October is doing exactly what it is supposed to, though frankly it never ceases to amaze me how well behaved the seasons are. How certain it is that Autumn will arrive and lay a carpet of of orange and evergreen down my lane. How my drives to and fro school will be cheered by pheasants strutting across the road. How the house will suddenly feel like the haven it never is in the temperate days of Summer.
Alice has been spotted. She is lost in the undergrowth behind the Scout Hut at the back of my house, and makes regular forays to shelter in the outhouse in my neighbours garden. Though it seems as though every neighbour and every little crowd gathered to watch the kitten in the red bow tie bouncing around the long grass apparently joyously, has seen her, I have yet to set eyes on her, and she is taking on a mythical quality in my mind. There but not there. The Scarlet Pimpernel of cats. Too many hours lost to calling her name and wondering if she is only feet away, sniggering at my rather desperate antics. Frightened of losing something else.
Last night I took Finley for his very first bag of fish and chips in a chippy that now has the glory that is gluten-free Mondays. We drove to Formby, queued for an age (Finn was nearly delirious with excitement and had the whole chippy in fits while he worried out loud about whether the chips were likely to kill him!) and then drove to the beach, where we ate the chips straight from the paper watching the ships come in to port before taking Alfie for a walk on the blowy, dusky beach. The sky orange and cold. The boats and their little tugs, black.
My phone had died. I had no means of taking pictures. Could not record Alfie’s fear of the iron men stood staring out to sea. Couldn’t video Finley writing his name large in the sand, or the bliss on his face when he first tasted an onion ring drenched in salt and vinegar. I was just there. In the moment. Laughing. And running. And enjoying my Finley, for he is growing up so fast and in his eleven years all too often I have watched him with a bloggers eye: looking for the story-worthy. The most handsome pose. The funniest phrase. And now I want to devour what is left of babyhood. Experience it. Drown in him, while he is still willing to hold my hand in public.
There are memories to be made. And decisions. About his future. And mine. But it is October. So there is time to dwell on new thoughts and mad ideas, while we wander down the lane, leaf-kicking and squirrel-spotting. Deciding what school Finn should attend in twelve months and what Mummy should do with the rest of her life. Is this a life? I don’t know.
The leaves are falling. And the times they are a-changing.