The sun is still shining bright and the warm air is a slight breeze rustling the leaves. “Time to come in girls,” Mom yells out the door in our general direction. My sister and I are in our ‘fort’ eating Cheerios out of a Ziploc bag. I say ‘fort’ because it’s really just the scraps of wood left over from my brother and his friend’s old fort. We don’t mind though, it means we don’t have to actually build one, and there’s also enough wood left over to call it a fort. My brother and his friend build a new one every summer if not every other summer, so in this way my sister and I are always getting a ‘new’ fort, too. It’s only 6 pm, yet it’s time to come in for a bath and get settled for the night because tomorrow is a big day; it’s the first day of school. For Teresa it’s Grade 3, for Mike and me, Grade 5.
We spend every day all summer long at the cottage. This means we are barefoot and in bathing suits much of the day. However, tomorrow we get to wear our new shoes, and new pants, and new shirt, and new socks, and new underwear. Oh, how excited I am to come down from our tree fort, have a bath and decide what it is I’m going to wear tomorrow! And, how amazing it is to use a brand new, freshly sharpened pencil on crisp clean paper. I just can’t wait to write something with my new pencils.
Teresa and I share a bedroom and this is pretty much the only day where it’s actually a good thing; so we can plan and decide together. I really want to wear my new pants so I hope it’s not too hot tomorrow. But if it is I’ll wear these shorts, and I’m definitely wearing this shirt no matter what. I just love when the season shifts and it’s time to wear clothing that you haven’t for so long. This also means I can ask “can I wear socks to bed now?” and know the answer will be yes.
I don’t get to see any of my friends all summer long, as we live an hour away from the city in the middle of nowhere. I haven’t seen my friends since the last day of school, and I’m both nervous and excited about seeing them. I hope I have a good teacher, I hope I’m in the same class with some of my closest friends; I hope it’s a good day. In any case, I’ll be wearing my new shoes, and new pants, and new shirt, and new socks, and new underwear, and I have a new back pack, and I know lunch tomorrow is going to be delicious because I went shopping with Mom yesterday, so everything should be just fine. I’m even excited to see the bus driver!
Teresa and I are in our beds trying to sleep. It’s so hard to sleep the night before the first day of school; the first day of anything really. Sharing a room with a sibling doesn’t actually help. We end up playing games like ‘fire, freezies, sitties, splitzies’ which is a game meant to play with a skipping rope. But, since our beds are only 1 foot apart from each other we stand up each with one foot on each bed and when I yell “fire” we both run to the wall, or for “freezies” we freeze in place. Of course we have to be super quiet because my Mom has superhuman hearing, so that game doesn’t last long before Mom comes up and tells us to go to sleep. So instead we play with the flashlight and make shadows on our ceiling and try to guess what it is. That’s a lot quieter. Plus, it’s literally still light outside and why does Mike get to stay up later? He’s only one year older. It’s also really hard to sleep to Metallica, which is what my oldest brother is listening to right now. I much prefer Brian Adams or Def Leopard or even Poison, which is a lot easier to fall asleep to.
Finally, after much commotion and we’re both getting tired Teresa asks, “What would you like to dream about tonight?”
“Swimming with dolphins,” I whisper, because Mom just left our room again.
“OK, let’s do that,” my sister replies. “Goodnight and have a good swim.”
P.S. My sister and I could choose what we dream about and would often, if not all the time, share in the same dream. We ALWAYS swam with dolphins. It was pretty magical and one of my greatest memories of sharing a bedroom with my sister.
P.P.S. Tomorrow is my first day back to work, which is also at a school, so I went back-to-school shopping. I now have new shorts, new pants, new shirt, new bag, new lunch bag, and a delicious lunch! I’m both excited and nervous, but will remember that each and every student is feeling exactly the same way as I am, or at least as I did in Grade 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and…Grade 9 and 10 and….