Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

It’s Fall. Swish Swish, the Calendar. Beginnings and Endings.

Crispy leaves crunching on the way to the bus stop, cool mornings, and stiff notebooks next to sharpened pencils ready to write beside new classroom friends. These are the obvious things to love about Fall.

A farewell to lazy mornings with 10am breakfasts, evenings at the pool while it’s still hot and bright at 8pm, and forgetting what day it is. These are the obvious things to mourn as Summer fades in the rearview mirror.

The beginning of Fall marks the passing of time rivaled only by the end of another school year.

Thump, thump. My heart.

Tick tock. The clock.

Swish swish. The calendar.


9th grade had just started the year I didn’t know what to tell my friends about my mom no longer living in our house. My youngest brother, on my lap while my mother confessed in the living room “But I love him.”

“Is she crying?” he said.

“I think she’s laughing,” I said, and turned up the volume of MASH that I’d turned down to better hear mere minutes before.

“Don’t tell anybody,” I said. My friend Carol told everybody and shame perched proudly on my lunch tray for weeks in the cafeteria. It thrived with the stares while I shrunk from them, hot and embarrassed. 

I got suspended for ditching class and walking barefoot in the hall.

Back then, school deans had paddles displayed on their walls as a reminder of the punishment no longer allowed but still preferred.

Today, they’d be sued for that shit.  

I had the most strict of deans. Everybody agreed, except for my dad.

40 hours of hard labor in the garden and yard, a few spaghetti and Burger King dinners and some butt jokes later, things were back to normal. I got smarter about ditching class.


“I think I have the puking disease,” he said. I didn’t say “for f*ck’s sake” out loud and instead took his temperature, showed him the thermometer, and told him if he felt ill once he got to school, that I’d come and pick him up.

I didn’t get a call from the nurse, but later, in the quiet glow of his night light and bedtime, he told me why he thought he might have the puking disease.

“I have the same behavior,” he said.


“Last year, my teacher. She told me she likes me but doesn’t always like my behavior. It’s still the same so my second grade teacher won’t like me either.” He sighed.

I didn’t cry.

Told him his new teacher would love him.

Thought about home schooling. About teachers and about life.


Nine years ago right now, I married my husband. I met him online, and we emailed for a month before meeting. Talked on the phone. He gave great email. Still has a super-sexy voice. 

Both of us no longer young, but not old, a little wounded and wary.

Also hopeful.


I told him on our third date to leave if he wasn’t willing to have a baby with me. He’d been there before, after all.

And I was old enough to to not wonder and worry, but to say. I wanted a baby.


He said yes to the baby.

I said yes to the ring.

Back then, I didn’t know what the future held as we hiked in Kauai. I didn’t know how stupid it was that I felt fat then either.


He gave me my little boy. Seven years and almost three months ago right now, I gave birth to my baby, who becomes less of a baby more each day.

I miss my two year old and oh mamas, let

This photo showed up in my Facebook timeline today. EEEEP.

“What’d you do in school today?”

“I don’t know,” he says. “But it was good.”

“Daddy got you flowers,” he says. “Because you got married.” “That’s right!” I said, happy that he remembered. 

“I’d marry you except you’re married to Daddy and my wife will have shinier skin,” he says.



“Nothing,” I say. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” he says.

I forget my not-shiny-enough skin and remember prayers that he’d talk one day. That I’d hear and say “I love you.”

I may have cried.


Like Tamara‘s written about recently, the song “When September Ends” by Greenday is in my head and on my playlist. “Seven years has gone so fast. Wake me up when September ends…”

Maybe we’re always becoming who we are. Each September.

Seven years have gone by so fast… 

Fall, with its sharpened pencils, new classroom friends, squeaky shoes and crunchy leaves are the obvious reasons to love this season.

Another summer in my rearview mirror, a wave goodbye to lazy mornings and late breakfasts, and nights at the pool are the obvious reasons to mourn the most recent season gone.

My not-so-little little boy’s tales from school and shiny-skinned girls and a wedding anniversary are reminders that whether I mourn gone days or flip them the bird, they’re in the rearview.

They’re the reminder that the clock will tick, the calendar will swoosh, my heart will thump whether I look forward or look back.

