The first signs of Autumn have arrived. The golden colors are descending, the mornings have a chill to the air, and the evenings release the heat earlier and earlier. This is always a welcome time of year for many, as the relentless temperatures give way to mild days spent fully out of doors.
I have always cherished this time of year for the feeling of celebration it brings. September has always been the gateway to the festival season, and I have looked forward to the return of our singing, circles, and cherished traditions.
One of those has always been the gathering of acorn tops for craft making with my boys. Each year we visit the same park in town, sing the same songs, eat the same apple cake, and come together to create crafts from nature.
This year, however, I noticed my older boys lack of enthusiasm for this adventure together. They dragged their fit just a touch when I suggested it, hesitated to take the basket to collect acorns, sang the songs under their breath, and although they tried to put on a happy face for their brother and I, their minds were elsewhere.
My almost 9 and 7 year old sons, it seems, have grown out of some of the traditions that helped shaped their early years. They would much prefer to play a rough and tumble game of tackle ball then sing songs about Squirrel Nutkin, and really, who can blame them? They are growing up, and no matter how much I want to hang on to that time, their early childhood is coming to an end.
Of course, that does not mean that everything that we have loved and done will suddenly come to an end, but I realize the importance of meeting my boys where they are, and changing our traditions and rhythms to meet their needs while still keeping that close bond that we all cherish.
Letting go is tough, both for them and for me, but it is that necessary first step to them becoming beautiful and independent members of this world. I am so very blessed to have two boys who still love to cuddle, still hold my hand in public, and still come to me when hurt or scared. I am also blessed that they are secure enough to go forth independently, knowing that there is a safety net if ever needed.
It may just be Landon and I sitting under the tree singing songs about the coming wind, and the rustle of the leaves beneath our feet, but those brothers are never far away. No matter how old they get, I know that they will always come back for a hug, and of course, a piece of apple cake.