The living room light, on a timer, went off a half hour ago. It’s supposed to either be on later than I am up or signal to me that it’s time to go to bed. Instead, because I napped at 7pm, it only ended up leaving me awake in the dark, playing Candy Crush by the blue light of my device. I left Naked and Afraid on the TV on mute, just so I wouldn’t be sitting in the complete blackness.

It felt like 9pm when I stepped outside earlier at 5:30. Between last week’s unexpected snowstorm and the clocks falling back, it’s like we’ve been collectively plucked from autumn and left in the dead of winter. And yet, it smelled like Halloween when we got home tonight. I said that to The Who as we got out of the car, but the candy’s been collected and the costume’s put away and he saw the snow fall last week, too, so he wasn’t willing to follow me into my “autumn’s still in the air” conversation. “Except it’s freezing,” he said. Spoken like a kid having grown up in the mid-Atlantic and never having had to wear a puffy winter coat over his costume. It a kid dresses as Spidey and no one gets to see it under her jacket, did it really happen?

I need to stock up on hot chocolate and warm blankets. I have a feeling that’s what we’re in for this winter: a lot of hunkering down. In the meantime, it remains hard to remember that we haven’t even carved a turkey yet (I plan to deep fry one this year) or celebrated The Who’s birthday — all things that are supposed to come before snow and boots and gloves and ice-melting salt on the steps, all of which we’ve experienced.

The Who’s birthday. He turns ten this year. How did I get to have a spawn who boasts double digits? It doesn’t seem like he’s been around that long. And at the same time, it feels like there was never a day before he was part of our family. I remember turning ten and being excited that i was able to say things like, “ten years ago…” It felt like a lifetime.

The light’s been off for almost an hour now. Thirty-five kindergarten and first graders will be waiting for me to teach them things I only just barely learned myself. I should get a respectable amount of sleep before I face them.


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