Fall is short for “snowfall”

It is now officially fall and as I write this, the cold rain is falling, soon to turn into wet snow. Well, the beautiful summer was nice while it lasted, so I won’t complain.

I might complain just a little though. Wednesday was the first cross-country meet of the year, and it poured rain before and after the race, with a temperature of eight degrees. At least it didn’t rain during, I thought. I ran into a friend who looked at me, aghast. What are you WEARING? she said. I had come prepared; two thick sweaters, my good-to-minus-30 long winter coat, legwarmers, winter boots, gloves, scarf, and an umbrella. It worked, I wasn’t cold. My son, on the other hand, wore his regulation shorts and t-shirt, refusing to wear the regulation sweatpants and hoodie for the race, as it would “slow him down.” Sweatpants are not aerodynamic, MOM.

Fortunately I had spoken with my friend (HI FLORENCE) who is a seasoned cross-country mom; she had warned me that the parking situation would be a nightmare, and she was correct. There WERE a few hundred kids there from all over the quadrant of the city, and so you can imagine the driving/ parking/ people cutting off other people to squeeze into a non-existent parking spot situation. I was prepared, and yet I wasn’t prepared, as I had no idea of the magnitude of the meet. Anyone who knows me knows I have a bit of anxiety about driving to new places, finding parking, and getting lost, since my sense of direction is – to understate things – very poor. However! I was brimming with a bit of confidence since on Tuesday I parallel parked my minivan into a tiny spot, without hitting the curb or crying, and spacing myself perfectly between the two other vehicles. People, it was a thing of beauty. I felt like this:

But without the cigarette.

Despite that boost to my self-esteem, I did not feel equal to the task of parallel parking in the pouring rain, with a line of forty cars behind me, and so I found a spot on a side street instead.

Speaking of driving, whatever happened to the thank-you wave? Personally, if someone courteously lets me merge in busy traffic, or makes space so I can change lanes smoothly, I give at least one – and usually two – thank-you waves. The first wave is to acknowledge the courteous behaviour, and the second wave comes after I have successfully merged/ changed lanes. ALWAYS. However, when I pay it forward with my own courteous driving, I receive a thank-you wave less than five percent of the time. Why? I mean, I am driving courteously for reasons other than to receive a thank-you wave, namely to have good karma and also to not be an asshole, but it is NICE to receive one.

People, let’s teach our children to do the thank-you wave. At this point in my life, I am generally so happy and, frankly, astounded to receive a wave that I give the single-hand-off-the-wheel acknowledgement of said wave. It’s like the thank-you note to the thank-you note, which may be overkill but I regret nothing.

Tonight is the parents’ meeting for the Quebec French trip; I seem to be in some kind of denial/ disbelief that yes, my thirteen-year-old is actually going across the country without me and without the ability to text me. Deep breaths. I suppose this is character building, or training for the day when the little birds eventually leave the nest, texting or calling once a week out of a sense of duty.

Deeeeeeep breaths.


  1. We’re still wearing shorts and t-shirts and running the fans here. I ordered some cold weather clothes for myself (turtlenecks, a sweater and a flannel shirt) and I’ve been wishing for some colder weather so I can wear them.

    I do the thank you wave as a pedestrian when a car stops to let me cross the street.

  2. Favorite parts:

    1. “Well, the beautiful summer was nice while it lasted, so I won’t complain.

    I might complain just a little though.”

    2. “I parallel parked my minivan into a tiny spot, without hitting the curb or crying”

    3. “I mean, I am driving courteously for reasons other than to receive a thank-you wave”

    The first track meet I attended, it was mild and cool but not chilly, just light-jacket weather, and I looked with amazement at the people wearing down coats and putting blankets over their laps. Were they ILL or something? Perhaps consumptive or tuburculo..tic(?) or something similarly old-fashioned requiring a lap blanket? An hour later I was wondering if any of those brilliant, brilliant people would let me lean against them for warmth before I perished.

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