It is September 5th, Labour Day, the day before school starts, the end of the summer holidays. September has always felt like the new year to me. It has always been a time of new beginnings, changes and transitions.
As a child, I remember hearing the crickets at night, and knowing that summer was coming to an end; knowing that the school year would soon begin; that the days would grow shorter and colder once more. I would feel sad that the slow, lazy days of summer were giving way to schedules and routines, but I would also feel excited about going back to school, about seeing friends and class mates again, about starting a new year of school.
As a parent, September emerged once again, as a time of change. September has ushered in most of the transitions in my children’s lives as they moved from child care to kindergarten, kindergarten to grade school, grade school to high school. Each September was marked by a flurry of activity along with a mixture of excitement and anxiety.
As the parent of an adult child, September has taken on a new meaning. Our home has been chaotic for weeks while our son built shelves, dissembled electronic equipment, and gathered belongings for his new home. Our son, who dreaded school all his life, has been eagerly anticipating this school year. He has been excited to get back to college; to move into his new home; to start the new school year. It has been thrilling to watch him bloom; to see him become clear about what he wants to do with his life; to watch him become passionate about his craft.
Yesterday, like parents across the country, we helped out son move into his new home. We left him and his house mates with a house full of boxes, climbed into our car, hot, sweaty and dirty, and drove away. We were quiet driving home. Feeling proud of the job we have done raising him. Feeling excited for him. And feeling sad about the changes in our little family unit; realizing that the years that we have had living together are coming to an end.
Today, we spent the day cleaning up, reorganizing the house, and moving furniture and pictures to fill the empty spaces left in our house. Tomorrow, we will begin to think about how we are going to fill the empty spaces in our lives.