This morning, La Toya Jackson told Hoda & Kathie Lee that “time flies,” in reference to Ms. Jackson turning 55. I concur. Just yesterday, I was walking Dylan along the river path toward the nostalgic little downtown area and I detected hints of fall in the air. I mean, I know it’s September already, but it’s still 90 degrees outside and aside from the onslaught of back-to-school commercials (thanks, Target, for the addicting little xylaphone jingle “do do do dotado do”) and friends posting their ridiculously adorable 1st day of school pics, fall has done a pretty good job of hiding itself. Until yesterday. The sickly-sweet smell of fertile soil and rotting leaves clumping together to form a sodden mulch on the side of the riverbed stung my senses and sent a tingle down my spine. I took a deep breath and the first word that came to mind was “ripe.” I was both excited and sad all at once. Fall is my favorite season: football games, hooded sweatshirts, bonfires, cool fresh air, golds and crimsons and burnt ochre, spiced liqueurs and apples, nutmeg and cinnamon, and warm cozy everything. I love it. But it is also the season of death and decay. The falling leaves are really harbingers of a menacing season ahead. We know this to be true, so we try to look away, like peering through one’s fingers at a scary movie. Only, you can’t ignore signs like this: the hanging baskets on downtown lamp posts whose tendrils trailing in the wind look like soppy seaweed caught on a boat motor; the browning of petals on hydrangea bushes; the straw-colored grass beat down to a flattened mess. Even the river has quieted down. I took in these changes slowly, as I pushed Dylan’s stroller along, and thought about the elusive, slippery nature of time. During the school year, when I’m teaching, the day flies by in 40-minute class periods. Most days, the final bell rings and I can barely believe the school day is over. I love this about my job, but it does create a sense of urgency throughout the day, as if I never have enough time to finish everything on my to-do list. Being home on maternity leave, though, has twisted time for me. Day and Night are not two separate entities anymore. Naps exist (and are awesome). I watch my sleeping child breathe and feel as though time stands still. But I know it doesn’t. Instinctually, I can feel the seconds tick by, and I wonder if what LaToya Jackson says is really true. Does time fly? Will I be looking at my five-/ten-/fifteen-year-old son one day as if it was only yesterday that he was sleeping in the stroller as I pushed him along the river? And if so, how can I hang onto these little moments of perfection (and extend maternity leave as long as possible…?). By the way, I can’t help but hear “like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives” as I wrap this up. But no, I haven’t fallen back into the trap of daytime soap operas. Hoda & Kathie Lee are where it ends. Don’t judge.