Summer's End

It's only August 30 but it was cold today—it didn't even break 20 degrees. Between that and the impendingness of back-to-school, I'm feeling that Fall urge to do something new and interesting. Where is my new backpack, my textbooks and paper, my list of classes with unfamiliar room numbers, my anticipation of learning something and meeting new people? Oh, that's right, overwhelmed by my children's lives. Which is fine, for a while. Cordelia, at least, has a new backpack. Delphine doesn't have any new school supplies because the school, curse them, provides everything she needs. Don't they know how much I love to buy school supplies? Although I did buy myself two pairs of pants and three pairs of shoes on sale at Lands' End!

I applied to take a Toronto Civics course offered by the City of Toronto, but I wasn't accepted. They were trying to achieve a high level of diversity in the participants, and I guess someone had already filled the straight white female spot. Boo. Sometime, not this term, I would like to take a writing course somewhere (if they turn out to be worthwhile), but this fall my only New and Exciting things will be Momming a Grade One-er and a Kindergartener, and midwifing my writing career. Which, come to think of it, is fairly huge, although entirely self-directed and so less fun than taking a class.

The girls and I had plenty of fun last week. On Wednesday we went to Centreville, an amusement park on Toronto's Centre Island. Delphine was petrified by the Bee Ride, and chose a stationary horse (not an up-and-down one) on the carousel. Cordelia loved everything and went on the (baby, but still scary!) roller coaster with me. Delphine's favourite thing was the pony ride, although she lined up for it for about twenty-five minutes and I swear the ride was only a minute and a half long. Lucky for me, I didn't line up with her—the heroic Kat did, while fending off a gaggle of badly raised little hooligans who were trying to cut ahead. Kat also took the girls on the Annoying Swan Ride, so I owe her big time.

Thursday we stayed in the neighbourhood; we went into the school to meet Cordelia's new teacher. I love her already—I'm so pleased she opened her classroom to us a few days before the start of school, because Cordelia has gone from being scared of going to school to being thrilled by the idea. It took Cordelia about thirty seconds to feel at home in her new classroom, and to make friends with her new teacher.

On Friday I took the girls, plus Ursa, to see the IMAX movie Under The Sea at the Science Centre. We were only going to stay for a while but we ended up spending the entire day there (and freaking out Ursa's parents). We visited a special exhibit on reptiles, and a special exhibit on spies (Delphine's favourite), and spent some time in the little kids' area. We capped it all off with the obligatory visit to the rainforest, and were home by five.

It was a genuine pleasure to spend the day at the Science Centre with the girls. Now that they're older, for one thing, and I've decided not to worry about them so much for another, I really enjoy being with them, and watching them enjoy themselves. Delphine and Ursa seemed to get a lot more value out of the Science Centre together than they do when they're alone—being able to talk over the exhibits and play off each other while they experimented really added meaning and depth to their experience. It was a real-life demonstration of the power of collaborative learning.

Next week we have more fun in store: tomorrow a friend is coming over with her brood to enjoy a belated birthday KFC feast; Tuesday I am looking after Ursa and her little brother Otis all day while their folks move—we will probably go to the library; Wednesday we have a playdate with Delphine's BFF. Delphine's BFF has a little sister for Cordelia to play with, and a mother for me to chat with, so it's a whole family playdate. Those are the best. Thursday Blake is taking the afternoon off and we are going to take High Tea at the Royal York, just because. And Friday the girls have their back-to-school haircuts at the Fiorio Academy.

Oh, and we're having a no-TV week. The girls have been watching way too much TV, so we cut them off for the week. Out of some misguided notion of fairness, Blake and I aren't watching TV all week either. I expect to do plenty of blogging, reading, and sleeping. Hm, that doesn't sound so bad.