When the long Labour Day weekend approaches, I get filled with so many different emotions.
I am excited for the new school year, I am thankful for teachers that will take over occupying my busy babies and yet I'm full of feelings of wanting things to stay the same - forever.
When the last week of summer rolls in, with its colder mornings and hot late August sunshine, I turn into that crazy lady at Target who stuffs allllll the red ticket items into here cart. Except, my memory is the cart and the red ticket deals are all the moments of summer that I want to remember forever.
This summer we squeezed in a dozen trail walks and runs, long days at the beach, two rib fests, afternoons at the library, play dates with friends, trips to the Market, sunset hunting, frog catching, pool swimming, vacation taking and lazy days spent in the sand box at Nana's house.
We are like you, and love to squeeze in a lot during the fleeting summer months. But still, when the long weekend comes, I want to cram the whole weekend full of fun.
So, as we do every year, for the last weekend of summer, we hatched a plan to go for a hike with the kids, go the the beach with some family, attend Fan Expo and The Ex, and to ride the ferris wheel at our favorite park, one last time.
We are all about traditions over here and naturally our three babies have picked up the same need and desire to replicate past awesome experiences.
That means dragging them hours here and there fitting in as much fun as possible.
Ignore the crappy cell pictures, that moody-little-girl-scowl that has come to stay with our girl turning five years old, and the fact that my son just found OJ's missing black glove circa 1994 in the back seat of our family van.
Since I am a mama to boys I have tried to embrace all things comic book, super hero, sci fi, dangerous, daring and sometimes way over my head.
Our first long weekend stop was attending The Fan Expo in Toronto, Ontario held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It is a a Thursday to Sunday event and over 90,000 fans have been known to attend. This is the place where everyone who has ever loved a character from comic books, science fiction, anime, video games or from any collectible card game attends, in full-on-get-up-costume that they have planned for an entire year, and some, an entire life time.
We rode in an elevator with R2D2 who was a prime example of years of dedication and artistry.
The kids were amazed at how authentic some of the costumes were. Like, cover up all the children's eyes so they didnt see the zombie fans and the zombie fans who were the zombies lunch. I was more enthralled with some of the set design, like this little set up? This one had me wondering how I could grab that white chair and run away with it!
Our five year old's scowl faded slightly when she got to meet Apple Jacks.
Some face painting and some cute pony ears later, we were feeling run way ready.
We built lego and ohhhh-ed and ahhh-ed over the Lego artists of the world.
And then we ohh-ed and ahh-ed over the actors in attendance who were meeting and greeting.
Hi Green Arrow!!!
We ended up saying HI! to a lot of our favorites.
Hi Storm Trooppers!!
Hi Sherrif Rick!
Hi TRUE Yoda quote!
I love this quote and I love that it applied to me when I was a little girl and today it speaks to my little wee girl.
Note: NO scowl in sight.
Our next stop was The Ex which is a place we have been going to for a long time. It is a staple on our summer bucket list and something the hubs and I have both been doing with our own families since we were little kids.
There is just something great about standing in front of the same fountain, year after year, with another baby in our arms and growing littles around us, and capturing a moment in time, one that shows change and growth and is like a meter stick in my mama memory.
On our way out the door this past sunny Sunday afternoon, my sweet memory loving man, announced that our trip to the CNE would be our eleventh together.
I hunted down this gem of a picture to show just how many babies we have added, how much we have changed and how much picture quality has come. ;)
We took all the babies we have added to our famjam and took them to a Robert Munch play. We love Mr Munch , and we think it is extra cool that he is from our home town too!
And yeah, I am like all Mamas and cry my eyes out when I hear the words from his famous book: "I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
We saw some more action figures...
Jived to some Irish dancing and heard some gorgeous singing.
We marveled at sand castles that made ours from this summer look like nothing!
and we pointed out cows, lamas, emus, pigs and goats.
And as traditions go, we did also devour a sundae on a stick, a waffle ice cream sandwich and the best middle eastern food I have ever had.
As we always do, we watched rides fly by, lights flicker and change and took in the smells and sounds of another year at the CNE.
My amazing hubby snapped this one of my snapping those ones of the passing, streaming, glowing lights.
Every year, without fail, we say, "Lets go to the EX." and we love the memories we make together and the ones we pass on to our little family.
The best thing about long weekends is the fact that we get one more day to spend time side by side being a family.
On Monday, we braved the all day showers and mugginess and went to Riverside Park in the town my babies know as home. We ate bbq hotdogs on the softest white buns and devoured roasted corn on the cob with slippery butter and road on top of carousel ponies and snapped pictures while riding round and round the vintage carousel we know all too well.
This weekend we did so many things we usually do, but something seemed different. Something felt like deja vu.
And then, it hit me like a ton of bricks, as the realization set in that today feels the same as it did so long ago because that is how nostalgia works.
Our oldest starts grade three tomorrow, our daughter will make faces all through JK and our baby is well on his way to growing and changing and looking forward to school filled days as well.
Even though we try to recreate the past and to hold on to all the innocence that once was, life will always change around us.
CUE: All the Mamas cry in unison.
Our two oldest have gone to school now with their memory carts full.
It makes me happy to know that the scrawled bucket list we wrote three months ago, is now all crossed off.
And here we are just the two of us.
Sunsets, sunrises, picnics, beach days, play dates, rainy days, bug catching, deck building, adventure seeking, sandcastle building, blanket spreading, sand shaking, bike riding, sweat wiping, water guzzling, sunscreen smearing, hike going and adventure seeking.
This summer was typical and yet somehow amazing.
We will miss you brother and sister. We will pray that our well wishes reach you as you sit in your desk, leap from monkey bars and create crafts that we will proudly hang up, look at and remind us of you.
Until next summer when we can do it all again.