Watermelon Sugar

Do you run towards or flee from inevitable sunsets?

September 9 is FASD Day, commemorated during FASD Awareness Month in September.

September 9 symbolizes the ninth month of pregnancy and this day helps raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and the experiences of individuals with FASD.

People are encouraged to wear red shoes, an idea by RJ Formanek, an individual with FASD, to help start conversations about FASD.

Thanks to RJ’s advocacy, Canadian landmarks from coast to coast – including CN Tower and Niagara Falls – are “turning red” this September 9.

As a caregiver of a boy with FASD, this day is a good day to pause and reflect.

I previously reflected on trying differently rather than harder and the importance of advocacy.

This year, my reflections centre on time: plan for the future, let go of yesterday, live in the now.

I thought about this during a recent after dinner walk T and I enjoyed at the park.

He was whining about something inconsequential – I don’t even remember what – and I noticed how the days were getting shorter.

I thought about how I was going to miss that little boy voice, even at its whiny worst, when it cracks and matures one day.

In a summer that flew by with wonderful moments, one seemingly small moment that stood out was when I chopped up a watermelon for a BBQ potluck.

T came up and ate a few slices as I prepared my platter. I loved watching him relish that sweet fruit – and later again with my family.

This summer, I became particularly sensitive to how quickly childhood is flying.

When I see T running down the field during our walks, I noticed how much taller he is.

The other night, he asked me to sit on the chair next to his bed and he then sat on my lap pretending he was a toddler again and I was reading a bedtime story like I used to do with him.

He didn’t feel as light as a toddler anymore!

As parents – especially those caring for kids with additional needs – the worries never end.

We are always hyper-vigilant and thinking about and planning for the worst case scenarios.

We ruminate over how we could’ve handled things better – long after the moments have happened.

We often don’t let ourselves fully enjoy a positive moment, because we worry about when the other shoe will drop.

When we see the sun setting, the instinct is to start heading home before darkness falls.

This summer, my perspective changed: I wanna run towards the sunset.

To soak up every last moment of light before the night arrives – because it’s going to arrive anyway, regardless of which direction we run.

And on this same recent evening walk with T – with the start of the school year just around the corner – we played outside a little longer, underneath that sweet watermelon sunset.

20 thoughts on “Watermelon Sugar

    1. Thanks Diane. It’s a good life lesson regardless of when you learn it. Good thing there’s lot of retirement time to enjoy! 😊

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! For sure, especially now as the summer days dwindle away and night seems to come sooner with each passing day.

  1. Every day is the stuff that memories are made of so that someday you can sit back and have so many beautiful memories to smile about. I find it is the little, seemingly inconsequential things that pop into my mind without warning and bring a smile, or even a chuckle.

    1. Thanks Jill. I absolutely agree the every day small stuff are what will bring us chuckles, smiles and joy in the long run. 😊 Life works in mysterious ways!

  2. Thanks for putting FASD Day on my radar. I’ve made a note in my calendar for next year to wear red shoes. That’s a great approach about letting go of yesterday and to live in the moment. I need to do a better job of that for life in general. It’s crazy to think that summer is over. Time flies when you’re having fun.

    1. Thanks Linda. Living in the moment can be a hard practice but so worth it.

      You are up fairly early?! Is this the day that you head out East?

      1. Yup! We flew into Moncton yesterday morning. Thankfully we didn’t have any delays or issues at Pearson. We’re currently in Kouchibouguac National Park. I am loving the east coast and the people are so friendly!

        Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  3. This is a beautiful post! I love “This summer, my perspective changed: I wanna run towards the sunset. To soak up every last moment of light before the night arrives – because it’s going to arrive anyway, regardless of which direction we run.”

    Oh, the poignant signs that they are growing up. Yes, yes, yes! They hammer on my heart.

    And I love knowing about FASD awareness day and month. May more awareness help start many great conversations! As you have already done here!

    1. Thank you, Wynne. I know you can relate through your experiences with Miss O and Mr D! Let’s just soak up every moment including those that hammer on our hearts.

      And yes, we must do all our parts to raise awareness. Take care.

  4. When I saw the title of this post in my reader, Harry Style’s song immediately played in my head! I’m sorry, but it just popped up! 😆 I love your new approach that is running toward the sunset. Those fleeting moments may just be among the ones you will remember the most many years from now.

    1. We love Harry Styles in our home. 😊 Watermelon Sugar is great song although my use of the title was used in a more innocent way. 😆 I agree about enjoying the fleeting moments because they are ones that we often remember the most in the future. Enjoy the rest of your week. Almost the weekend!

    1. Thank you! You know that I have flashlights as well as flare guns and 3-day supply of food and water all packed and ready. 😆

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