Unlike anyone else in her pre-school class, Rosie walks to school. We live only a few blocks from her school, plus I like the opportunity to connect her to the outdoors and teach her about how to dress for every kind of weather. She has turned out to be very observant. The other day we stopped to pick up a snail and watch it relax and wander around on a piece of cardboard. Another morning we picked up a leaf that had frost on it and carried it inside the school to see what would happen.
("It melted!" "From what?" From the warm all around us!")
This week it got very cold, and very windy. I dressed Rosie up appropriately, and we walked anyway. Before we headed home she stopped to watch whirling dervishes play with the leaves near the entrance to her school. A moment later, she commented that the wind at her back made her feel like a bird.
Along the way home, she found a heart-shaped leaf and gave it to me. I suggested that we could do a rubbing of the leaf when we got home. She declared she wanted to do it with a red crayon. Worried that it might blow away, we put it in her backpack. She admonished me not to let us forget it.
The other day, the first frost day, there was also sunshine. Under one tree, it was very pretty, with the branches hanging down all around us, large oval leaves heavy and gold. I had not brought my phone with me and announced we would just have to take pictures with our minds. "You can't take pictures with your mind!" she told me. "Sure you can," I explained. "You just look and try to fix it in your mind so you will remember." She was willing to try.
Further along there was a tree that had been bright red earlier in the Fall, one of the first trees to turn. Now it was almost bare. She complained that the tree looked sad and ugly with no leaves. I agreed that sometimes Fall was like that, and trees did look sad and bare with no leaves. I added though that once winter comes, I think trees can look very pretty with snow on their branches. She agreed, but stayed there a moment, looking up at the tree.
"Goodbye leaves," she said. "Hope we see you again soon."
Amen, kiddo. Amen.