Shorter days, longer nights
The other day a brand new reusable lunch bag appeared on our kitchen counter. Despite the fact that it’s an attractive piece of minimalist architecture, I balked a bit at the $25 price tag still attached to it until someone pointed out that our daughter had been using her old lunch bag every day for the past four years and it not only smelled bad it was a serious health risk.
Looking at the bag sitting there all shiny and expectant brought home the fact that Labour Day is just around the corner and long months of packed lunches and packed schedules are looming once again. Our two daughters are looking forward to the coming school year for the most part, as is my wife, an educator with the Surrey School District. Still, there are mixed feelings about the end of summer.
In a household where three of the four of us have an entire two months off, summers are a time of relaxed mornings and too-late nights, of weekend festivals, fishing trips and campfires. While I myself am chained to my computer much of the summer, my timetable is much looser and there’s a sense of energy and busyness around the house that’s lacking during the school year when I have my home office to myself. This year our older daughter got her first summer job, a rite of passage signifying that the path to adulthood is that much shorter than it was last time this year. The red “L” on the back of our car is about to give way to a green “N”, and that too is a marker of no small significance.
Our younger daughter spent part of the summer volunteering at an outdoor camp and she too is blossoming before our eyes, gaining confidence and independence with every passing day. This fall she is enrolled in an outdoor leadership training course, something that will add to not only her resume, but her range of abilities.
Watching our daughters grow and come into their own, and to see the children of friends take their own steps into adulthood—even talking to the JCCA summer students at the office—I feel a sense of hope and optimism that is hard to find when scouring the news. In some ways it is a harder world that they are stepping out into, with fewer jobs and higher expenses than when I left home. On the other hand they have access to more information and broader experiences, largely through the internet, but also through a great mingling of cultures and world views that is a result of a more diverse society.
This month’s community profile looks at Naomi Yamamoto, the Liberal MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. As Minister for Advanced Education, she has a great responsibility—overseeing the colleges and universities that we give our children over to in the hopes that they will given the tools to navigate not just the job market but the world that they are inheriting. Shrinking budgets and financial turmoil in the world markets mean leaner times and hard decisions for government—we can only hope that the future, our children’s future, is not sacrificed in the name of fiscal restraint.
Happy New (school) Year to all our readers!