The night before the (it really feels like it is the) new year

freeman

We all know the days are long and the years are short, but summer, it just seems to fly by every year. There is a palpable freedom that comes with the summer months, best appreciated during one’s school years. It’s an easy comparison: sitting a desk or riding your bike/going for a hike/eating ice cream in the middle of the day/going to camp/wondering what to do to fill a day… Summer comes and we all take a deep breath to relax and when we release fully September has hit us and the new year starts.

When the kids were young I used to lie awake at night wondering if they’d like their teacher, if their friends would stay their friends, what they’d learn to love, what they’d learn to move on from. Now, with high school a part of our lives and another in middle school I find myself writing this late at night before the first day of school wondering, will they like their teacher, will their friends stay their friends, what will they learn to love and what will they learn to move on from. I guess not much has changed but it feels like the effects of these questions becomes more intense as they get older.

Thanks for the great memories summer 2017. Let’s make some new great memories over the next school year.

Crawling to the summer…

crawling

Is it just me or has this school year been the classic sprint marathon? As I stumble into the last day of June and the hopes and promises (and inevitable question “Dad, what should I do now?”) of summer, it feels like a good time for some self reflection.

September is always mental. It’s the true start of any year. School starts. Sport/art/community activities start and the malaise of summer days are quickly replaced with racing to an after school program (or two), the need to pack lunches, sign forms and plan and pay for winter activities. October was just as big a punch in the face, as was November. December offered a faint bit of hope – the calm before the holiday storm. January charged in and February and March were a blur. April offered a wee respite with winter activities ending and a week or two before summer activities began but it’s now a distant memory. May passed in a day and June has been the long painful crawl to the end.

I know it’s not just me as I’ve talked to other parents who’ve said they are “done”. We’ll use the next couple of months to recoup and refresh with days on the dock or hikes in the mountains depending on where we all live. G&T’s are not geographically specific. So let’s raise a glass of our favourite beverage and cheers our effort. We made it through another year of permission forms, sick kids, car pools, meal plans, laundry needs, project deadlines, homework dread and never ending cheque writing. Enjoy the summer and rest up. September is looming in the distance…

Snot season

snot season

Snot season, I like it. It got me thinking that maybe we should just rename the whole winter/spring/summer/fall thing to the seasons that we parents really feel. I created a new “4 seasons” wheel below. If you agree, lemme know. If you think there is a more damning ailment for a particular season, lemme know that too!

 

seasons

A letter to my boy at camp.

ben camp

(And just in case my writing was a bit sloppy, here it is typed out…)

My boy…You were so very brave when we dropped you off. Two weeks away from home is a big deal and the magnitude of your undertaking is not lost on us. It’s been 5 days now and I want to write you a letter that explains how much I miss you, how proud I am of you and how I think about you every single day. I want to write and tell you that tears are not a sign of weakness, they are a symbol of your sensitivity. I want to write that there is no way I could have gone to camp on my own at only 9, without knowing anyone else, and that I admire your courage. I want to tell you that there will be nice people and mean people and that you have the strength to know the difference. That freedom from your parents is a great thing, that it’s ok to be scared and that with risk can also come reward. Challenge yourself. Question yourself. Have fun. Instead, I wrote a postcard detailing the weather and I can only hope that reading between the lines, you’ll know I love you and think you’re awesome.

And please click on the following link to see a sketch I created when my daughter went to camp: I wanted to tell you…

A few observations from the first month of summer

Back from a month long sojourn with some sketches to share. A broken clavicle was NOT the best way to kick things off… collarbone But some of us were more concerned than others about recovery… zonedout I didn’t really do this (see below) but it had been one of those tough days where it felt like we were just trying to fill the time and summer had just started, so yeah, I did feel a bit like I was in a much more comfortably appointed prison sentence… oneweekdown Visits with one’s cousin can lead to phrases I never thought I’d utter towards my son… highheelsrun Early morning runs can wreak havoc with one’s anatomy…groinshurt

Signs we’re imbibing too much – Part 1

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cocktailhour

Tucking a collared shirt into one’s gym shorts qualifies as “dressing up” when one is 8

golfdressup