He stands solemnly, stills his growing body, a few paces ahead of me, traces of his breath dancing in the cool October dusk as he deeply exhales a long sigh.
"Oh, mommy," he begins, "All of my favorite leaves are almost gone."
Two straights days of swooping, sweeping strong winds have wrestled the them in all of the bursts of colorful glory from tree branches, sent them rushing down the street and crashing into open stretches of prairie.
"Why does it have to go so fast?" he laments, standing taller, broader shouldered than he was even just a few weeks ago when the green first gave way to deep orange and sunset red. "I wish the leaves would stay a little longer ... they're so pretty like this."
I nod, resisting the urge to inform him that seasons changing are inevitable, that sometimes you blink and you miss the leaves lingering bright and gloriously from the trees at the peak of fall, only catching glimpses of their beauty as they run wildly off into the distance.
We stand together, staring at barren branches, sorry to have not stood here still for longer just a few days prior. I switch my gaze to his face, sleeker and defined more monthly by sharper curves, baby fat having mostly dripped away.
And I linger long in the blazing glory of five
because soon I'll be standing here catching tiny bursts of color racing down the streets.