You, of course, remember that the sun is to set on the Parent Imperfect on the first day of the 2010-11 school year. He had great plans to end life as the PI with a torrent of posts that bring together the experience of the past year. Instead, he has disappeared for almost a month. It’s time for a few more words before tomorrow’s closing.
What better time to write and reflect than when both Vince and Connie scuttled off to summer camp during the very same weeks? Vince made his way to Camp Fuller, where he had a fabulous time, despite spending three long periods of time in the infirmary for various injuries. Not to be outdone, Connie did the Starter Program at Chimney Corners. She had a tough time for the first week, but everything came together for her in the second week and she insists that she is now a lifer. It helped that she was not one of the three girls in her cabin who turned their parents into nit-pickers upon their return.
The PI and Liz had been dreaming for months about this two-week period sin niños. Both of them would dedicate the first week to work, then Liz would head to Chimney for “Mom’s Weekend.” The second week was to be theirs, all theirs.
After many changes in plans, they settled on Montreal as the ideal destination for their second week. With the help of a friend, they located Auberge de La Fontaine, a very nice place to stay right across the street from a truly unique urban park.
The PI woke with a stiff neck on the day they were to depart for Canada…not a good omen. They took wonderful long walks and bike rides in sunny Montreal, but by their last morning there, the PI’s stiff neck had become a pinched nerve that meant that he spent their last morning in the city laying on the ground in the Rose Garden at Montreal’s stunning Botannical Garden. That view from the dirt, across the roses to the Olympic Stadium is likely to be his most enduring memory of the trip. The message here is not that the PI is too old to be doing what he was doing in late August. Clearly, the Cosmos did not approve of shuttling the kids off to camp so that the parents could take off on their own. Listening always to the Cosmos, the PI will think twice before he does that again.
They somehow made it back to Boston in the car, picked up the kids from camp and survived the final two weeks of what some dare call vacation. That fortnight included a trip to DC for the very sad funeral of the husband of the PI’s oldest neice, and another trip to Virginia for a happier occasion, the 70th birthday of the PI’s brother and sister-in-law.The PI did the first one solo, but the birthday party was a family affair, the only family trip of the entire summer.
Pinched nerve or not, the backpacks are ready and the buses will roll tomorrow on the first day of school. The Virginia cousins are into their third week of school as Day One arrives here. Vince will begin his second year at the nation’s oldest public school and Connie will feel the excitement of the first day at the Hernández for the fifth time. Is that possible?
Are they ready? Neither would admit it, but they are ready for the change in routine implied by going to school and connecting, again, with friends that they’ve not seen a lot over the summer. That readiness will wear off about 36 hours into the new year, but tonight they are ready. The PI, too, is ready