"Today is just about perfect!" I told Ethan.
He was lying flat on his back on the living room floor. He wriggled and kicked, fought me as I wrapped him in a clean diaper.
"The sky is blue, the grass is green, the leaves are brown and yellow and orange and falling from the trees." I said, to distract him.
He relaxed, shifted his gaze to the large picture windows covering one half of a living room wall. The blue front door hung partially open, forgotten by a careless child. The wind ushered in a warm, autumn scent.
Fall smells quiet and faintly sweet, like a peaceful death at a good old age, with family standing near. Fall is a slow awakening of the collective human mind as it sobers and turns inward, hushed by the ancient earth as she puts on her extravagant show, and gently covers those who have fallen with her hand-made quilt of fallen leaves.
I pointed past Ethan, toward the open door, and we both strained our necks to see a slice of day beyond it.
"The wind is blowing, and the leaves are rustling, and the birds are swooping and chirping," I said.
Ethan giggled and simple delight sparkled in his eyes.
"Chirping!" He mimicked, and laughed again. Ethan is two and likes the sound of words. He considers the sound of a word, as much as its context, when he assigns meaning to it.
"Somebody is burning leaves in a backyard or having a fire in a fireplace." I continued.
"Burning yellow leaves!" he said.
"The day is absolutely perfect." I told him again. "It's gorgeous."
I wrestled him into small denim jeans, a quilted, plaid flannel shirt and sneakers, which his three older brothers wore before him, but which he calls "new", because I pulled them out of storage just a week ago. We walked together to the door and pushed it wide open.
We stood side by side in the threshold in an overabundance of beauty and turned our faces toward the sun, the wind, the rustling and chirping, and the open, fragrant air.
Ethan leaned into it with arms raised above his head and yelled loud, his voice a power of it's own, clear and strong and full of unambivalent joy.
"It's Gorgeous!" He bellowed.