun, yes.  But I was searching for something. Something I have now.  Confidence and deep-down end of the day satisfaction.  And that last picture?  I just couldn't wait to go home with Tad when that party was over.  And now I go home with him every night.

So I embrace the melancholy of fall.  I listen to old Toad the Wet Sprocket or 10,0000 maniacs and walk around looking at the beautiful leaves.  I know that laced in my perfect memories were feelings and sadness that I have all but forgotten.  And I joy in parenthood fall traditions like taking my kids trick-or-treating and our neighborhood's Halloween block party and going to a pumpkin patch.  And someday, I'll look wistfully back on these times when my kids were young and feel reminiscent for this time.

Funny how life is. 

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