Updated: Nov 24, 2018
After living in France for 4 years I began to appreciate this celebratory approach to the return to normal routine after the summer is over. September is more for the French than just getting the kids back to school. It’s about embracing and rejoicing the rhythms of the year.
The French, more than any other nation I think, celebrate the seasons and the cyclical nature of year's cultural highlights - Toussaint, Xmas, New Year, ski-breaks in the February holidays, Easter, May holidays and the long summer break ... and then here we go again another 'rentrée'. 'La rentrée' becomes a social occasion where parents hover longer at the school gate, take photos and videos of their children moving up to the next class and catch up with other parents exchanging stories of their summers and their plans for the time ahead.
A return to normal routine means a return to activities and social life for parents too. Most classes and activities are signed up to for a whole ‘academic’ year in September, not just for kids but adults too. Adults too make commitments for themselves to exercise more or to try something new. The whole family set a new timetable and fix plans for the year ahead.
So, c’est la rentrée. Set some intentions. It's a bit like January, but without the miserable cold weather and short days. Maybe there'll even be a little late sunshine. Everything feels more do-able in September. Sharpen your pencils and get out a fresh new notebook. Get yourself along to a class you haven't tried before and make a new start at the beginning of this next cycle. Vive la rentrée !!!