Opposite Days

Will has mastered the concepts of "up" and "down" in the past few weeks.  He loves repeating those words while he points in the corresponding direction.  Even during the drive home from his daycare he helpfully narrates every segment of our journey as we go up and down the hills.  

I am looking forward to the day when he can remind me of the seasons as well.  What I thought would be the most obvious and easiest part of living south of the equator has turned out to be one of the most challenging.  After decades of learning what to expect during October, January, or July, my brain seems unable to comprehend that everything has changed.  I didn't really enjoy the summer months the way I might normally do (it didn't help that the Christmas and New Year holidays interrupted things), but now, just when I am finally feeling ready for summer, it's getting cold in Australia.  Sure, there isn't any snow, and I will probably never wear gloves and a scarf in Queensland, but it just doesn't feel right turning on the heat and putting on a sweater in late May!  What's more, my friends and family in the U.S. keep mentioning their warmer days and the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, which I have long associated with the beginning of summer.

It appears that even long-standing transplants from the northern hemisphere never really master the opposite seasons.  I have noticed one American, for example, who has lived here over ten years but still refers to the upcoming "summer break" between semesters at UQ next month.  Another expat mentioned a "fall" conference that will occur in October.  The other day an Australian asked me, "when did you move here?" and I quickly answered, "last summer," which either shortens our stay or lengthens it by six months, depending how he interpreted "last."  To avoid such errors, I have been trying to rely more on using the months instead of the seasons in my conversations, but that feels quite awkward (e.g., "I am looking forward to getting a lot of work done next December-January-February").

Because Will will learn the opposite associations with the calendar, maybe he'll be able to help his father with this problem someday.  Of course, this might also create another source of confusion in the parent-child dynamic.  Perhaps then we'll just have to move to the equator.