On The Other Side
Golden, mellow and achingly beautiful September is here again.
For the most part, the month is a delightful potpourri of crispness, of the rich colours of old gold and brilliant tangerine and of a bountiful harvest.
It smells good, too. It smells like the colours and the big yellow school buses and the harvest and sunshine all got mixed together.
But, September is also a time of learning, of challenges and of new beginnings.
School. Music lessons. Hockey. Football. Homework.
The routines, the activities, the schedules seem like a whole lot of interruptions in the seemingly endless expanse of autumn days.
But, wait, that only happens in summer. That is when we get those long days that are all about fun and tossing Frisbees on the beach and hanging out and doing nothing.
Suddenly everyone is busy.
It’s good. There is a lot to be said for organized play, for the simple fact we have to do dishes, homework, practice piano and respond to the endless alarm clock signally ‘stuff to do’ in our mind every day.
Weirdly enough the end of a structured day can result in an overall ‘happy’ feeling that seems curiously absent otherwise.
My grandkids taught me that little rule, not in so many words, but just by being who they are!
I, being the grandma, am also the observer. I watch, I listen and, if I was much wiser, I would offer advice, but, realistically, I am still waiting for the wiser part.
So, I just watch and listen.
Two of them I found out, don’t like recess.
One of my grandsons, a little boy with hair the colour of burnished wheat and eyes so blue you can swim in them, took the very first step in his academic learning career this September.
Off he went to kindergarten, leaving behind his favourite TV show, his mom, his dad, his two little brothers and his trusty toy helicopter.
The excitement fairly bubbled out of him as the day drew closer.
He told me seriously in one of our grandma to grandson heart to heart conversations that he needed to go to school.
He explained that it was time he moved on. He was quite ready to leave his mom with the responsibility of caring for his siblings, assuring her he would be home at night along with his dad to check on things on the home front.
He showed me his markers, his pencils, his backpack and his brand new jeans with pride.
I talked to his mom the other day on the phone to see how the kindergarten boy was doing.
“He likes the school part, but he doesn’t like recess,” she said. “The whole school goes out and he’s scared.”
I pictured the little guy on a playground with all those other kids, some of them really big and I, too, felt scared.
One of my granddaughters began Grade 7 this year.
She, too, is not a fan of recess.
I look at her. She is so pretty, I think, admiring the way her blonde hair sweeps the upturned collar of her jean jacket and her spontaneous smile is as lovely as the sun, itself.
She is busy. Piano lessons. Gymnastics. Homework. New school! New teachers! New friends!
But recess, that’s a challenge yet to be overcome.
I wish I were smarter so I could make that challenge just a little easier.
Maybe I will make them cookies! That’s what grandmas are supposed to do.
Maybe that will help!