Just a thought… By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer. [Helen Hunt Jackson]
This Thursday marks the autumnal equinox: First Day of Fall.
My memories of this past summer are those of children and hours and days spent with dearest friends, of family togetherness and weather that turned sweetly perfect in July and carried on into August and rolled into September here on Vancouver Island.
The season began with a good-bye to one well-used and much-loved MINI convertible…
…and hello to another less-used but now equally loved…
… all with weather so perfect for having the top down, I added to my visor collection just to enjoy every minute.
One of our very proudest moments as grandparents came this past summer: when Colin, who’s turning eight in a few weeks, finally got the swing of balancing and pedalling a bike with no training wheels. This has been a project in the making for some two years on-and-off and now that he’s really got the hang of it, he feels like he’s flying.
Later that night, I tried to tell him that there’s a saying that goes, “It’s just like riding a bicycle,” meaning, it’s something that once you learn it, it’s a skill you never forget. Then I added, “You’ll always remember your Grandude teaching you how to ride a bike….”
He didn’t quite agree. “Oh, I don’t think so…I mean I’m seven now, so when I’m, like, 99?”
I answered, “I’m pretty sure you will. You’ll remember that it was your Grandude and you’ll think that maybe it was in your schoolyard and parking lot…you’ll remember that school’s name. You may not recall which summer it was, but you’ll remember your Grandude. I promise.”
He’s a wonderful teacher, my Rob. For example, he’ll likely teach Colin and Jane to use his sewing machine long before I show them how to bake (at least I can make a pretty good focaccia…) and he has always been the one to walk me through technology like shooting a blog, editing, adding pictures and so on. While I have learned other tech on my own, especially during Covid when I discovered how to make things like this:
I’m always grateful for a teacher who is patient, kind and most of all understanding when I have to get up and walk away because my frustration with myself and my computer skills have brought on a hot flash.
Rob will tell you I have taught him a few things, too, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you any. Probably patience, and when to turn off his hearing aids surreptitiously.
But what I’ve taught him – that’s not important. It’s what we teach our children and our grandchildren: the necessary lessons in bike riding, swimming, hitting a baseball, sinking a basketball, and above all, remembering always to think of the feelings of others. To put yourself in their shoes. To be kind.
We weren’t perfect parents, but we sure tried our best. We raised a child who was empathetic, wise beyond her years, gentle, funny, sarcastic and sensitive. She was a peacemaker and sounding board among her friends and co-workers.
And while there’s so much I do miss about our daughter, we know enough to make the most of everything we do have around us now: the love of family and the joy of knowing that Jane (soon to be three) will one day be riding in that school lot, too. And maybe that will be a memory of us also, and of one glorious summer, whenever it comes.
Have a beautiful week. I won’t have a journal for you here next week as Rob and I are going away and I promised to park my laptop (okay, just a little bit) but I’ll be with you on Facebook if you want to come by. And of course, Drift with Erin Davis sleep stories if you want the latest snooze. (Not news, snooze.)
Thank you. Happy Fall. Talk to you in October.