It's a season of transitions, all sorts. After daycare, I picked Drew up and we went together to a local orchard in search of an afterschool snack and a bag of peaches. But they were out of peaches, though they promised to have more later in the week; what they had instead were some of the season's first glorious honeycrisp apples. So Drew enjoyed an apple cider donut with cinnamon sugar (and so did I!) and I bought a few big beautiful apples. Down the street at the farmstand we got half a dozen ears of corn for a song; I saved one to boil for him to eat on the cob, and stripped the corn from several others to make a corn pudding.
But I'd had my heart set on doing something with peaches. Was I too late? Had I missed the season? Thankfully, although the orchard itself was sold out of peaches, our wee market -- right around the corner from both the orchard and Drew's daycare -- still had a basket of local orchard peaches for sale. We brought some home, with great glee. I saved a few for Drew to eat in slices, and prepared the rest to become a crisp. Peach season is giving way to apple season. The days are still warm, even hot, but the nights are cooling. The hills are deep rich late-summer green, but here and there the first maple branch blazes red. Everywhere, goldenrod is tipped with yellow.
Next week Drew will attend one last day at this beloved daycare, and the next day he'll begin attending a community preschool near my synagogue. He's two years and nine months now; old enough to start in the youngest preschool room, which he and I have visited before. I know he'll flourish there. But some part of me is a little bit sad to be leaving the in-home daycare which we, and he, have so loved. His daycare provider is equally wistful, I think. "They'd better take good care of him there," she told me today. "I don't want him to get lost in the shuffle." I promised her that I was pretty sure they would -- and that we would visit her from time to time, too.
Change can be hard, even when it's a change one has looked forward to. One of my Torah study colleagues told me recently that when he dropped his daughter off at college, he had the distinct feeling that she had just begun preschool the day before, and now suddenly she was moving into this whole new adventure, leaving him behind. I know I'll feel that someday, too: weren't we just giggling and cuddling in the gliding rocker, watching early-morning cartoons, splashing in the kiddie pool? I hope I can model grace and gratitude for Drew as we move through this change in his life and in ours, as we move from daycare to preschool, as we move from Elul to the High Holidays, as we move from summer to fall.