This past week, the first week of back to school for my kids, has been one of reacquainting ourselves with routines forgotten about since June. The kids are starting to remember what it was like to get up before the crack of dawn and get into bed before the stroke of midnight.
The last few weeks of summer were filled with a bitter-sweet rush to do all the activities of summer before they were no longer able to them any more.
Sean and Ceilidh were busy, trying to slow time, so as to prolong the summer and delay the return to school. And then there was Dev, a boy who complained and screamed and made life miserable for those around him. I spent hours trying to understand his misery. Why was he crying, why would he fight with me whenever I tried to amuse him?
The last weekend of the summer, officially known in these parts as the Labour Day Long Weekend, arrived and we packed the family up, the trailer up, my Mom packed up her mini van and the we all drove up north to a provincial park located an hour west of Sudbury, near a little town called Massey. There we set up tents and spent the weekend living in the provincial park Chutes.
Dev was amused with the drive and camping, but still he had an air of misery about him. We went to the beach, he drove his Dad’s Jeep on the beach and made huge splashes in the water. We went for hikes and walks, we enjoyed a reptile show and Dev got to hold a corn snake.
And still he complained like a curmudgeon.
And then we returned home and the next day was the return back to school, and suddenly Dev’s little grey cloud was gone. Misery was replaced by joy and suddenly I remembered, once not to long ago Dev hated vacations. Christmas, spring and summer breaks were new experiences in torture for me.
And then a few years ago, Dev got a teacher that destroyed his love of school, from that moment on he was upset when going to school and happy to be home.
So, for the past few years I’ve had a break from the sadness Dev experienced during vacations, so I forgot all about it.
And then this summer he returned to that misery, and it never dawned on me that this was why he was sad.
He’s back at school and happy to be, and it tickles me pink to watch him loaded onto his bus and heading to school with a huge smile on his face, while his brother and sister are now feeling all the sadness and making those around them miserable. I watch them go to school and their faces are full of sadness.
Life is back to the way it should be.
Happy times indeed.