We are drawing closer together, finding quiet activities that will occupy us in the darker days ahead. Cleaning house, pulling out rugs and blankets and cosy socks. Summer clothes, washed and folded, yet somehow still smelling of crushed green grass and sea salt breezes, are finding their way into their resting place in the attic. Warm woolens are making a comeback.
|Knitted Triceratops and Allosaurus by my Mama. From this book.|
We can't quite believe that only two short weeks ago we were frolicking in forests, finding the first ripe blackberries and exploring secret calm spots in rushing rivers.
... and now we are wrapped in coats, and sometimes hats and finding soft warm friends to cuddle.
There has been a change in the girls that has startled me a little. A new confidence in their capabilities. A willingness... no... an insistence on trying things themselves. Inspired by this post on meaningful work for toddlers, we have tried some new things and I have been impressed by how capable they are.
They happily clean windows and mirrors and afterwards wash their little cloths in warm water, and hang them up to dry.
They help put away groceries and tidy up their toys. They can put on socks and skirts by themselves. They can peel little oranges, dig for potatoes and shell peas.
They love to try new words. Sábha's current favourite is 'Cinnamon' inspired by their love of baking, cracking eggs and sifting flour and licking the spoon.
Lile has completely tuned into a world of little animals delightedly and expertly handling one-eyed frogs, worms, slugs, cranky cats and fluffy bunnies and loving them all equally.
Today, as I sewed up a few holes in a tatty sock-monkey, they took turns sitting on my lap and helping me. When we finished they wanted more, so I cut some felt scraps and threaded some embroidery floss and they sat, intent on their work for twenty minutes. They did not ask for help and I offered nothing but a few gentle reminders that the needles were sharp.
When they were finished, I tied a knot and we hung up their strange little origami-esque creations. Perhaps we might appropriate them as Autumn Equinox decorations and use them year after year, so that I can remember this first real push into their fully capable, independent selves.
They can bravely walk the balance beam and jump off the end with only an occasional request for a hand to hold.
We are moving towards a new season and there are inevitable changes that I am both happy and sad about. I miss little parts of the babyhood they are shedding, but oh, what fun it is to do all of these new things together, even if sometimes it can all end up with a typical toddler meltdown!
Yet, I am holding them close, knowing that this time next year they will be so completely different I will hardly remember this little bend on the road from baby to child...
While we prepare to snuggle down into a winter routine, we are finding a new soundtrack to our days. Music is a big thing in our home and for quite a while Anne Briggs has been breakfast time favourite. (Lile insists on gentle music in the morning... well actually most of the time) Although we listen to this album often, I only just noticed how apt this song is for this time of year... so I thought I'd share it... our Autumn Equinox anthem!
We live a shorter day.
The sun is hunting
For a place to stay.
And Jack Frost's fingers
Are in the wind again...
...Now is the time for fire and wine,
Fire for body and wine for mind.
We will sing and play till break of day,
And we will sing the frost away.