End of summer traditions are scarce around here – or so I thought. When Nathalie first suggested this as our topic for this week, I was at a loss. Other than the usual early to bed on Labour Day and the necessary hair cuts that are synonymous with “back to school”, I figured that’s the extent of my family’s traditions.
But the more thought I gave it, I realized that we, or at least I, have several traditions that mark the end of the summer and the start of the new school year.
Every year since the 7th grade I have purchased the September issue of VOGUE. This magazine is the holy bible for fashionistas, which I am decidedly not but the photographs are just so beautiful and the richness of the clothing, usually in tweeds and velvets get me excited for the change of the season. Three years ago when I went into labour with our third son, my only request (aside from the epidural) was that my husband walk down to the gift shop and pick up the magazine (Halle Berry’s photo was on the cover) and when he plunked it down on the bed, the nurse (clearly not a VOGUE fan) exclaimed that the magazine would weigh nearly as much as the baby! While I waited for our son to arrive, I enjoyed those last few hours in a blissful, pain-free haze lost in glossy pages.
My youngest son’s birthday falls at the end of August. Every year we have a backyard party with our immediate family (more than 30 people) and celebrate! During the summer we spend lots of time with our family – at cottages, on vacation together, weekend BBQs, – but once the school year gears up and busy schedules take-over, family dinners take a backseat until Thanksgiving.
Every September my husband and I take an entire day and jar tomato sauce. We usually get two bushels of tomatoes from the local Italian grocer and spend the day blanching them, peeling them, chopping garlic and onion and cooking pots upon pots of tomato sauce. This sauce will be used on everything: pasta, pizza, grilled cheese for the next year. . . and there is something undeniable about tasting the freshness of summer in the bleak, cold months of the winter. Our efforts usually yield 35 jars and we are down to our last four. If that’s not a sign that summer is over, what is?
Since becoming a mom, I have taken the month of August “off” from exercise. I put away the DVDs, abstain from the gym and walk past the yoga studio in favour of long walks outside, chasing after the boys and being active with them. The break always proves to be a good thing because I reassess what I actually like to do and what I missed doing and come September, I get back on track!