Turning Over a New Leaf

leafThis fall, I am turning over a new, brilliantly coloured leaf. I am looking on the bright, shadow-casting side, and turning my sunscreen-coated frown upside down.

The frosty glass that holds my slushy summer beverage is half full.

Other years, while August slips away and the beginning of September looms ever closer, my ornate, voluminous glass has been half empty.

For the sake of my emotional health and well-being, I feel the need to see this year’s fresh September beginning as positive, rather than pining away for what has come to an end: this 12th and 9th summer of my children’s lives, never to enjoy with them again.

Over.

…but I do digress.

As I embrace all that is exciting about this time of year, I also find myself appreciating what is comically ironic.

My kids love their “winter” sports…which began the first week of September. Although both eagerly anticipated returning to the ice, they are feeling the pinch as ice time cuts into pool time, already drastically reduced by school time.

They happily hop from school bus, to the neighbour’s pool, to arena, and sometimes back to pool. When the sun begins to set, (earlier each night, it seems…sigh) I retrieve the motley assortment of items airing out and drying on the clothes line:  dripping towel, shin pad, deflated pool toy, hockey pants, bathing suit, hockey glove, towel…

The kids’ first real shift away from summer activities began with power skating. Not to be outdone, along with most parents I know, we have actively begun our own steady schedule of power spending.  At a dizzying pace, cash flies smoothly, but with little control, out of our wallets.

Luckily, since my glass is now half full, I see nothing but the pleasure of every dollar being well spent as these experiences enrich our kids’ lives and help them become well- rounded individuals. (I do believe I’m getting the hang of it!)  The ability to purchase groceries for the next couple of weeks might be somewhat limited, but the growling of our stomachs will almost certainly be drowned out by the cheering at the arena.

And who amoung us doesn’t appreciate the opportunity to get back into a regular routine, during which children are known to thrive while living within rigid and confining (oops) boundaries and routines.

With the kids back at school, I undeniably have more time to accomplish some tasks that just don’t seem important enough to tackle when they are around.

One such task, and another example of how seasons can collide, is spring cleaning. I have to admit, this has not occurred at my house in the spring since I had children.  Most years, if all goes well, the previous winter’s dirt will be washed away only slightly prior to when the coming year’s snow flies.

And how can we not look forward to switching back to a wardrobe that has been tucked away for a few months of sunshine and warmth. Like the old saying goes, what is old is new again!

But speaking of old…It occurs to me that if my frosty drink is only half full, and my grade 6 and 4 kids are absent from the deck, I can refill it without having to worry about relinquishing my comfortable reclining chair. Although the dog is quick to claim it as her own, she knows by my scowl, that even though I forgot to say “seat saved” that seat is mine.

So, maybe half empty isn’t all bad after all.

Either way, Cheers to new September beginnings!

Originally published in the Waterloo Region Record