Fall Shorts

CAM01187Today marks the first day of autumn. For this season-loving girl, the promise of sweater-wearing days, orange-colored soups, baked-apple desserts, and spice-scented candles fills me with happiness. To celebrate this day, Anna and I went to Starbucks and enjoyed warm drinks in festive cups. This weekend the fall decorations will come out of the box. The decorative shells and other beach memorabilia will be stored until next summer, where I will ooh and ahh over them as if seeing them for the first time.

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Another coaching season of cross country is underway. Just this week the temps finally cooled to feel more like “cross country weather.” This is my third season of coaching and I still feel like I have a lot to learn. Some days I feel as if I am shooting in the dark.  Is this runner injured? Is she trying to get out of a workout? Did she have a really bad day at school? Coaching females requires a person to be part mother, part psychologist, and part drill sergeant. Often I have to switch hats multiple times in a practice. It’s exhausting yet satisfying work—especially when one of my runners tells me, “I feel really good,” after a difficult workout. Yes, sometimes the pain is worth it.

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On the book front, revising and editing define this writing season. At the start of summer, I hoped to have a draft of all my chapters. I wasn’t sure if this was too ambitious of a goal, but I met it. Two different readers spent time reviewing specific chapters and giving me valuable feedback. While my time is limited, I am learning to edit a paragraph or tweak a line or two of text with the 20-30 minutes I do have. 

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On parenting:  By the grace of God, sometimes I get things right. Last night Anna came to me exhausted and discouraged. She’s starting to think about college. As a junior, she’s attended several college meetings when different schools send representatives to campus. Her discouragement stemmed from feeling like she didn’t have the grades she wanted for some of the schools she’s interested in. Her tiredness told her that no college would want her. In that moment, while she laid next to me on the bed, I knew better than to tell her, “Of course colleges will want you.” Instead, I listened. Tonight as we drove to Starbucks I decided the time was right to follow up on our conversation. I told her, “There are hundreds of schools you can attend. Furthermore, where you attend doesn’t define who you are.” I said a few more things and I knew I had said enough when she told me, “Thanks, Mom,” in a heartfelt voice. I’m sure this isn’t the last time we will have this conversation. Hopefully, a sense of timing and knowing how much to say will guide me in those instances too.

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Lastly, one more reason to love fall: pumpkins and mums. While driving to the east end of the island on Monday for a cross country meet, I passed one  farm stand after the next, showcasing a variety of pumpkins and mums. For this girl, the planning of my porch display has begun.

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About alwaysorange

Writer, teacher, wife and mother. Lover of the good, the true, and the beautiful. Also, dark roast coffee, home-cooked meals, good books, spending time with my family, and planning for vacations.
This entry was posted in fall, Favorites, Parenting, The Ordinary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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