On a September Night

It’s Friday night and I’m sitting here at Ella’s cheer practice.  September evenings are some of the most beautiful evenings here in Virginia.  There is very low humidity and the temperatures are in the 70s.  The trees are just beginning to change colors–just the slightest hints of pink in the maples, claret in the oaks.  It is 6:00, and the sun is falling, yet still spilling it’s warmth on us.  Kate is sitting next to me, braiding her hair while I write.  I love having her here.  I love the quiet between us — I hear simply the breeze through the trees and the sound of nine little girls practicing their cheers in the distance.

The boys are at football practice.  They will come home battered, as usual, and starving, as usual.  We’ll eat barbecued chicken, squash from our zucchini and squash plants, and steak fries.  We probably won’t get more than one or two more squash from those plants this summer…fall is approaching fast.  The tomatoes are still coming, though…I wonder how long they’ll last.  I think we were still getting tomatoes in mid-October last year.

I have a lot of basil to deal with.  I need to make some pesto.  And the “flowers” need serious work.  I tried to leave the coneflowers for the goldfinches — they like the seeds — but I can’t take it any longer.  I need to deadhead them.

And the crepe myrtles need trimming.

And the lavender needs to be dug up.

And the yarrow must be moved.  The coreopsis needs to be trimmed and divided.  There is so much to do I can’t list it all here.  The yard will be Sunday’s project, because Saturday is reserved for football.  David has set the DVR to record the Hokie game, the Texas A&M game, Ohio State and the Notre Dame game.

Will(iam) and Henry both have games in the morning.  This season is different…I think it may be their last season of football — their choice.  (I do not know exactly when it was that they stopped loving me…).  So I watch them play with this little spark of hope that they will want to go on, yet at the same time the heavy realization that this is probably one of the last times I will be cheering on the sidelines as a football mom.  Life does go on, though I can’t imagine a better way to spend my Saturdays (for real).

Tomorrow night we are going to roast weenies in the fire pit out back.  We’ll eat watermelon, and chips and s’mores and drink in the last few sips of summer.

There is a string of clouds that has moved in and blanketed the sun.  People are putting on their sweatshirts to keep out the chill.  The girls are still practicing — orange pompoms rustling, pony tails bobbing, little girls jumping.  In just a few weeks, autumn’s cold air will be nipping at their noses.  With every word that escapes their mouths will come a puff of frosty air; their cheeks will be ruddied and they’ll be bundled in fleece hats and sweatshirts; and the sun will set before supper.

I remember those nights…coming home to a warmly lit house, supper on the stove and a soft, furry puppy whose tail rhythmically thumps the wall in time with the beating of my heart.

This year, it has taken a while, but I think I’m finally looking forward to fall.

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On a September Night

Spreading a little cheer…

This is Miss Ella Cheerleader.

She is all Rah-Rah when we get to the field. 

She is so cute I could almost fall over, I swear it.

After approximately 12 to 15 minutes, Miss Ella transforms into Miss Grumpy-itchy-pants. 

She whines.  She itches.  It is SO fun. 

And then the game just becomes a complete and utter BORE to the cheerleader.

I tell her that scowling and yawning is not terribly cheerleadery, but she remains steadfast in her grumpiness. 

She may not be the peppiest, but she is totally the cutest.

Spreading a little cheer…

Cute

Kate is a cheerleader.  Can I just say it?  I.Love.Cheerleading.  The entire thing is just.stinkin.cute.  Seriously.

Cute little poms…

Cheer Poms NST

 

Cute little shoes…

Cheer shoes NST

 

Cute little crates with cute little cusions for their cute little buns to rest upon…

Cheer Crates NST

 

Cute little smiles…

Kate Cheering NST

Just.

Plain.

Cute.

Cute