good-bye summer

Well, we said good-bye to summer. This past weekend, Emily and Sophia camped with some of their cousins, some of my cousins, some of my cousins' kids, and some of my cousin's kids' kids.  Lots of extended family.  It was time for the annual deWit jaunt to the Pinery (a provincial park).  Ralph and I were thankful that our older two girls could take in the fun under the watchful eyes of my sisters, my brother, and their spouses.  One of Emily's friends joined the girls on Sunday.

Going to the Pinery for Labour Day has been something I remember doing since being a little kid. The visits became less frequent when we lived in Minnesota, and now camping with Rachel and Janneke doesn't work well.  Yet, no matter how long it's been since the last visit, the place seems so familiar.  Even the steps to Burley Beach seem like the same steps I climbed as a kid, willing myself to say good-bye to Lake Huron on the last weekend of camping.

While Ralph took care of Rachel and Janneke at home, I traveled to the park to pick up the girls.  We had a day of rain and sun with great family traditions, and as I packed them up, the girls said, "Mom, we need to say good-bye to the beach."  Daughters of their mother.

Wouldn't you know it, as we climbed those stairs, we could hear the waves calling -and there was not a soul on the beach.  The darker clouds were slowing passing over us and the sky was light over the water.

In time, the wading turned into a full-out swim with all their clothes on.

It only seemed natural to catch them literally dancing in the waves.  Sophia yelled out above the sound of the waves, "Now this is making a memory!"

Tonight's exceptionally cool weather seems appropriate as we mentally shift into autumn mode -though the official day of fall is a few weeks away.  The girls packed their lunches, and the house is gearing up for a return to school.  

Rachel begins her first day of Kindergarten at the Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre School, housed in the same building as NPCC.  We are thankful for the familiarity of NPCC, and we are also looking forward to meeting new faces with the school team.

The newest aspect to this adventure: Rachel will take a bus to school each day.  The NPCC School has a fleet of short buses for transportation, and the school team tells parents that the ride is often the most favourite part of the day for the kids.   (Yep, I am reminded of the words "riding the short bus" used as an insult to someone's intelligence.  Well, that's my beautiful girl on the short bus.  Drive and joke carefully.)

I have to prepare her backpack yet, but Aunt Alida sent along a new stack of bibs.  I think this is the perfect back-to-school gift for Rachel.  She'll be in a class of five students with a team of therapists, EA's and a teacher.  We hope Rachel enjoys being with her new class just as she loved being in the preschool program last year.

Admittedly, I am looking forward to the routine.  Last week was busy with an appointment every day for Rachel.  We had seating clinic on Monday (measured for future wheelchair), hearing test on Tuesday (her big sisters got to help the audiologist!), a visit to Mac for neuro muscular issues, two meetings with new nurses on Thursday, and a visit to her new classroom -also on Thursday.  

Now it is time to sort through the paperwork, return phonecalls, and write thank-yous.  It will be a different year for our nursing schedule (hours will be in the first part of the day), and we will be welcoming new nurses to replace others no longer in our home.  I will also be on my own with Janneke a bit; I am looking forward to that special time.   By late afternoon, it will be a full house again, but thankfully, both Em and Soph are able to do more around the house.  I was told that supper tomorrow night will be cheesy tortillas with chocolate sprinkles on top.  Yum.

Peace for your week.  May you be given the strength needed, one day at at time.