I tried some pumpkin tea the other day and it tasted  like I was drinking my pumpkin candle. Actually I think I was drinking my pumpkin candle…they were right next to each other. I initially tried to get into the Pumpkin Madness but had to declare after the tea/candle incident that maybe we are taking it too far. Maybe pumpkin should be left in pies and muffins and mixed in with candy corns in the Brach’s Autumn Blend. Not in tea and definitely not in body lotion. (Bath and Body Works sells a lotion called “Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte.” Is this a real drink? Would I feel like I’m drinking lotion or lathering on a latte?)

But then I tried Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ravioli, and decided to hold out a little longer before making my public pumpkin stance. Oh my. Go buy that now. It’s like $3. 49. Put some parmesan on it and be done. There’s your fall recipe. You’re welcome.

I also hesitate to rush the fall scene because I need all of September to mourn the end of summer. Every time I would pass sunscreen on sale, I had to hold back tears. Remember the last post when I talked about enjoying it to the end? Well our summer sputtered and stalled into 2 weeks of strep throat. Just tonight I was in the garage and happened to see the pool bag, laying where I left it 5 weeks ago, still packed and ready, waiting eagerly, probably filled with old wet, mildewed towels that I can’t face right now, or really ever.

We did make it back to school.

On bikes.

We bike there everyday which is both inspirational and astonishing. I already have more children than anyone at the school and then I make them get on bikes and follow me. Please someone tell Michelle Obama. I think she’d be proud.

Our bike route from home to school only confirms the secret truth that Williamsburg is Stars Hollow. We pedal through the Arts District waving to neighbors and merchants (that’s what I call shop owners for the sake of the vibe) and school buses. It gets better though because on Tuesday and Thursday, we bike through William and Mary’s Old  Campus to Leila’s preschool then cut back through Duke of Gloucester street, past the pastured horses, just before the bell rings for the older girls. Soon I will begin packing their lunches in baskets for the sake of consistency.

By biking I am avoiding two  issues:

1. All of us together in a car

2. Carpool Lines. Which involve all of us together in a car waiting in a line.

When we are together out on the open sidewalks, the major discussion inevitably returns to birthdays. Fall is many things for many scarf loving people but for us it will always be about birthdays. Four girls born over 12 weeks means right now I start mapping out the plan, even the menus.

I believe in birthdays. I find it perfect and utterly necessary that everyone gets a day. In our family, we celebrate on your day. Dreams come true. We get a little crazy. I will personally run myself into the ground whilst holding a bouquet of balloons and a Carvel Ice Cream cake. But just for that one day. Then it’s over and you step back out of the wardrobe for another year until your day comes again.

I had to be reminded of this when I was thinking of glazing over Baby Ruthie’s birthday. It’s her first – let’s just go to Busch Gardens the next day. She’ll never know. We can get away with it. Travis, horrified,  reminded me of my core birthday values and as I began planning some small festivities, I remembered that celebration is a discipline. We gather to remember that we’re not in this alone. We stop to thank God for His goodness. We pause, if even just for the length of an off key song, to take it all in – our sweet baby sister, a family forever changed, an astounding year done.

I’ll write more about Ruthie next week but just know that I’ve been nostalgic as my Finale Baby turns one. In response,  I’m doing what any mother living and biking in Stars Hollow/Colonial Williamsburg  would do for their last baby girl on this important milestone.

I’m giving her a smocked dress and bow that goes with her birthday theme.

The theme? Pumpkins.


5 thoughts on “Fall is for Bicycles, Birthdays, and Buying into Pumpkin Overkill

  1. I’m so glad that Ruthie gets her special day of celebration. It would be just “wrong” any other way. 🙂

    P.S. I always LOVE your writing!


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