The September sun falls through trees onto old red farmhouses rendered dazzling by the light. I drive through glare that is no longer a summer shock, but a gold as intoxicating as currency. The first month of fall in New England is paler than both the preceding season and the autumn depths to come; it has less of an edge. I open my driver's seat window for a smudge-free view that allows the air to rush in as I am engulfed in senses that assure me I am sitting on the better side of just-right.
The Boss goes to pre-school every day now. She was eased into it by mild rays of sun warming her back as she prepared to step through the door for the first time. Her teacher was inside, The Boss was on the verge, and I was behind it all. I expected the teacher to use welcoming words or, at the very least, some hand gestures to indicate the way, but the blond-grey stranger just stood there with a smile that told me nothing. I looked at The Boss, whose lock on me was a blue mirror. I raised my shoulders and we both turned again to the teacher. I don't remember what method--a sweep of the arm, a nod, or a complete lack of direction--that Miss Kathy used to force my hand, but I finally realized what I had to do. My shrug became a gentle nudge against The Boss's kangaroo backpack and I'm sure that I held my breath as she lurched into Room 1. I backed into the September shine.
In the car now it is just me and Number Two, like it used to be me and The Boss. The roll of the tires over farm-hugging curves and marshy side roads comforts me; it lulls my son. The Boss's constant hum of energy is criss-cross-applesauced into morning circle back at school. In her absence is calm lethargy. Number Two looks out the back of the car from his infant carseat. My front facing vantage point is different. Still, we can both see early leaves detach from their support systems and float to the ground all around us.
We will start to get to know each other like this--as scenes of what will become his childhood speed by. It is September, and the greens and golds are faded to start with.