The two best days of school is the first and the last.

Today both girls said goodbye to a year full of changes. Jordyn finishing high school forever and Julianna leaving a school that has been home for the last four years.

And so begins the sleep ins. There are no school lunches to be made. And no homework projects that I must complete. If there was a heaven on earth for parents, this would certainly count.

Today, as we have done for almost every last day of school, the kids and I made a trip to Chapters.

This is one of my favourite rituals. Browsing through books, their spines peeking out as if to say “ Pick me”. It is pure enticement. It is impossible to leave without a book as my newest companion.

When the kids were younger, they shared the same excitement. Choosing their own book, regardless of cost was a special treat. It was only as they grew, that other interests took place of fantastical stories of Make Believe and Happily Ever After.

The girls less so but with Ryan, he would rather long board or hang out with friends then spend time with a book. I tried to encourage reading graphic novels, science fiction, or books based on movies he loved. He reluctantly complied but often times, I would find these purchases left haphazardly in odd places covered in dust.

Such is life.

It wasn’t until Ryan went to university that a revival in reading came about. He rode the train each day. Bored, he approached me to recommend a book to take with him on the long rides. The novel I suggested was one of my favourite authors. That night, I asked how he liked it. “The prologue was a guy who slit his own throat.” He looked at me incredulously. “It was awesome!!”

I had him hook line and sinker. Finally.

Next came his passion with Frank Herbert and the Dune series. Not necessarily my genre but I rallied. Ryan was thrilled when I finished the first novel. For Christmas this year, he gave me a gift card and his own worn copies of Book 2 and 3.

This is why you do rituals and traditions. Not with the hope that every time it will be perfect and pristine. But with the knowledge that some day those seeds with take root. Memories will be made, never to be forgotten.

Happy Last Day of School everyone!