Change in the Air

Summer is drawing to a close. It’s been a beautiful summer, mostly, in terms of weather; the best we have had in years. We were away and missed the humidity festival that was Ontario in late July, so for us, we’ve really enjoyed some gorgeous summer weather.

So in that respect, I am kind of sad to see the end of summer. I would like the lovely weather to carry on and on.

But it does not. The past few days have been downright cool. The pool is starting to have a hard time holding the heat during the cool overnight temperatures. The tip-top of our tree had started to turn gold. And that means fall is upon us.

Even though it is still officially summer, September starts next week and with it, school is back in the following week. And really, that means fall to me.

And I am okay with that, really. Fall is my favourite season.

I like the change from summer to fall. There are lots of good things happening at this time of year.

School is an important one. That Girl loves school, and now she will be in grade two. Any time now, I hope to get a call from school to get working on her IEP and meet with her teacher and the special ed lead to plan for the coming year. In reality, it means I need to begin prodding them to start the process, and I really cannot do that until school is in because they will not respond to my requests (especially not until labour disputes are resolved). So, for my part, I need to start thinking about what I will need to provide them with when we can get going on the IEP, and in the short term, ramp up Stinkerbelle’s homework a bit so she can hit the ground running, even if it’s still from behind her peers.

There are the practical things that go along with it, too. I have purchased backpacks for this year (a Frozen themed one, OF COURSE, and one with unicorns on it). I’ve picked up some clothes. I need to start looking for snowsuits and boots. And I have registered That Girl for her fall and winter extracurricular activities — karate, swimming and (new this winter, but one she has often asked for) a learn-to-skate class.

Along those lines, we are also starting to think ahead to school preparation on a more practical level. We need to ensure her visual planning calendar is ready with all the activities she will be doing this fall, so we can keep it updated and she has a reference to help her plan her weeks. We’ll need to add in her regular school assignments, her library days, special homework assignments, Dad’s soccer night… and take out summer things like vacation and swimming.

And we will need to implement a daily visual calendar, so that she has something to use to make sure her backpack is packed each morning with everything she needs for her day. I also need to make a checklist she can carry and refer to each day to remind her what to bring home each evening.

So we need to get cracking on some practicalities.

But we have also started thinking ahead about practical things around the house, too. Now that we’ve had a week of cooler weather, suddenly I am in the mood to cook again, which happens in fall. The harvests are coming in with so much choice available at our local farm market, and fresh local produce looking more appealing at the grocery store. There is the return to heartier fare, and soups and stews and breads. We’ve already made some muffins for BDH’s breakfasts and snacks at work. That Girl has put in requests for chocolate chip muffins and some veggies and dip for her lunches at school.

And BDH’s health recently has indicated a new need to revisit our eating habits, and so meal planning is in order. (Eating better, after a summer of barbeques and convenient, less-cooking-required meals, wouldn’t hurt any of us, honestly.) We need to consider putting up healthy, pre-portioned meals in the freezer so it is easy for BDH to pack lunches each day. We also need to think about what we are eating to more efficiently shop and try to reduce our food budget.

And this is, in part, because I quit my job this week.

I have been unhappy with my job for quite some time. There was too much to be done, of a scope that I was sometimes unqualified to tackle on my own, and for not nearly enough pay. And with all of Stinkerbelle’s appointments and needs, plus the things that need doing around the house, it was getting difficult to try to fit it all in. And honestly, the stress of trying to plan it all and make time for it all was making me a not-very-nice person to be with. I wasn’t getting it all done, and I wasn’t happy trying to get it all done. So I think my decision to quit was a good one for all concerned.

So… changes all around, then.

It’s a good time for making changes, is fall. I’m in the mood to plan, and make lists, and get cooking and organizing a bit. I’m sad to see the end of the summer, and the lazy days and time spent with That Girl, but I am looking forward to the changes and challenges coming along, like I am enjoying the fresh fall breezes coming through our once-again open windows.