Tomorrow is my first day in Grade 4! I am so excited to see all my school friends!
Yup. Tomorrow is back to school for Emelia. Summer seemed to blaze by in the blink of an eye—it feels like yesterday that we were celebrating the start of summer break. But here we are at the end of another amazing summer filled with more memories of camping than we had thought possible, and one that started with a surprise Disney Cruise for Emelia with her cousins. It truly has been one magical summer with lots of memories that will be with us for some time.
I’d be lying if I said we weren’t also ready for Emelia to be back at school too. At 9-going-on-16, it has painfully obvious – at times – this summer that the daycare isn’t enough for Emelia and then other times too much for Emelia to have to share her Mummy. We know that when she falls back into the fold of a daily routine that is challenging enough for her development that will make life before and after school with the daycare kids more palatable for her and (more importantly) less challenging for Danielle.
Given that Danielle knows she’s getting closer to the months where she spends more time in the house than out, it means we’re back into purge mode where we try to simplify the house by removing the clutter and getting rid of the things we don’t need. This also means we’ve gotten a lot more firm with finishing up all the projects in a state of almost finished for longer than we care to admit. We’ve started tackling them room-by-room in the house with the intent of starting from the top and working our way down.
The first room on our radar is my office (guest room when need be). A week ago we picked up a project in a beautiful mid century modern daybed that needs some refinishing that can double as a couch and a bed. The idea was to take out the crappy couch we got from Ikea and move it down the the basement for the daycare play area. And then to refinish the daybed and have it be in the office. With this project in motion, it put our focus on the office as the first room to tackle. First order was definitely to get on top of the mountain of shredding we needed to do as well as just generally clean up the pile it and hide it we have been doing for the last year. We also had to rearrange the room in order for the couch to fit. All of that has been done, and so far I am very happy with the results.
One of the things that I had been meaning to do when we cleaned up the office and when I had the space, was to move the turntable that I won a little over a year ago from the bedroom to the office. But, in order to do that, as well as, to be able to find a home for the iMac that I inherited from a friend and that Emelia has claimed, I needed to find a table to be home for both. Emelia and I spent most of Thursday all over the city at the used stores with no success so it was off to Home Depot to see what it might cost if we were to build one. And the good news was, it wasn’t going to be that expensive. So, she and I agreed to start a new woodworking project.
We have spent the better part of the weekend in any free moment, working on the front porch on this table. It’s certainly not going as fast as either of us would like, and there is way more sanding and staining than I would like… but, we do want to like how the project looks in the end so we have both learned to be a little more patient with it. The big fun for me is sharing all the I know and learned about woodworking from Grade 9 and at an age that Emelia can actually absorb and learn the things I did. And the best part is she is now at an age where she can start to learn how to use the tools of the trade. Tonight was especially fun as I got to show her how to remove dents in wood with a clothes iron and some wet paper towel—that trick comes straight from Grade 9 woodworking with Mr. Gable.
That project got sidelined today what with it being Labour Day and everyone with the day off, we headed over to East Park to have our last day of summer family fun on the water slides in their water park. We had a ton of fun and it was great to see Emelia confident enough to go off and do several of their slides all on her own while we got sit back and soak into deep memory banks the visions of her smiling ear-to-ear and running around having such joy. It was a perfect day for all of us and the best kind of way to add a punctuation dot on summer break.
As am I writing this Emelia is getting ready for bed and tonight’s routine is a little longer because tomorrow is a big day for her. And us really. She’s back to school, ready for another big year of learning and development for her, and we’re ready for all the same for her as she becomes the little version of the woman she’ll one day be. It’s exciting and scary and coming a little too fast… but most of all it’s just the best thing ever to have these front row seats to see her grow and develop and more importantly being her partner in all of this too. Sure, it’s back to school tomorrow. But it’s also just another day in a wonderful series ones that she keeps giving us too.
This week was the time of big changes around here. With the end of summer looming it meant some pretty big changes in daycare land. I sadly had to say some heavy hearted good-byes to three little ones who were heading off to school. This is the first big change in daycare I have had in a long time and even bigger change is that all of the children would be the last children from their family in my care. So it meant not only good-byes to the children I have come to love but also saying good-bye to their families. It was a hard week but excited to see my newest graduates go on to big kid school happy to know I had helped them in their most informative years with learning and love.
This weekend marked the end of the official summer with Emelia and her friends heading off to school tomorrow. This meant we had to squeeze as much fun we could in the weekend as well as finish the last minute prep for anything Emelia might need for the first day. She is for sure becoming a pre-teen girl. There was WAY more thought and prep into every detail of tomorrow morning, from her hair, her outfit, her nails and even her backpack.
This is really important stuff to a growing little girl. The biggest thing this weekend was preparing her hair. For quite a while Emelia has wanted to add some fun colour to her hair, we tried in the summer to do an experiment with some pops of bright colour. Well it failed, Emelia has far too dark of hair to get bright colours to stick or show in her hair we we had to take the next step which meant stripping some colour from her hair to get the turquoise to show. After about 2 hours of prep and research we had it done and it turned out super cute, so good that she wants to experiment with different colours next time we do the colour. She is adoring it and she is loving the reaction she is getting from her friends about how much they love it.
With all the important things taken care of for a pre-teen girl we could shift focus today to our end of the summer family fun day. This day was planned as a motivator to keep Emelia reading and learning in the summer, it wasn’t always successful but for the most part she has been very tolerant to her home being taken over by toddlers, her play times in the day dictated around what is safe for children 6 years or more younger than her, and she did go to tutoring all summer and did do a bit of reading a couple days a week. So she did earn it.
After a bit of back and forth on what she wanted to do, mapping out a budget and looking at the weather for today East Park was chosen as a destination. We arrived around noon and spent the entire day in and out of the water, going on the go-carts, going down more water slides, running around the splash pad and generally having a perfect end to an almost perfect summer.
This summer really has been amazing, Emelia had her days filled with camping trips, summer camps, visits to different friends cottages, and lots of time with me and the daycare kids. All in all it was an incredible summer. And as much as I am excited she is going back to school and the routine of it all with her peers I really am going to miss my helper and side-kick starting tomorrow. As much as there were moments where she had me pulling my hair out she was a great help and she’s at this amazing age where you can have real conversations with her, she can really help out and I get to see the amazing person she is becoming.
So my baby girl, slow down, stop growing up so fast!