Elder daughter was entering Grade Three, so mornings soon featured a scramble with younger daughter in her stroller to the elevator, then to Elgin Street to catch a bus to New Edinburgh, followed by the fifteen minute climb up the hill and past our future residence with all others who weren't school-bussed or driven. One of elder daughter's classmates made the climb with his mother reading aloud from the latest Harry Potter as they walked.
I thought about those things as I waited out in front of our house for younger daughter's lift to arrive this morning. I thought about neighbours who have moved and the changes in the neighbours who have stayed. Across the street in a house that was renovated over four years from a tiny bungalow to a two-storey house four times larger is the home to three platinum-haired children who squabble as they tumble and leap from their porch to the tank-like car which is one of the family vehicles. I think the eldest must have graduated to middle school; she often leaves separately with her mother now.
Next door, the tiny children who peered out curiously at the Accent Snob and me last winter are now escorted to the school bus by their father. The little boy waves at me when prompted, trying to drag his eyes from the dog standing next to me.
I consider the changes I see in the cars bearing toddlers to teenagers up the road to two private schools, one Catholic school, and one public school. It's alarming how many parents I see on cellphones with their children strapped in expensive carseats in the back. I've even seen a mother holding her phone at arm's length as she proceeded slowly through the intersection at our corner. Checking a text? Taking a selfie? The mind boggles.
Across the street, a new neighbour is bringing in the garbage and recycling bins, talking to what appears to be a largish squirrel. It's a dog which he picks up with one hand and tucks under his wrist.
In 2000, I had an eight-year-old and a four-year-old. One has graduated from university; the other will graduate from high school by the time the next September rolls around.
No, I wouldn't call those Septembers back. I watch them flow by me like the nearby river.