It has been three days since I came home from our Ontario adventure. Three days in which I have enjoyed doing nothing but spending time with the kids and cleaning. Okay, the cleaning part does not fall under the category of enjoying, rather it is a necessity (in this case it is a dire necessity) but it has been a part of my days, nonetheless. These days have been enjoying getting back into our familiar routine but there has also been a grieving of sorts of the routine we left behind.
Our days in Ontario quickly gathered a rhythm that became soothing to our beings. But rhythm, regardless of where it is taking place does soothe. Our days usually began with me waking up early, around 6:30, and catching up on emails, bible reading and then fluff reading. These days, my brain can not handle anything more than fluff. By this time, Tessa was awake. She would make her way to my bed for a leisurely cuddle and then we would plod downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast, Tessa would go upstairs to play while I stayed with my mom and dad to deepen our visit. Some mornings Tessa and I would walk to the store to get some groceries (the luxury of living in town is that you can make short grocery trips for things that you will need for that day’s menu. When you are in the country, you have to make a week’s worth of meal plans in order to get everything in one fell swoop. I like the short grocery trips better)or we would just move into our learning time. Yes, I brought school with us, much to Tessa’s dismay.
After lunch, Tessa and I would go on short adventures: hiking on the nature trail, shopping in the next town over, go to the library, play in the park. the next part of our routine came to be the special part of the day for both Tessa and myself. Wherever we went in our afternoon adventures, we always had to be home by 3:00 so we could watch Castle on the Space channel. We would make hot cocoa, grab some arrowroot cookies and sit down to watch Tessa’s favourite show with Grandma and Grandpa. Castle is Grandma and Grandpa’s favourite show as well. There was much discussion about what was going to happen next as well as laughter over a funny line or Castle’s latest antics. I believe this was Tessa’s favorite part of her visit.
After Castle departed the air waves, it was time to begin making supper. After it was made, consumed and put away, Tessa and I would go on a walk so I could show her the town in which I grew up. When we arrived home, we would then play a game of QBitz or Dutch Blitz with Grandma. Then came the other item in our routine that we both enjoyed. We would make more hot cocoa, pour some popcorn twists in a bowl, head upstairs to watch Little House on the Prairie DVDs. Well, Tessa watched and I read close by. Sometimes routines are special because you are able to do things that you wouldn’t normally do like eating junk food.
I have to say that I miss my mom and dad and I miss our little routine. But it is nice when you can bring some of that routine home with you. While getting groceries on Tuesday, Tessa spied the same brand of arrowroot cookies that Grandma had so we brought them home with us to carry on a small part of that routine at home.
Our flight home was scheduled for Sunday but we left my mom and dad’s on Friday to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. We went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) for their once in a lifetime offer to learn how things are carried out behind the scenes. This was fascinating but there was a lot of walking and waiting involved. The highlight, though, was being able to see the Forbidden City of the Emperors of China. The last time we went to the ROM, Tessa was 7. We went to see the exhibit of the terra cotta soldiers. Okay, blasphemy here but I thought it was so boring. So did my kids. That was not a fond memory so I was a bit nervous of how Tessa was going to take the visit. I was relieved to find out that she loved the Forbidden City. She took in a lot of that exhibit. As we were driving home from the airport on Sunday night, I heard her tell her brother and sister all about it. I was surprised that she remembered many of the details of that exhibit.
The next day, Sunday, the day of our return saw us make the obligatory visit of Chapters, my favourite book store. I was able to snatch up a few books, just enough to stuff in my suitcase and then we were off to the airport.
The thing about going away on a trip is that you are anxious to go home, to what is familiar but you are sad to leave the people and memories behind. It is a scene of ambivalence.
Now I get to wrap my brain around how we are going to salvage our school year after a few months of interruptions. Ugh!
My ramblings are now over.