Schools out for summer …..

Yesterday was the last day of the school year for The-9-year-old and with mixed feelings, we have summer break ….

Mixed feelings because they are off school for what seems like FOREVER!

Well, 10 weeks to be precise, not that I’m counting or anything (1 morning down and only 68 days to go).

The school year in Canada is different to Australia and instead of having 4 school terms with 2-week breaks in between each term and a 5/6 week break for Summer Holidays over Christmas here they have a small break at Christmas/New Year and a week off for Spring Break in March.  They have public holidays and then a whole heap of what are called PA days throughout the school year  (6 next year and I’m still yet to work out what they actually are?!?), they then hold out for a massive break for the entire summer.

Summer Camps are HUGE in North America and I’m starting to see why!

Other mums have been asking me if The-9-year-old was doing any summer camps for months.  At first, I had no clue what they were talking about but soon discovered camps are very popular with parents and kids in Toronto and come in various forms.  Sports Camps, camping camps, craft camps, cooking camps, you name it, it comes as a camp.  Most of them are day camps run out of a public library, community centre, school, museums, art galleries or movie theatres.  Some of them are actual camps in the woods or on a lake and the kids stay at them.  The 9-year-old wasn’t interested in doing a camp this summer but a week at a camping style camp on a lake will strongly be recommended for next summer.

When I looked into the cost of the camps, especially the privately run camps I found overnight camps cost anything from $300 to $1000 a week and day camps from $35 to $500 (most of them around $300/$400 per week).  Only a small amount of spots are available at free camps or low fee camps and parents line up overnight to get a spot months in advance.   At the time I questioned the sanity of the parents camping out in line during winter, now I am questioning my sanity and why I didn’t (or send The Canadian to line up)

We are looking forward to a break in the daily routine, sleeping in and getting out to explore more of Toronto (including using public transport – Eek)  but it will also be the longest one-on-one time I have ever spent with The-9-year-old.

Sounds a little strange, I know but up until our move to Canada I worked full time and so as a baby he was in full-time daycare.  Once he started school it was vacation care or trips to my mum and dads with the exception of when The Canadian or myself could take time off work.   The entire summer off doing nothing is a novelty for both him and me.

The 9-year-old was glad to say goodbye at long last to grade 3.  Grade 3 was his groundhog day year having almost completed grade 3 at the time of our move to then enter Grade 3 again due to the different school years in Canada and Australia.  It has also been almost 18 months since he has had a summer break from school having left Australia before last summer.  He is more than ready for summer and grade 4.

Yesterday on the last day of freedom  he was at school, I went out with another mum from school for a liquid lunch.   Where did we go?   A rooftop patio/bar that I have been eyeing off from our apartment since patio season opened in Spring.   With a no kids policy, yesterday was going to be my last chance to check it out mid-week day drinking sans kid until September.


the porch
The view of the CN Tower was well worth the climb up 15 million steps and feeling the sensation of my lungs bleeding once I reached the top.


My dear friend and her offspring are heading to her family and island home in The Caribbean for the entire summer and so farewell day drinking was the order of the day. We hightailed from lunch to school for pick up.

Only to be greeted by this:

Every single news channel in Toronto doing a fluff story on the last day of school!

My worst nightmare then occurred when a camera was thrust in my face and questions asked about my thoughts on Summer break.  The reporter had asked the wrong person, slightly tipsy I started to responded with honesty about the length of the break whilst trying to be slightly humorous.  Clearly,  this wasn’t what she was looking for, as I talked the reporters fake smile started to disappear and her facial expression started to look at me like I had 4 heads, and with this,  I couldn’t even finish my sentence.  I had become a stroke victim.   It was just like the Brady Bunch episode where Cindy Brady freezes on TV.

Crossing everything I hoped the editors would take pity on me and it would end up on the cutting room floor.   Thankfully it did,  however,  the-9-year-old has appeared on TV several times over the last 24 hours on various news grabs.

Let the countdown begin!  Not wanting to wish away the summer but …..

Since I started typing this post  The-9-year-old has asked me 6 times if he can use his iPad, given me a running commentary on every single thing he has done or is doing, i.e I’m going to do a poo, moved every single blanket and pillow in the apartment into the lounge room and made a massive mess in the kitchen …..  It’s 10am – Day 1.

What is an acceptable time to start drinking during school holidays?



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  • RuthsArc

    Oh, good luck for the next few weeks. I’m used to summer holidays for the whole of August in the UK, but the Canadian version does sound extreme.

  • betunada

    i’m only a coupla months late in kay-min-tating, and being (prezoom-abley?) a DRINKER like yourself, hmmm… well…. when I endured the 72 HOURS OF TOTAL MIND-NUMBING TRAUMA not too long ago, one day I looked at the clock (11 a.m.) and said to myself “it’s past noon on the east coast” and got a beer. i’m a drinker with a running/bike-riding/hockey-playing problem. wait, for hockey, there’s no problem, of course.

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