Fall seems to be a time to do both.kristi rieger campbell finished post for finding ninee

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “What I love (or hate) about Fall…”

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  • baog3 - “I may have cried”…. about this post. Beautiful 🙂September 29, 2016 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Momma, best post EVER! Love the imagery. Love you. You broke my heart wth is he description of you and your brother listening to your parents. I think your skin is still shinny. You’re beautiful and you glow in your wedding pics. I too thought I was fat on my wedding day, and looking back, I was a waif. Happy Anniversary!😘.September 30, 2016 – 7:04 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie! You’re so kind. Thank you! And awwww to my skin still being shiny! <3 Isn't it funny how we later wish we were as thin as when we thought we were fat? Or maybe that's just me. Thanks!!September 30, 2016 – 6:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Maybe we’re always becoming who we are. Each September. clickable
    I love this line Kristi. There is something quite poetic about it.
    I love this season so much that I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to put that love into words nearly as beautifully as you’ve done here.September 30, 2016 – 8:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Kerry and I love this season too. I hope you write about it and i know it’ll be fabulous if you decide to!!! 🙂October 1, 2016 – 3:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @Menopausalmom - So sweet—-happy anniversary. Embrace the moment!September 30, 2016 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - What is it with fall and all the emotions?? I feel them, too – looking forward and back all at the same time.Love the shiny skin comment! 🙂 Happy Anniversary!October 1, 2016 – 6:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Ugh I dunno what it is! But I soooo feel them. And gah to the shiny skin. Thanks for the anniversary wishes!October 1, 2016 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - Oh, this one hit me in the gut, Kristi. I can’t think of anything poetic or deep to say, but I loved reading this. I felt like I was on your shoulder as you look back over each vignette you described. The paddle, the wedding, the shiny face…all of it.

    And this line is fabulous: “…shame perched proudly on my lunch tray for weeks in the cafeteria.” Carol had a big mouth.October 2, 2016 – 9:15 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks huge, Dana. Carol had a huge mouth. She sucks forever. Or not, I dunno. She’s one I’m not friends with on FB or anywhere these days.October 4, 2016 – 12:01 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - Kristi,

    you know what?

    One of my all time fave. writers said this: It’s not so much about the story, the words, the theme, or the way one constructs one’s paragraphs, NO, it’s about how they make you “FEEL.”

    You always make me FEEL.

    Thank you for that. xxOctober 2, 2016 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I. Love. You. Thank you. You make me feel too, girl. So much. Thank you for always being so kind and supportive, and know I appreciate it more than I know how to even say.October 4, 2016 – 12:02 amReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Kristi, it sounds as if your feelings about fall are similar to mine. I get you with mourning summer. We don’t have a pool to laze by, but yes to missing those light evenings!
    Though the part about your mother is sad, it is beautifully written. Perfect.

    And happy anniversary. And it’s so great that Tucker is doing so well – even if he wants a wife with shinier skin.October 2, 2016 – 8:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yvonne, I think you’re right – we do have similar feelings about fall and I’m SO glad you wrote for this week’s FTSF. I love that you think the part about my mother is beautifully written, I really appreciate that and thank you for the happy anniversary wishes! lol to him wanting a wife with shinier skin. I can’t blame him 😉October 4, 2016 – 12:04 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Well now we need to here Robert say hello or speak french or something on a vlog. LOL! Love the wedding photo – happy belated anniversary.

    I guarantee you that you’re going to keep looking at your skin. I remember one morning at Christopher’s but stop he asked my why I had so many bumps on my face. And he kept saying until something like, “I hope I don’t get bumps like that when I grow up.” Then the I was worried about bumps on my face. Because we are supposed to be flawless in their eyes and he saw bumps. LOL!

    I tried to write about Fall but it was nothing as sweet at this. I couldn’t grasp my love for the season and certainly no nostalgia because it was hot last week with the humidity nearly reaching 100%.

    Anyway – awwww to puking disease – and the reason for it.

    I love the line,”Maybe we’re always becoming who we are. Each September.”

    BTW and hated M*A*S*H that seemed worse than my parents watching the news.October 3, 2016 – 1:20 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Robert wrote ONE post here (oh jeez, I should find it if I say that… hang on… It was a mother’s day post I think.. Ok here:

      But YES he so should (he’ll never even read these comments BOO

      UGH to Christopher talking about bumps on your face. Boo. Also? We’ve texted about 80’s shows since then but when I wrote this, I couldn’t remember the show we were watching. Pick something from like 1984??? Could have been Different Strokes, Fantasy Island, Dukes of Hazard, Magnum PI, Cosby, um, something. I just picked MASH because it was on at night, and I liked it (it’s okay to disagree on that right).October 6, 2016 – 9:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Marina @ Parental Journey - Puking disease 😀 😀 I can’t believe how time flies.. My daughter is 3 years old – and it seems like she was a baby yesterday..October 4, 2016 – 7:05 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - UGH the time flying this is just cray-cray (as she’ll soon say and we don’t know what they’re talking about).October 6, 2016 – 9:56 pmReplyCancel

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