This has been the best summer I've ever had. I really didn't understand parents who fully embraced the summer until this year after Grade 1 for Ava: the rigours of the backpack, the school lunch, the agenda, the 8:30 am rush out of the house - when that was over I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and now I actually get it. Summer is important for the break from routine, and I dived into it headfirst.
We've traveled a lot this summer, which has its rewards and its pitfalls. When the scales are weighed and balanced, they tip toward the good, and memories have been made that we will all keep forever. We are all ready to go home, and I suppose that's a positive thing, because school starts for Ava on Tuesday, so the summer party is winding to a close no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Travel is pleasant for the soul, and it expands the mind, but you are always at the mercy of other people and other schedules when you are with a group, and after a period of time I long to be back in my own space with my own routine. I got out my calendar this week and opened it to September, October and November and began plotting out dates for church homegroup, writer's group, stamping classes, writing classes, MOPS, library board meetings and all of the other regular commitments that will roar back to life in a week or two.
I was pleased to find out that I was ready to think about these things, all of a sudden, and it wasn't distressing at all. So much of life is like that - when we least expect it, we find we are ready for another change. For a few weeks now, I've been talking to William about his new preschool, trying to prepare him for this new adventure, and he remains adamant that he won't ever go to school, or in fact anywhere away from me.
That's the hardest part of the fall for me, easing him into an experience that will ultimately be good for him, but his uncertainty and fear choke him like a dust cloud that he can't see through, and no amount of discussion seems to be helping him. We'll have to take it day by day, step by step, and I'm grateful for the understanding of the new preschool to help him manage his anxiety. He'll be going with many of his friends, so all of these things should help.
Ava can hardly wait to see her friends and get back to her school environment. She always pretends a confidence that she doesn't necessarily feel, so there may be a few bumps to ease her back in, but I know that her experience will be a positive one. Hopefully she will light the way for her brother, who often takes his cues from her optimism.
Last September everything changed for me. I went back to work part-time in mid-August, began my film class at U of C in September, and by Thanksgiving I knew I could finish my screenplay and try to make it as a professional writer. It was the final puzzle piece, clicking into place, and pushing me forward with a surge of unshakable confidence in myself. It was a personal awakening; beautiful and inspiring, and I changed last fall in a way that has provided meaning and colour to my life in a completely new way, so I can't wait to see what this fall brings.