Get out of the way, summer! Fall's coming through

Marc Lalonde
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Autumn weekends are a rare treasure indeed

parenting

There really is no better metaphor for the way life seems to re-set itself for the coming year than the weekend gone by. My daughter, her friends, and her teammates all got back onto the ice last weekend for the first of many ringette practices throughout the year, at the same time as the annual Pointe Claire House League Soccer Tournament capped the summer off in fine fashion.

It was the perfect metaphor for September, you see. The summer gets a symbolic end, and the new school year gets underway, but with small modifications from last year. For kids, it's fairly familiar, but new teams and age categories mean new teammates and new friends, just like the beginning of the school year brings new classmates, new teachers and new friendships. It's like a two-day catharsis out of the holding pattern that summer allows us to get into – 'we'll just do it at the end of the summer' – is a familiar refrain at our house. It allows us to mentally put some of the stresses of the other nine months of the year behind us. We emerge from our summer cocoons as fall butterflies, ready to take on the school year

But at a certain point, the listlessness of the dog days of summer begins to pile up, and no one likes feeling that way, so like the proverbial batteries that needed recharging previously, we've reached our maximum power level and are ready to do it all over again.

(Remind me I feel this way when the short days and long, cold nights of January descend upon the landscape in a few months)

It's a rapid transition, too. From soccer shorts and bathing suits to skates, sticks and – thanks to an energy-transfer project that has closed Pointe Claire's Bob Birnie Arena until late September – sub-zero temperatures at Bonventure Ice Rink on Cote de Liesse in Dorval. All in one day, too.

The excitement is palpable, and with parents across the West Island gearing up for what promises to be a busy few weeks of autumn preparations, hockey tryouts, dance and music classes, winter swimming and diving practices and you-name-it, it looks like most of us will be entirely too busy to do anything but settle into a routine of running around like chickens with our heads cut off. It's busy, yes, but exhilarating. The humdrum part of the calendar hasn't yet arrived and the promise of something new never fails to excite those who like that sort of thing.

Last week, we brought you the news of the Ecomuseum's free day for kids under 15, accompanied by a parent. The Sept. 16 event is a great way to get to know the Ecomuseum and all its playful critters. So if somehow, you manage to get a few hours free, I highly recommend the Ste. Anne de Bellevue animal sanctuary for a visit. Who knows? You may want to return, or even become a member. Call 514-457-9449 or visit them online at www.ecomuseum.ca.

Organizations: Pointe Claire House

Geographic location: Pointe Claire, Dorval, West Island

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