It's nearly Fall. And while the thermostat has barely budged from Summer and the thought of pumpkin flavored anything makes me want to roll my eyes, there's something to be said for the changing of the seasons.
The crispness isn't there but I can feel something in the air. Some winds of change, of rebirth, of beginning. A feeling of hopefulness and lightness and freedom. Fall has always been my favorite. Growing up in Ohio I had the pleasure of experiencing every season at it's fullest. While that meant suffering through the bitter cold of winter and the hot muggy and buggy summers, it also meant sauntering through Autumn. Walking down the street with the crunch crunch crunch of freshly fallen leaves under my feet. Jumping in leaf piles every other day, apple picking and apple-anything baking with my favorite people, hayrides, haunted houses, the never-ending search for the perfect Halloween costume. Driving through the neighborhood at night with my face pressed up against the window, my breath condensing on the glass, admiring the creative and not-so-creative jack-o-lantern designs. Watching my mom pick out the perfect combination of mums for the front steps.
The other seasons may come with their own special anticipation, nothing for me rivals that of welcoming fall. Being in Southern California means I may miss out on most of my favorite parts of this season, but it still comes with a feeling of change. Since becoming a mother, I let myself believe that I'd been robbed of something. My youth, my 20s, an identity without the word 'mom' in it. I've been on a journey of self-discovery trying to find that person I thought I had lost. Figure out who I am and what I want and where I go from here. But I am here. I am a mother. I am a wife. And none of that makes me any less of 'Brianna'. My identity is forever tied to the three little people I share a home with and to try and separate myself from them would be lunacy. There is no me without them - not anymore. There was, at one point. And while that period of my life was short-lived, there's no going back, no changing it, no re-dos. There's just this. There's life. To quote the soundtrack that I had blasting in my bedroom in high school, belting at the top of my lungs (although, in retrospect, probably not completely appropriate for a young girl at that age)
There's only us
There's only this
Or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today
So while it's nice to reminisce and sometimes think what would have or could have been, this is it. This is what I have to work with. This is life. There's only this. So work with it, accept it, love it, and live it. Things change, we evolve, but being a mother isn't something that will be deleted from my resume. The change comes from embracing it. Embracing my age, my place in life, without apologies or explanations, and honoring the role of motherhood.