"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." (Anne of Green Gables)
I sometimes complain about living in the middle of nowhere in Ohio. I mean, of all the places in the entire world to live, this is where my family decided to put down roots?? But one time of year I never complain is Autumn. Fall is beautiful here in Amish country. There are not many places in the world where seeing a horse drawn wagon out in a rolling wheat field for harvest with patches of woods in the background filled with every shade of red, orange, and yellow is a normal everyday sight. But it is here. And I know I take it so for granted. But every once in a while, as I am driving down one of the back roads, I look out and realize just how beautiful it is here. How glad I am that there is still a group of people in America hanging onto their traditional slow life and that I get to live among them.....Although getting stuck behind a buggy on a hill is still annoying.
Ohio may be boring, but I will never stop appreciating her amazing seasons. How can one fully appreciate a beautiful summer day without remembering the long cold winter? The feeling of that first warm sunny day in Spring after you feel like you just cannot take one more day stuck inside. And just when you are sick of the constant heat and yard work/gardening/canning of summer, boom fall is here. And the breathtaking beauty of the first big snow, so worth the cold. Not to mention all the goodness of wool socks, hot chocolate, and having my fireplace burning all day long. Sure winter sucks come February and March, but I guess I will take it if it means living somewhere that gets to see every season in all it's glory. So Florida, you can have your constant sunshine, cause we got Autumn. And although we may envy you by late winter, for these few fleeting weeks of October, you can't hold a candle to Ohio.
On Tuesday, Seren and I baked bread for the first time since Judah was born. It felt so good to be baking with my little one again. She does so well helping (except for the incident of a fistful of flour thrown into the air.) She loves holding the measuring spoons while I pour out the ingredients and then dumping it into the mixing bowl. She also loves using her small wooden rolling pin next to me when I am using mine to roll out cookie dough or pie crust. On Monday I made a meat pie for dinner and I had a bit of pie dough left over once I had finished, so I helped Seren roll it out and cut out a few cookies from the dough. I wasn't sure how a pie crust cookie would taste, but they were actually quite yummy! Next time I might even try to leave more dough to make cookies and then dip them in some jam.
Last night, once Adam got home from work, we jumped into the car and went to the Wilderness Center a few towns over. They just finished a nature playscape at the beginning of the summer, and the few times we have been able to visit, Seren has loved it. There are all kinds of different natural play areas scattered around from "Mud Kitchen" and a "Dig to China" pebble pit to a small mountain made from huge rocks, a stick tee-pee, a fort made from logs, a tunnel under a hill, and several other adventurous play areas.
As a kid who grew up in town, I was always envious of my friends who lived in the woods and I would have LOVED this place as a kid. And as a parent, there is a nice spot in the middle with benches so that you can sit and rest while being able to keep a close eye on your child no matter where they are playing. It is definitely a place I see us spending weekly time at in the coming years.
I mostly sat back with Judah as Adam and Seren played. It was so rewarding to watch her learn through playing. At first she was terrified to climb up the rock mountain, but Adam kept gently encouraging her to just climb up one more rock, and eventually she made it to the top on her own. I asked her to smile for a photo, and she gave me about 2 seconds to snap the shot before declaring she wanted down now.
But the best part was this simple line of logs placed in the ground at different heights for children to balance across. At first Seren refused to try it, even when we told her that we would each hold one of her hands so there was no possibility of falling. So we didn't push her and I went and sat to nurse Judah. After a while, she apparently decided that she did want to try to walk across the logs. As I sat from a distance and watched, it was so awesome to see her conquer those logs. At first she would only walk on them while Adam held onto each of her hands. And then she only wanted one of his hands. And finally after a few minutes, she told him that she wanted to do it all by herself, and she did.
I felt so proud that my little girl pushed herself to try something new and a bit scary. She is definitely a little timid when it comes to trying something new, but if we don't push her and give her time, she usually gathers up the courage to try it eventually and then does it with ease. I feel so fortunate that I get to see her learn and conquer new things each day. I think one of my favorite parts of being a parent is watching her personality emerge and develop. I feel so lucky to be her mom.