My offspring are really not pleased with one another right now. Over the last couple of days, I've seen a big increase in the amount of biting, hair pulling, pushing, hitting, and just general sibling abuse going on. Miles has two molars coming in and his temper is very easy to ignite. Zoe senses that and has been taking advantage of it. Zoe has a really stunning bite wound on her chest (she wouldn't let Miles have a wooden cow, which she hit him over the head with), and Miles has a scraped and bruised knee (he threw an apple at her.) I've always heard other parents talking about their children fighting, but I guess I didn't realize it happened this early, and with so much vigor.
Yesterday I took the kids out in the yard to keep them occupied, and hopefully avoid any conflict for, say, five minutes. I found a quiet moment to pull up the remaining onions, and I realized that it was likely the last harvest of the season. Wanting to share the experience with the babes, I invited them to help me clean the onions and place them in the gathering basket. In a brief moment of cooperation, they set to the task and then carried the basket together all around the raised bed. The moment was sweet. One of those moments when I feel grateful, thankful, and just... full.
Zoe harvested a cupfull of snapdragon blooms we planted many months ago. Their brilliant blooms almost look out of place in these last few days of September.
Today the wind began to blow in a cold front. I can see the gray clouds churning over the mountains, being driven closer by the winds. Another season is coming. And who has not stood in line at the market and heard a remark expressing shock over the sudden turn in the weather? And what mother has not said they grow up so fast? These seasons, these moments in the children's lives, they are so brief. They are nearly ephemeral. So as the wind begins to rattle the windows, I'm taking it as a sign. A reminder to honor the place where the children are, in spite of the challenges.