Lately, whether rainy or sunny, the temperature is dropping, and today it got dark at 6:30. At this time of year, the changes are so noticeable. And the colder the nights are, the brighter the leaves become.
Yesterday we finally returned to the weekly playgroup in the local parish community center. We are a group of about ten mothers, and we meet for two hours every Monday afternoon. The children run around and play while we chat and drink coffee. There are cookies, crackers, fruit and juice. Rafael is one of the youngest in the group, and watches the older kids with big eyes. The smell of the building reminds me of a library...slightly musty and sweet. It's a smell I like. It makes me think of the movie Never Ending Story, where Bastian is holed up in the school attic, reading his book, surrounded by boxes of old things. We talk about pediatricians, in laws, kindergartens; but most of all our children. It feels like a very natural and even essential thing to do as a mother: meet with and talk to other mothers. I always look forward to Mondays.
Rafael and I have discovered how much fun playgrounds are. There is such a cute one just down the block from us, right next to the kindergarten he will go to when he turns three. He is still too little for most of the constructions, but he loves climbing up the slide and then sliding down on his back or belly, and going on the swing. Playing with the mulch and leaves is fun too, of course. It's such a relief to be able to go outside and explore, after over a week of what felt like being in a quarantine at home, sick with the flu. And it's such a great feeling to find new ways of making Rafael happy; sharing new experiences with him, watching him blossom with each new discovery.