Thursday, October 27, 2016

Finding Our Way Through Fall

Fall in California is not like fall in Michigan.  There isn't a sweeping color change or temperature drop, and while pumpkin spice everything is here - cider mills aren't.

It's still hot here.

We both have memories of jumping in a pile of raked leaves, sipping warm cider (while nibbling dense donuts), and going to college football games.  Those aren't the things we get to introduce Everett to this fall, so we've turned to hiking (still), blanket forts to avoid excess screen time (while Mom and Dad watch football), and more and more new foods.

Yes, this is a thing we do.

In some ways, September was the last month before the end-of-year gauntlet begins.  While that's true for most families, we mean it in a significantly different way.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  November is Oberon's birthday.  December is Obie Xmas and the anniversary of his death.  Last year was our first run through these special dates and anniversaries, and we aren't quite sure what to expect this year.

In addition to the dates and moments that revolve around Oberon, we have had and will have quite a few visits and special events this season that are focused on others - weddings, visits, and Elizabeth's first trip away from Everett.

All dressed up for the wedding of Hattie & Wayne.  10/7/16

While Chris has had a handful of business trips that took him away from Evie overnight, this was the first time Elizabeth was the one away.  It wasn't as intensely worrying as she feared, but that likely had a lot to do with the very busy trip.  Two flights, six pumping sessions, 8+ hours of dance team alumni events, and breakfast with the nephews kept time moving quickly.  That schedule combined with getting photo messages and a video chat kept everybody a bit calmer.  Evie is getting to the point where he very clearly recognizes people, and recognizing Mommy over video chat was a pretty cool moment.

Everett supporting Mommy all the way from California.  Homecoming - 10/22/16

It feels a bit like the calm before the storm.  Part of us wants to just opt out and wake up in January - it would certainly be less tumultuous.  But the other part has some things to look forward to - things like Everett meeting new friends and spending time with family, and honoring Oberon on his birthday and other important times.

At the same time, we are trying to remind ourselves (and each other) to be gentle.  We may not be able to make all our planned ideas come to be.  We may not have the energy to devote to Oberon's memory that we'd like.  We may not be as excited about Everett's firsts as we hoped.  We may cry a lot or a little, and we should try not to feel guilty either way.  But we probably will.

Everett with the University of Minnesota Quidditch Team

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