In the run-up to the end of October and Doomsday in November, I’d like to take a moment to stop and reflect on how much I like September.

September is the most-important month in my existence. I mean, not to get all existential on you, but the importance of September in Andyland starts with the fact that my mother was born in September. Without that event, someone else would be writing the column on this page once a week (and, for many of you, your blood pressure would be more stable).

September’s significance continues beyond that fact. Joy was also born in September, and availability of venues meant we got married in September instead of an October wedding like we had initially discussed.

I say “discussed,” but any guy knows that our input into wedding planning is usually “Uh-huh,” “Yes, dear,” and “Why are you inviting them?!!?”

Sixteen years ago, Joy and I got married in Reynoldsville. Dad did the ceremony in our tiny church, and we had the reception in The Foundry. We even took a lovely carriage ride through town. Yeah, it wasn’t very long, but how often do you get to pretend to be royalty? Of all our wedding pictures, the picture of us in the carriage is the only one still up.

Sixteen years is a long time, if you think about it. I’m sure some readers out there have been married for 20, 40, or even 60-plus, but I’m amazed at how much the world can change in 16 years. I mean, Google “images of phones from 2004” if you want to see how much things have changed. Joy and I have been through many, many phones since our first September together, but we’re still going strong.

Eight Septembers ago, my son was born. Timmy’s birth was a terrifying experience that started with amniotic fluid decreasing, Joy being pre-eclamptic, and a spinal gone wrong that led to a 45-minute period where I sat with Timmy in the nursery, both of us crying. He thought the world was too cold and bright. I thought Joy was dead because none of the doctors would talk to me. Since then, his birthday in September has been a happy occasion, usually marked with “Paw Patrol” or “Thomas the Tank Engine” decorations and cakes.

And Joy’s fine.

Yes, I have three birthdays and an anniversary to keep track of in September. One of my favorite advancements in the last 16 years is Amazon’s two-day shipping (saving anniversaries and birthdays for me). It’s easy to lose September, though, if you don’t have important events like these to remind you that the month is here. August leads up to school starting and October brings in the Halloween madness. The political campaigns ramp up for that end-date in November. Kids feel the slight chill in the air and start thinking about Christmas. But September, unassuming little September, holds its ground, giving us gradually-cooling weather, slowly-changing leaves, and starry evenings.

The other day, Joy, Timmy, and I got matching “Doctor Who” shirts and took a family photo. We had done something similar when he was 1 or so, and at the time, he didn’t know he loved the show. Now, ask him who his favorite doctor is. He is my biggest September marker. Each September, around his birthday, Facebook pops up a picture of him from birthdays past. It’s still him – the bright red hair and big smile confirm it – but he changes so much from September to September. For a while there, the pictures Joy and I took in September looked more or less the same. Then he came along, and you can see how much things change from year to year.

We’re approaching the height of campaign and pumpkin spice season (your opinion as to which is worse may vary). Before we get there, and my columns crank the politics to 11, I thought it might be good to stop and appreciate September. I think it’s a good idea to find times to sit down and be thankful, to think back over the amazing and wonderful things each life has. September gives me a great opportunity because it is so important in my world, but it’s not the only time I stop to be thankful. It’s just when I’m aware of it.

Happy September, everyone!

q q q

Andrew Bundy is a husband, father, teacher, writer, and nerd. You can reach him at bundycolumn@gmail.com.