In many ways this has been the longest summer on record for our family, and in many ways it feels like it didn’t even happen at all.
It started with the end of the school year and our middle son’s high school graduation. T’was a beautiful, warm sunny day, perfect for the young women in pretty prom dresses and cute shoes, not so good for the young men in three-piece tuxedos, but such is the risk and benefit of a prom at the end of June.
Less than seven days later, that same boy spent his first night in the hospital and his last night on Aug. 1.
All those summer nights in between? Same thing — in the hospital — well, except for five nights at the beginning of July, but those turned out to be a tease.
This has been a stellar summer, too. We watched the heat rising off the pavement from his fourth-floor hospital room. I welcomed the warm sun on my face for the two minutes it took me to walk out to the hospital parking lot to get a latte that was being delivered or pick up a bag of clean clothes.
But August hit, he was released, and we prepared to make up for lost time.
Turns out work was pretty busy while I was with our injured boy so catching up proved to be quite the task.
Hubby tore his Achilles tendon in the middle of all the drama and was healing, so our house needed more than its usual share of TLC. I didn’t break my neck with that mind you — summer lasts for such a short while and I wasn’t spending the tiny bit we had left scrubbing walls.
Now I know my head has been in a bajillion different places over the past two months, but I was genuinely shocked when someone mentioned the upcoming long weekend.
Long weekend? Really? What’s the occasion? “Now don’t get excited,” I told myself, “Surely it’s one of those holidays that only a handful of people get.” So like an idiot, I questioned, “What long weekend is that again?” and was completely floored to hear that it’s Labour Day.
What? Already? But that would mean that school starts the following week, that along with all the catch up already happening. I really need to get out and buy exercise books and highlighters, and that August is nearly (choke!) over? Nooooo!
I knew it would happen, but as much as you prepare yourself you’re never ready for it. In our defence, we had very little time for preparation this summer, so I am voting for a do-over. Anyone?
Fine. We can’t change the calendar and certainly can’t turn back time. Incidentally, if we could, the dates would not be the first thing I’d change about this past summer, that’s for sure!
So we’ll just have to accept the inevitable, that our shorts will soon be packed away for another nine months, that our beautiful green gardens will soon be brown — then buried in snow, and that our brilliant pink evening skies will soon be dark by mid-afternoon and pitch-black by suppertime.
What am I saying? September in our province is stunning! We still have warm sunny days and beautiful evenings. I remember our boys grumbling about having to go to school during those gorgeous days last year. It was awesome — the weather, not the grumbling. Colours begin to change and, with that setting September sun turning leaves appear more brilliantly orange than any painter could ever reproduce.
September smells different; fresh, but pungently distinct. And because it’s the ninth month of the year, we especially appreciate those phenomenal days even more. A barbecue tastes better, clothes on the line smell outstanding, and sunglasses are even cooler.
It’s all good. Long weekend or not, we’re still going to keep the shorts out for another little while. As for cleaning my house, we’ve only been home for a month, not nearly enough time to focus on everything. Something simply has to give!
Email Paula Tessier at email@example.com.