LaRentree is first and foremost a marketing time for France, when the store windows fill up with stationary and school bags and reminders of Back To School. No one celebrates the end of August like the French do. The shoe stores show the boots, the children stores present the woolen sweaters and coats. Children walk the streets and are constantly reminded: you have 2 weeks left which is as short as a Christmas holiday.
How do the last two weeks of vacation feel, when you have enjoyed two entire months? My children have finally loosened up, found their vacation routine, gathered their vacation memories and the bells of LaRentree keep ringing.
Carefree summer has ended. Everyone talks about the new school grade they are entering, wonders how they will organize themselves, how they will get back in the swing of things. I remember forgetting how to "write" and hold a pen! But French educated kids have ways of remaining afloat with summer activity books, reminding them of the principles of grammar and mathematics!
So the end of August, what I call the Age of Virgo, is spent squeezing the last opportunities, doing everything just one more time, playing till twilight! Those who are born in this period of time are, excuse my generalizations "bon vivants", that is they enjoy life at its fullest, are gourmets and appreciate beautiful things. They are artsy fartsy and enjoy reading and discussions. They represent this eleventh hour, before all the hard work begins again.
I have heard adults this summer moan the end of the season, dreading the challenges of autumn. And they don't have to go to school! No matter how scholastic I am, no matter how much I enjoyed school for the most part and college/university, I always felt the pinch of nostalgia as August ended.
Every late August, the Circus comes to town, as a last consolation, a last celebration before summer's end. We bought tickets on the 30 August, in celebration of Dai Croco's Bday. He certainly would have come with us and I think his son would have enjoyed it for the first time too!