I woke up this morning thinking of fall.
It’s a cool, misty day — the sort of dawn that makes me think of October leaves and pumpkins and apple cider. As we draw closer to autumn, we’re also drawing closer to the wedding. The thought alone makes my heart pound: excitement and nerves and joy.
Though it’s still mid-August, our sights are turned to back-to-school. Scrolling through Facebook from bed this morning, my feed was flooded with in jumpers with their lunch boxes, smiling optimistic and gap-toothed on their first day. I remember standing just as they did in front of my grandparents’ house, as anxious as a 7-year-old could be, wondering who would sit by me at lunch or join me on the swings at recess. I can still close my eyes, feeling what I felt.
I do miss school. I miss my college classes, wandering around the University of Maryland on the best type of time crunch, feeling grown-up and busy and alive. I discovered so much back then, fell in first love my sophomore year, and listening to Ingrid Michaelson or Death Cab for Cutie or The Shins brings it all right back to me. I can’t listen to those tunes without remembering that one magnificent, golden fall: soft hoodies, the crunch of feet on leaves. Cool, crisp air and hope and the unknown.
The dawn of a new school year — buses dotting country roads; fresh boxes of Crayons in perfect rows at Target — makes me nostalgic for the way things were. When you’re young, you can’t wait to grow up. When you grow up, you remember — keenly — what it was like to be young. It might seem funny to hear a 28-year-old wax so nostalgic, but trust me when I say it’s nothing new.
Today I was thinking about our future kids: maybe wild and curly-haired; maybe quiet and sweet. I was thinking about what their first day will be like, how I’ll cry quietly and try to act tough; how I’ll wait with sickening nerves to hear about their first day. How quickly those years will go by, faster than I can reach out to hold them. And I’ll wax nostalgic about this moment, months before our wedding — before I knew anything about what the future would hold.
Oh, the messy stuff on my mind before I’ve had my first diet soda of the day, friends. Scary, isn’t it?
But I’ve fast-forwarded too far. This fall will be delightfully busy, unexpected and awesome. It will feature the hardest, best kind of change: all that comes with building a new life. As Spencer and I draw closer to that big day, the early signs of autumn are getting me in the fall-and-wedding mindset like nothing else has. We always knew we wanted a fall wedding — and goodness knows I’m a fall fanatic — and now . . . it’s almost here.