I love October. I love the soft, golden idea of it. Even down south there’s a spark of magic to the air. This somehow still humid, still too warm air. I’m not sure why we expect or get around to missing a chill that doesn’t belong to us, especially after we’ve lived in the heat long enough. The heat is ours. It’s woven into our skin, making us hardy when the sun hangs over us for too long. But maybe that’s the romance to October. The possibility of that sudden, impossible cold front. That wash of blue sliding down the weather map, creeping towards us, whispering for us to go get out our jackets. It’s the sigh we’ve held onto for months but finally let go when we open our door in the morning, not expecting anything, but there it is. We shiver with it. We go out and wave at our neighbor over our trash cans. Point at the sky and shake our heads, but we’re grinning. Like kids we’ve got that buzz of excitement. Maybe we’ll wear that jacket today, and sure maybe by tomorrow we’ll be sweating again, but today there was some magic. Today felt like October.
My boy lost his first tooth this month, too. It was a milestone I thought I would have driven off a cliff to avoid. My friends who’d had kids the same time I’d had Phoenix started talking loose teeth and tooth fairies a few months back, and my gut locked up. I batted it all away. My boy gets really upset when anything feels off and it brings on a panic soothed only with a band-aid. Everything can be healed by a band-aid. Except a loose tooth. I had no idea how I’d explain it, or if I would end up in a pile of feelings while he freaked out and together we just made a mess of it together.
But alas, that boy is magic and he makes me magic, and together, like always, we figured it out. The surge in his verbal and cognitive ability has made some things feel like bursts of confetti, while other things become harder. It brings an awareness of the world around him, and a frustration when it doesn’t line up with his concrete understanding of it. Autism brings daily battles I fight as his mother, walking away with my sword arm sore and shoulders heavy, but his autism is also something I protect. I’m bound and determined to guard his magic like a dragon at the mouth of her cave, and to fill his bucket with so much confidence that no one can ever spill it. So we tossed teeth to fairies and made some extra cash. We looked at each other with understanding, and it was a milestone we drove through like it was a parade.
I’ve got this girl and every day she makes my heart explode. Sometimes it’s with giggles, other times it’s with exhaustion, but always she’s lighting something on fire. Every day we make something happen together. Maybe it’s mess of the flour in the kitchen as we bake more bread like she loves, or we’re stomping around in boots and digging in dirt. She loves to color and draw pictures, whether it’s on her paper or my walls, and she is always bursting to get to the door when her boys come home. She has taught me to relax. To be okay with making a mess and to just relax and enjoy this part. This is the girl I’ve wanted to know my whole life. And somehow I’m the one who made her.
October is also about looking at the guy I married and giving him a high-five for making it another year of being together, in love and awesome. It makes my chest feel all tight when I stop and let myself think about it. How good he is and how much better he makes everything. This guy who practically took apart his truck’s engine this month to fix it before putting it back together himself. Who builds us fires to roast marshmallows, brushes his daughter’s hair and sits beside his son every afternoon to do homework together, because he remembers how much he hated homework at his age.
They say that life isn’t a what. Or a when. It’s a who. He’s my who.
He indulges my obsessions gloriously by building me a TARDIS out of Legos or carving them into pumpkins. He helps me find coats and bowties. He’s really good at accents, too.
Thanks for the magic, October. For the geeking out and striking out on adventures for candy while staying to the lights as we raced home. For great pumpkins, playing make believe and sharpening our swords. For stealing my breath as he reaches for my hands, because our always became a forever and that’s our magic.
Next is November where I’ll be tied to my keyboard while I pretend to complete NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, that. A whole novel in a month. My Plus One and I will pretend, write and laugh and laugh at ourselves when the words stop making sense. Then we’ll switch back over to Tumblr. Or we’ll just talk about Doctor Who for hours on end, because November is also the 50th Anniversary, and that’s practically Christmas.
Here’s to family and a busy table where everyone is too loud. Where we spend a whole day together, one that feels like forever ago when we all piled into the kitchen, bothering mom about dinner, and yet we’re the moms and dad and time is a funny thing. It’s about getting another year where we sit together and glance across the table and say, “Hey, we did this. We all made this.”
We are our whos.