Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The End of Summer (September '11)

September marked as the beginning of many things: the first day at the new school, the first behavior taken home from school, the first soccer class and thus for Mommy, becoming a Soccer Mom. Even though Kai had attended summer school to warm him up, I still consider September 7, 2011 the beginning of a new chapter in his life.

He loves school and loves his new friends, but nevertheless, it’s always such a joy to be picked up again by Mommy & Lil’ Bro. Routine is that the children sit and wait on the rug with one of the teachers until the parent appears in the door opening. What happens then, is just heart warming:
Parent shows their face, child quickly looks at teacher, who then nods in approval, child leaps up and runs across the floor, flies into mommy’s arms and grasps on as if to never let go again. One afternoon, Kai, filled with excitement, gave both Ryder and me this big hug, followed by: "I've got you back Mommy! I've got Ryder back! I had so much fun in school." [sigh]

The class is made up out of 13 toddlers and 2 very patient teachers. Did I mention I LOVE this school? One afternoon on the way home, Kai mentions “the two Savannah’s” who are in his class – huh? This truly is a wonderful piece of toddler logic: twins. One’s name is Savannah, the other one looks exactly like her, hence “the two Savannah’s”. Makes perfect sense, right?

Kai seems to go through phases of “obsession”. September went down as the Puzzle Month. He couldn’t get enough of the puzzles he had. It was all he wanted to play with. He got as far as finishing a 48-piece puzzle by himself and once that job was completed, there was nothing else he’d rather do than puzzle some more. Oma gets such a thrill out of this!!

When your kids are in school they bring home all sorts of things: pieces of art, stories, germs, colds, flu, habits and…expressions. Only a few weeks in, we had our first share of “where did you learn this?” when out of the blue Kai announced that he was “dope”. David and I laughed so hard we cried. When we asked him where he had learned that, his response: “Olivia from school.” (He really likes Olivia).

Given Kai’s heritage of being half Dutch, and thus soccer being undeniably engraved in his genetic make-up, it only makes perfect sense that he gets introduced to this sport at an early age. So, on September 11, he had his first soccer practice.

He loves soccer. Mommy loves Kai loving soccer. Everyone happy.

And then there is Ryder. Ryder eats. He eats. And he eats.

One evening, cucumber salad was on the menu for dinner. As I was prepping the rest of dinner, the boys came in, asking for a snack. I gave them a piece of cucumber. Within 30 seconds they were back. I gave them another piece. Then I gave them a little plate to take with them. Then I refilled the plates. Until…

… and this was before dinner had started.

Other than that, Ryder is coasting along, going his own way. He discovered the driver’s seat of the car. What a fascinating place: tons of buttons, a steering wheel, a noise maker and lights in different colors. Just like Christmas.

And there were the parties. We had a block party on our street. The last one was the day we closed escrow on the house and we were out of town. We missed that one, but now, 8 years later, we had another one. And it was fun. Music, fun people, good food and drinks, and fun games. What more would we want? It was a great day and during which we made a great discovery too: our babies got rhythm:

And finally, there was the big event at the end of the month: My friend Melanie lives in Ottawa and in April of this year she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery in May, she started chemo in September, but despite all this, she took on the challenge of participating in a 5K Run to raise money for the Ottawa Cancer Foundation. Here was an amazing woman who was fighting the fight of her life and RUNNING a 5K!! “Respect” is an understatement here.
In order to support her in her efforts, I organized and hosted a fundraiser, raising $3,000 for her cause. I catered the event myself, we had an auction with amazing products and a group of even more amazing people, supporting a friend of a friend. It warmed my heart to have so many people step up and help out. Just amazing.

As I write this, Melanie is doing great. She finished her last Chemo tour on Thanksgiving Day and just arrived in Florida for a month of rest, peace and tranquility. After four chemo tours and all the effects those have had on her body, she starts her recovery. And what a wonderful way to start it off!!

So, September was a busy month. A month with lots of highs and achievements. It marked the end of summer, the beginning of a new school year and of becoming a Soccer Mom. Yes, I am officially a Soccer Mom. And Yes, I love it. (And No, I don’t drive a Mini-Van).

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