It is Labour Day, the last day before the beginning of the new school year. We arrived home in the early afternoon from my parents’ house in Chilliwack – the final hurrah before the onslaught of ten months of regimented life. I don’t object to daily routine, in fact, this past week I have seen that my kids will benefit from the interactions of school (translation: they are getting bored at home and need to interact with other kids on a regular basis so they don’t fight quite so much).
But this has been a good summer. In past years we have struggled with balancing work and holidays, but this year we reached a happy medium, spreading out Darren’s holidays over the two months with a healthy mix of work and play. We have played at home, reorganized and reshuffled, visited my aunt and uncle in Victoria, attended Vacation Bible School, painted the master bedroom, spent a week in Lincoln City, Oregon, with my entire extended family, gone to play dates and birthday parties, visited the Burnaby Village Museum, and played some more at home. Today we are finishing off with a bang by making grape jelly, cleaning our outdoor toys, and attempting to get the kids to bed on time.
What a summer. Lots of transitions. Ben is showing an increased maturity and is more willing to help out around the house and with his siblings. I am learning to let go and let him do more. Cate is no longer a chubby toddler, but has stretched and learned to do new things like ride a bike. John is beginning toilet training and is falling asleep on his own in his cot (formerly his crib, we just removed the side). I am looking into the possibility of part time employment, while pursuing a couple of independent projects, and Darren continues to do research for his law firm. He is picking up the guitar more often these days – Ben and John sometimes accompany him on the small guitar and the ukelele.
I am so glad to have all these things in my memory bank. I will drive into the school parking lot tomorrow (on time, please God!!!) with a Grade 4, a newly minted Kindergartener, and an energetic two year old. Sometimes, in moments of doubt and distraction, I wonder if I am up to the responsibility of co-raising three human beings. Summertime helps to ground us and to unite us as we continue to write our family’s next chapter. Onward!
At about 6:30 this evening the doorbell rang. It was two of the neighbourhood boys – they had been racing on their bikes and Ben was hurt pretty badly. Darren went to assess the situation and he returned home towing the bike with Ben limping behind. Ben was indeed hurt. He had fallen on his right side and his elbow, hip, and knee had all been scraped raw. He held it together as he came inside, but as he climbed upstairs he fell apart. Poor guy. He is about as good with blood as I am, which is not at all.
Darren went to the grocery store for bandaids and other necessities while I cleaned up the injured cyclist. Dinner was late anyways because of the grape jam, but this pushed everything back by a good 45 minutes. Due to the extenuating circumstances, we broke the “no TV on a school night” rule and let the kids watch a few episodes of “Shaun the Sheep”. I’m still kind of surprised that everyone had lights out by 9:00 and all the kids were asleep by 9:30. Not ideal for a school night, but not bad, considering.
Now, shall I interpret this as an exciting end to the summer or an ominous beginning to the school year? Hmmm…