Autumn closing in

I took Dante to the playground again tonight, and put him in the swings. However, just as he’s done the past few times, he almost immediately asked to get out of the swing, wanting instead to play in the sand. He’s way into the sand right now, sifting it through his fingers, scooping underneath and flinging it up, hunting out little pebbles, and working his feet through it while giggling madly. He entertains himself for a good 30-45 minutes with these activities.

I sat next to him, watching him, as the dusk deepened. A few weeks ago, it was still fully light out during our park time, but by 7:45 tonight, as I walked him home, the streetlights were all on and the moon was the brightest thing in the sky. I don’t normally have strong emotions around Labor Day, but tonight in the cool breeze I felt so aware of how much I’ve loved having these evenings with him, walking around and naming things, finding fun. Now, summer is ending. Soon it’ll be too chilly and dark for a neighborhood stroll after dinner, and we’ll need to find a different kind of fun, inside. Who knows what Dante will be like after those cold months have passed? His fascinations will change with his abilities — I don’t think I’ll get to watch him crawl through the sand too many more times. I welcome the future, but right now I feel filled up by the sweetness of the present.

It’s the same mood I feel when I hear Bob Seger’s “Night Moves”, as it looks back on childhood and feels the seasons change. That song was playing full-blast in my head tonight as I walked home with Dante in my arms. Autumn closing in…

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