The seasons are about to change again, fall is finally here. I love the cool weather and the beautiful colors that fall brings. My birthday is in the fall and each year I have noticed that I have gone not only from middle age but also to the first steps of old age.
When I was a child, the world seemed to be a place of joy and happiness to me. There was nothing worth worrying about. Whenever I cried, somebody picked me up. When I did not like to sit alone, I was always in somebody's army. I was not born in a rich family so my mother always looked after me. My mother was one of nine children and throughout my early life it seemed like there was an army of people who cared and loved me.
Another thing my mother taught me was how to read. She taught me to read the Sunday funny papers. Each Sunday after Mass, we would sit at a table and she would word by word teach me to read.
I can remember my family talking about the election of 1948 and how much they hoped that Truman would win. They were upset that by living in Washington D.C., they could not vote.
I can remember that when I started school, I had a walk that took me down 16th Street. Back in the 1950s, were more trees along 16th Street that would turn into a rainbow of colors: reds, yellows and deep oranges. The leaves would start to fall and I would shuffle along kicking leaves here and there. On windy days, I would walk in a swirl of colored leaves.
In the mornings, mother would make me a cup of hot cocoa. The aroma of the cocoa filled the apartment and gave the rooms a wonderful sweet smell.
In school, I was shy and more interested in day dreaming then in learning. The first year of school was the toughest for me. As I got older I enjoyed school a little more. Now I tell those thinking of quitting school to stay in school. What a difference growing older makes.
In the afternoon after school, I played all sorts of games with others. Stick ball and kick ball were among my favorite games.
On a cool October Saturday, when I was 10, I went with some friends to a high school football game. I didn't tell mom where I was going. It was late when I finally got home and it was already dark. My mother was very anxious. I learned later that she had looked for me everywhere. When she saw me she broke out in tears. She grabbed by my arm and told me she was going to spank me. She had done that before. Her choice of paddle was a pancake turner which made a loud whack but did not hurt very much. She made me promise that I would always tell her where I was going and with whom. I remember this because now I wish that I had that loving care. As I have gotten older it is that thing that I miss most, that loving care.
Oh there are those take care and call or will see me and ask if I need anything. When I have been ill I have been fortunate enough to have good friends.
Some how I miss that little boy in me that was in awe whenever he saw something new.
I miss the tot that was not a cynic as I have become. So now its fall and I will again through these old eyes see the changing of the seasons. Maybe I'll be in awe and as that little boy I'll look forward to tomorrow.