I go into the city. Doctor stuff.
The walk up University.
It is cold.
My building. My last time, as my most wonderful doctor tells me that he is retiring. He tells me he is going bungee jumping.
How nice to know Aaron and the kids are waiting for me a block away.
We head to the Eaton’s Centre. We discuss who Mr. Eaton was.
Then, we eat.
Been a long time since I’ve been to Mister Greenjeans.
Max bought a watch.
We shop more, head home.
The view from the GO platform.
Then the train arrives.
I’m sad my doctor is retiring. I will miss him.
I buy Santa’s sleigh and his nine reindeer from Chapters. A lot of colouring is involved, and when we are done we can put it all together. We even talk Aaron into helping, except the Sharpie fumes start making him feel sick.
He switches to pencil crayons.
We all call Poppa in the morning to wish him Happy Birthday.
Afterward, I suggest to the kids that they should tell their friends: It’s my Poppa’s birthday and he’s 84.
Mostly because I think it is pretty impressive. He takes daily walks, golfs, enjoys Stratford and Shaw, has never lost his love of shopping. He’s got a full head of hair and most of his own teeth and the same wonderful smile I’ve known all my life.
My son asks from his room as he makes his bed:
“If Poppa is 84, that means he was born in 18….”
I roll my eyes.
“1928,” I correct.
“That’s what I meant to say,” my son says.
We play a fun round of outdoor mini golf.
The kids do well but even better, I, for the first time in my life, beat my husband. This card shows just the back nine, where I faltered slightly – my husband had a rough front nine. But the total reveals the truth: I now am the mini golf queen.
Hands of stone.
This is a favourite of mine. We four sit around the kitchen table and we laugh but we bicker too. Kids get sullen or teary if they lose their job or get sued for $100,000. Parents tell them to deal with it and roll or don’t bother playing.
I wonder as we sit by the open back door, if neighbours think: Are they having a good time? Because yes, we are arguing. We are also having a wonderful time.
I buy two big leather journals on sale at Winners in February. Each have a green stripe, a white stripe and a red stripe on the cover.
I search out an Italian holiday and discover Italian Day on June 10.
So we celebrate Italian Day, with drawn flags of all sizes hung along shelves and in doorways. I make a collage of magazine cuttings and hang this big flag in the downstairs bathroom.
I give the kids their journals and my husband a green shirt and red Italian soda.
He makes his spaghetti sauce for dinner.
It may become an annual thing. Or maybe now I will search out Scots Day.
The kids, my husband and I go for a walk along the creek at Heber Downs.
We spy all sizes of turtles in the pond, eat lunch under the blue sky, pet dogs and see beaver-chewed trees.
Then stop for a read, a sketch.
On Thursdays, the kids have art class. I feed them and then pack a dinner for my husband and me. Sandwiches with chicken or ham and cheese and tomato, salt and vinegar chips, pickles and salad sealed in tupperware. When I pack big cans of Arizona iced tea, he wonders if people might think we are drinking from King Cans.
Mixing it up in the Glen Dhu parking lot.
We watch birds and cats and rabbits from the car and eat and talk over the day. The kids come back giggly and productive. Our tummies are full.
This is one of my favourite hours of the week.
My daughter and I are at the dental surgeon. He goes into intricate detail about the process for the next appointment: the gas, the needle, the pulling of four teeth, the pain after. My daughter appears restless, then hot as she begins to remove layers, her jacket, her hoodie. She slowly turns green. I ask if she is okay. She looks unsure. I go over to where she sits. She is clammy.
The surgeon lowers the dental chair so that she can lie prone and take it all in.
I rub her head.