You try to sit still, but can’t.
You squirm and make funny noises.
I shush you, again and again.
Your energy is spilling over.
You need to get outside.
We put on our windbreakers and toques
to head out into the day.
Gray, blustery, the way Fall can be here.
Tender leaves yellow, red, brown
fall onto the wet grass.
My to-do list falls away like the leaves.
Your funny noises are back.
This time I don’t shush. I soak them in.
I imitate them and you giggle.
Down by the river, the salmon have arrived.
Eyes peeled for pointy black fins and swirling water.
Telltale signs of the beautiful creatures
that throw themselves up into the waterfalls
not far beyond where we stand wonderstruck.
You ask, “mom, can we bake something?”
I say, “let’s do it!”
Kicking a rock back and forth between us
we wander home.
As we round the corner onto our block
you reach for my hand and it melts my heart.
Little, warm, delicate, strong—you.
I take a deep breath in and let out a sigh.
My eyes well up with tears of love.
You swing our arms and start to skip.
I follow your lead. You, my teacher.
On the floor by the fire we sit cross-legged
surrounded by cookbooks.
We look and look but find nothing with pumpkins,
and we have pumpkins on our mind.
You yawn—wide enough to swallow the universe.
Wise, you suggest we bake tomorrow.
My eyes are glued to you, my savior.
My recipe for love.