I love it when the days get cool. I love jogging without turning fuschia, I love how I feel like cooking hot meals every night, and I especially love how delicious it is to savor the end of summer in the form of huge, juicy tomatoes, perfect ears of sweet corn, and days when the warm sun on your shoulders feels relaxing and wholesome.
I feel healthy when the weather is as nice as it's been lately, and that makes me act healthy. Going to work plays a part too--I feel like I have an adult identity again, and I have the energy to be the mom I want to be. When the baby's fussy around 5 o'clock, I'm ready to plunk him in his stroller and head for the park before he even starts to whine. And Leo is really becoming a pleasure to be around, so coming home to him is rejuvenating.
There's nothing like contrast to make me appreciate what I have: the quiet of the office and then the burbling baby at home; the warm sun and then the cool breezes.... I imagine the fall weather is a big relief for all you pregnant readers too. For me, fall always feels like a time of slowing down, cozying up and burrowing in. It's a time to be at home, and focus on the people nearest and dearest to you--and on yourself.
In the spirit of the season, Aaron and I have decided to take better care of ourselves by returning to the vegetarian lifestyle that we'd let slide a few years ago. This time, we've decided to let ourselves eat meat out, so that we don't need special treatment when visiting friends, and we're free to enjoy the full menu at restaurants. But in the interest of a clean, heart-healthy, eco-conscious diet, we're cutting out cooking meat at home.
After giving up so many foods when I thought Leo's colic might be an allergy, returning to vegetarian cooking feels fun, not at all restrictive. And it feels like a relief to eat a more limited, conscious diet. (Plus it's inspiring--please try the Corn and Summer Squash Tacos while there's still fresh corn, we loved them!) I think (I hope!) that one side effect of this change will be lower grocery bills. Lately, with the high cost of food, plus the new expense of diapers, I've been horrified in the checkout lane every week. Hopefully we'll manage the transition to cloth diapers soon too.
All in all, living a more conscious, respectful life that is easier on the planet and on our bodies feels like the right way to be the parents we want to be. Parenthood is beginning to feel like a sustainable, long-term proposition, and at the same time, I'm finally getting the hang of really being in the moment with Leo. I'm enjoying this time for all it is, and I feel like I'm more fully appreciating what I have. And as the weather gets cooler, I'm really warming up to the delightful task of cooking healthy meals for my little family.