My vote’s still with Spring.

Oh, my BLOOMIN’ LORD. (And yes, I’m pretty sure the Lord is Blooming). Hello, internets, how’ve you been? I hope you all had a lovely summer, and dropped by occasionally between fruity rum drinks to check in. You know, to see my complete lack of posts. Those.

I do (and did, in my head, all summer) apologize profusely. There were circumstances. Like having three boys home all day… all summer…. with no babysitting. At all. Apparently I lost my mind a little, back when we were planning the summer, when I decided that they all needed a real break, and we’d eschew weeks of day camp in favour of being laisser-faire about it and being able to be spontaneous in our summer plans.

Out of my bleeding mind, I tell you. I neatly forgot that a) my kids hate spontaneity, and b) our house is very, very small, and c) SUMMER IS 9 WEEKS LONG. Day 3 of vacation and I was ready to do a dump-and-run at the nearest YMCA camp.

Actually, in many ways, we had a good summer, if typically challenging for us. We do a lot of little trips in the summers: a few camping outings, a few cottage visits with friends, lots of time driving around Toronto stuck in road construction or trying to find parking at Popular yet Educational Places like the Science Centre. The thing is, for my guys, pretty much everything brings on all sorts of weird stress, even the good things. Just going for ice cream is fraught with angst: I have to cajole Finn into actually leaving the computer; repeatedly reassure Liam that if we leave now (1:30) we will indeed be home before dinner (6:00), seeing as how the ice cream store is three blocks away; manage Rory just being Rory; not to mention trouble-shoot all the excruciating  ice-cream flavour selections. (Finn: “WHAT? THEY DON’T HAVE BORDEAUX CHOCOLATE CHERRY SWIRL? I WOULD NEVER HAVE COME IF I HAD KNOWN THAT!!” Me: “Dude, you would never have come if I hadn’t crow-barred your fingers off the keyboard.”)

So there’s some stress. I think I was more exhausted at the end of this summer than I ever have been before.

And that was before Back to School. Or as I like to call it, Fast Train to Hell.

Honestly, one day I’m just going to give up on it. It is so hugely hard for my kids, so traumatic and tense, it’s almost not worth it. They all approach it differently, like three vehicles hurtling towards a brick wall from different places. Liam’s always going the fastest, but he hits pretty darn hard too. He’s always eager to get back to the routine, the activity, the schedule, but gets so anxious about doing well, doing everything, pleasing everyone. Finn only barely manages to keep moving forward the nearer the first day of school gets. I think he honestly holds out big hope that one day he will oppose going so vehemently, he just won’t have to. And this year, with the entry into Middle School for the big boys, there was all sorts of finger-wagging and school lectures about responsibility and performance. Which is so exactly what those two needed. HA. And Rory, well, Rory loves school, it just doesn’t love him back so well.

I could go on about all the trauma, and drama, but it’s pointless and boring. I just keep pushing everyone in the right direction, trying to be calm and encouraging, and firm, and understanding, and supportive, and the whole time barely resisting a fierce urge to grab the three of them and run in the other direction. I really don’t think it should be this hard.

So here we find ourselves a few weeks in, and I’d love to say things are settling down. Some are, to be fair: the big boys are liking their home-room class, and haven’t yet ended up in another province taking the public buses to and from school everyday on their own. But otherwise, things are still all wobbly and stressful, and I’m still trying to beat down the escape plan like a gopher with a mallet. (I have the mallet in that scenario. Not the gopher.)

Besides, I would suck at home schooling. They would all end up thinking that “doing” math means staring into space and waiting for the answer to come to them.

Not that I do that.

4 comments to My vote’s still with Spring.

  • ola

    Thank-you for returning! I missed your stories. Sorry thing are not going smoothly but I’ve decided thats a myth. Smooth sailing – that never happens. At least not over here.

  • Claudia Carnevale

    Hi Regan,

    You are so absolutely lovely and enchanting! Everytime I read your posts I smile, cry, or pee my pants laughing. Considering that the written word has always given me the most solace in my life, I would not hesitate to call what you do for me THERAPY.

    So, consider this my attempt to return the huge gift you give me every time you write. I homeschool right now. I know you say that isn’t an option for you. I can tell you that after reading a great book called “The Brain that changes itself” I fell in love with a woman called Barbara Arrowsmith and her school “Arrowsmith”. I can tell you that if I were in TO I would be running over there to check it out…


    With gratitude,


  • Regan I love all your stories and you. I think you are wonderful.
    Love Sioux

  • Mom

    So glad you’re back! I agree with Claudia: reading your blog is therapy. You’re engaged with life on its terms and give me the desire to do the same!

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