Ah, the Berkshires. As a true blue native, I’ve been here most of my life. I’ve gone through the growing pains of being a teenager in a small town wanting to spread my wings, claiming to never return once I hit the collegiate path. I road tripped across the United States in a patchwork dress, curious about the sights and sounds of the country. I even trekked to Africa in my twenties, believing that I’d settle down somewhere exotic. And yet here I am, a 35-year-old mama raising two little honeybears just 15 miles from the house I grew up in, more in love with the Berkshires than ever before.
As an adult first, and then so much more as a mama, I have connected to the richness of nature, culture, and opportunity surrounding me and my family. And I’m looking forward to sharing glimpses into our Shire adventures and the motherhood journey I’ve embarked upon. From homemade kombucha in mason jars on my kitchen counter to my job in athletics at Monument Mountain Regional High school, I’m striving to find balance in the busy.
Fall is, hands down, my favorite time to adventure with my honeybears who are now 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 years old. We visit the pumpkin patches and apple orchards, rake the hugest leaf piles possible and bury ourselves underneath. There are parades and celebrations and festivals to attend, playgrounds to keep playing on until snow falls. The weather teases between sunny and warm, sunny and brisk, sunny and cold enough to finally pull out the wool socks and knit caps. The kids build the last castles in the backyard sandbox while I’m busy putting the garden to bed, and my husband throws big piles of leaves and the last grass clippings on the compost pile. We wipe down the lawn furniture to be stored in the garage, pack up the slip-n-slide and sprinkler while debating how many more times we’ll use the stroller and bikes before the snow falls.
There’s something about the briskness of fall after a gloriously warm summer that feels more like a fresh start than January 1st ever does. Fall is a kind of shift for me. It is the resurrection of routine and schedule after a summer of staying up late chasing the sun. It is blank planner pages quickly filled with the necessary appointments and happenings that we put off during the summer to play just one more hour at the lake. Fall for me is a return to the practice of balance — which means that I meal plan to keep myself from the 4:30 p.m. panic (but might give in to macaroni and cheese for breakfast if it means avoiding a morning meltdown while I’m drinking my coffee). It means making apple strudel with melt-in-your-mouth homemade caramel sauce to enjoy after a dinner of lentil loaf and roasted veggies. It is an awareness that as my children get older, we are busier. We have more on the calendar because there’s just so much they can do now!
But if we’re going to be busy, I must pause to say we also need to rest or I’ll be paying for it with cranky kids and an even crankier mama. So between the pumpkin patch and the apple orchard, the special events and the play dates, there are days where we stay in our jammies and dance around in the living room. And most often, those days are my favorite memories — throwing on scarves and galoshes and jumping in the leaves for what seems like a million times. To not worry about the to-do list because I know it’ll be there tomorrow, to not feel bad about missing a playgroup or story hour, and just listen to my honeybears giggle — that’s what I’ll remember one day. The first time Birdie throws the leaves up in the air in wonder or her brother jumps up from beneath the pile to surprise her, those are the priceless moments.
And in the midst of our busy, that’s where you’ll find us!