Thursday, 11 September 2014

The last September

Five years ago, I wrote a post for every day of September.  It was the first September younger daughter began attending her current school  and I was struggling with the adjustment of the long hours of transit.  I started composing the Writes of Passage, because I was obsessed with buses and so damn tired of riding them.

This month, I'm once again trying to write a post every day.  It's the last September younger daughter will be attending this school.  She gets a lift most mornings and over the years, I've found ways to make the long round trip to bring her home bearable.

This evening was the annual barbecue, one of thousands of similar events held across the country in schools everywhere, the first parent-teacher meeting of the school year.  I figure it's the twentieth of such first-month-of-school events I've attended, given the overlap of two daughters.  I've had it up to here with them. (The events, not the daughters.) But it's the last one, I told myself consolingly as the bus came to a halt, far away from home late in the afternoon.

As I clambered down, I remembered how much more difficult it is to alight (with a heavy thud, in my case) when the sidewalk is icy, especially when the bus hasn't quite pulled in to the curb.  Then I thought of the coming winter and the required circumnavigation of the school building, gingerly penguin-stepping the slick parking lot, because the surrounding park is shin-deep in snow, and because the upstairs daycare no longer permits us to use the main entrance due to so-called "safety requirements".  (Evidently, teenagers and their parents entering by the front door put the toddlers at risk.  We're obliged to be buzzed in at the side entrance by the other daycare which is in the basement.)   My heart sank, but I reminded myself that this is the last winter I'll have to do this.

The barbecue was set up outside, but we ate inside because the temperature had dropped from a humidex of 30 in the morning to 14 degrees Celsius by five o' clock.  Then the teachers called us into another room for a presentation, something that hasn't happened before.

It turns out the school is moving in early October.  To Bell's Corners.  Bell's Corners is five miles further west.  The school will have a building to itself.  It's a four-minute walk from the bus stop where we can catch a Transitway bus.  Unlike the old building shared with two daycares, the new building is close to coffee shops and stores, and has air conditioning and two bathrooms.  (The daycare will no longer let us use the bathrooms in the far hall, even though it's technically shared space.)

 But it's in bloody Kanata.

We were lucky with the buses home this evening, and I watched the sun set into the Ottawa River and considered that I would have the pleasure of riding beside the river every day until next June.  When I got home, I checked the bus times between our house in New Edinburgh and bloody Kanata, and, given that most of the route is on the Transitway, the bus trip shouldn't take much longer than it currently does.  And we'll not be picking our way around a flash-frozen parking lot, nor along a sidewalk that has flooded, frozen and half-thawed.

At the end of another long winter, we'll know how it's going to be.  But it also will be the last time.

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