Look at this beautiful collection of treasures my loving son brought home for me the other day. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson: sitting still as the seasons change has its benefits

Grateful for the unexpected chance to watch as summer turns to fall

I’ve had a foot injury that’s been a thorn in my side for more than a year. The pain got to the point where it was impacting my quality of life and the decision to have surgery was made.

From the first phone call from the surgeon’s office right through to the discharge nurse, the care I received was phenomenal and I am well on the road to recovery.

My surgery was Aug. 26.

Like with most specialists, when you get a call for your surgery date you pretty much take what you’re given. There’s not a lot of wiggle room there. At first I was pleased because the date coincided with the annual maintenance shutdown at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre and so I figured I wouldn’t have to miss out on any fitness classes while I’m recovering. Priorities, right?

I was three days post-op and at home on the couch with my foot in the air, yelling at my children to stop taking advantage of their infirm mother and to get out of the snack drawer when it really hit home that this was how the last week of this summer would be playing out.

Well that and my husband was trying to come up with ideas for how we could spend the long weekend and most of his ideas ended with me reminding him I couldn’t walk far or put my shoe on for very long or get sand in the incision etc.

He was bummed. I was too. We’d wanted one last hurrah after a really fun summer of hiking and biking and family and road trips and beaches and all sorts of adventures — just one more kick at the can before losing our eldest to Kindergarten and school for the next 15-odd years. I couldn’t blame them. It was my fault we were stuck at home.

In any event, we settled into a bit of a routine.

I would pull a lawn chair out into my front yard and watch my kids run out to play with the next door neighbour kids. Then they’d all run across the way to knock on the other neighbour kids’ door so they’d come outside too. Sometimes they’d even go ask if they could knock on the neighbour puppy’s door (yes you read that right. They knock on the neighbour’s door to ask if her dog can come out to play).

The bikes would come out. The scooters would come out. The chalk would be brought out and a new road system would be created within the relatively safe confines of our cul-de-sac neighbourhood.

There were popsicles and sprinklers and freeze tag and picking flowers (weeds) to give Mom. There was rock collecting and swordplay with sticks (much to my disapproval) and even the odd scraped knee, fight, and/or tear.

I sat and witnessed it all. I didn’t plan. I couldn’t clean. I barely cooked. I just watched.

It was the most simple, most stereotypical last week of summer you could imagine and it wasn’t “cool” or “epic” or in anyway noteworthy save to say that it was absolutely perfect and just what we needed.

So, by the time you read this, the hectic chaos of the first day of school will have come and gone and my family will be (hopefully) working hard to settle into our new routines and new reality. No doubt I’ll look back at the last week of summer — the last week of having my firstborn home with me every day for those magical first five years of his life — and I’ll be so grateful I was forced to slow down and observe not just how far we’ve come as individuals, but as a family.

I’m glad I was forced to slow down and watch from the sidelines for a while. But my floors need a wash, and the fruit flies are feasting on the nearly black bananas. It’s time for this mom to get back in the game. Bring it on Fall.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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