my stepmom snapped this photograph over the weekend, when she and my dad traveled to spend days with us. i like it for many reasons, perhaps the biggest being the fullness and contentment it sings. i love autumn and i love motherhood and the place where they dance is something of another world. it is holy and it is infinite and it was loved by me long before i ever lived it.
we filled last weekend to the brim with all the best trappings of deep october in new york -- chilly walks around the neighborhood in our woolies, big breakfasts, thick coffee and almond croissants from the bakery we love on 76th street, a drive north to gather apples and see the colors. the afternoon of this photograph, we'd ridden up to the cloisters and discovered it was garden day, a lucky stroke of happenstance, since the gardens-in-autumn were what we were most excited to see. we were listening to a talk on beekeeping in the middle ages when francis got squawky and so i stepped away with him and leaned into his ideas: waving to passersby and sitting on the pavement and exploring in his scoot-scoot way. when you are coming up on nine months old, playing is learning. when i think about it, it always is.
last night we went to dinner at the apartment of friends. we carried roses and dessert, and tim made carbonara and chicken with anchovies and capers. afterwards, we sipped negronis and passed cookies and gelato and volleyed plans for christmas week. the neighbor dropped by and we toasted their new baby, a girl, born hours before. when the clock stroked late, we bundled and strolled home but not before ali handed down to francis a wooden xylophone their girls have outgrown plus a worn paperback tim thinks we should each read and discuss.
and i don't know where i am going with all of this except to say that i see us doing these very simple, daily, almost miss-able things -- stepping away from the crowd with a cheeky monkey of a boy, sharing bowls of cream of wheat on dark mornings that never really get bright this late in the year, dreaming up what santa claus might bring for a first christmas, stopping for an impromptu date over sazeracs when baby has fallen asleep on the train ride home from the cheese shop, scribbling on the calendar a milestone check-up with the pediatrician, walking around the upper west side with a cappuccino in hand to see the stoops gussied up for halloween, unstrapping a sleeping boy from his pram harness and slowly carrying him up the stairs to his bed, the weight of him, just now, just like this, etching onto our bones for the rest of ever -- and i see us cloaked in our parenthood, in our marriage nearly two years on, in our life as three, and it feels like a jigsaw fallen into place.