And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon.

Yesterday I was so melancholy; the summer was just so full of fun and sunshine and it felt, yesterday, like a plug had been pulled. Suddenly, it’s fall. Suddenly, it’s back to school. Suddenly, my children are all grown up with gangly limbs and giant teeth and floppy clown feet.

Of course, none of this was sudden at all. There’s been a slight chill in the air for the last ten days, the kids have had gangly limbs, giant teeth, and floppy clown feet for a while now, and as for back to school, well, it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming. Fortunately getting back into routine is exactly like riding a bike; we have all adjusted exactly as if summer never happened. The only one in our family who hasn’t adjusted is the dog, who is moping weirdly around the house and then flopping sadly on the floor. Or maybe I’m projecting here.

It’s gloomy and drizzly, and so I decided to work on a savoury new pasta sauce. I turned on the radio to eliminate the creepy silence in the house, and as the warm smells of garlic and mushrooms filled the kitchen, Landslide came on the radio. LANDSLIDE. On the first day of school, as I live and breathe. Maybe the radio programmers have a maudlin sense of humour, because right after that was Talking In Your Sleep by Gordon Lightfoot, and really, what could be more melancholy than that combination? At least it wasn’t Cat’s in the Cradle, I guess.

This past weekend we attended another wedding, and a few days prior to that I took the kids up to stay at my parents’ place at the lake. Rarely do I do a solo road trip with the kids; I don’t like highway driving as a rule, and the QEII is a crazy speedway at the best of times. I headed out Thursday around lunchtime, and the light drizzle quickly turned into pouring rain. Two hours of driving in pouring rain with almost no visibility pretty much did me in. By the time I arrived at my parents’ place – at which the sun was shining and there was no rain whatsoever – my hands hurt from white-knuckling the steering wheel and I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. The kids, on the other hand, were completely oblivious to my plight, having donned their headphones to watch a movie in the back. I felt somewhat virtuous for shielding them from my driving angst, so immediately accepted a nice vodka cooler and a seat on the porch. I had to make the return trip all by myself a few days later – having left the kids with Grandma – and happily, it was completely uneventful.

So ends the summer, I guess. The first morning of Grade Four and Five seemed to go off without a hitch; everyone is happy with their teachers and their classes, so hopefully it’s a good omen for the year to come!


The first time ever they have “dressed up” for school.


Who’s excited? THIS GUY. Also the other guy.


  1. I hear you about the melancholy. My son – also my youngest – started grade one today. The house is too quiet. But, I made a batch of your chocolate zucchini bread so that helps.

  2. I can’t win on this front. One day I’m counting down the days until they’re in school so I can hear myself think and the next day they’re gone and I miss them. Mine have been back at school for a little over a week and it still feels odd when they leave the house, even though June had day camp five weeks this summer and Noah for three, so it’s not even that unusual for them to be gone. There’s just a lot I thought we’d do that we didn’t somehow..

  3. I was a bloody mess yesterday in the morning – I hate the day-before-back-to-school anyway, plus we’d gotten back from a whirlwind two-day trip to Toronto for a Jays game the night before. I couldn’t stop crying and I felt like I couldn’t take a deep breath. Happily, we were invited to a last-minute barbecue at our friends’ place so I was distracted for the afternoon by food and friends and beer. I took a sleeping pill, slept like a log, woke up rested to take Eve to school where everything went swimmingly, got groceries, worked out and I HARDLY KNOW MYSELF. Of course, Eve went home with a friend after school and now I’m getting a little weepy because I haven’t seen her ALL DAY, so I’ll be back to my normal neurotic puddle any minute now.

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