Sunday, 10 March 2013

Braking it in Canada - Style TBD





Part the of my return to work after my 6 week hiatus is the acceptance of commuting   For me this involves a long trek south to Mississauga in my little Ford Focus, named Lateesha.  It is an early morning drive spent listening to traffic reports of the 410 south, giving me the inside scoop seen by helicopters in the sky. I find it a nice way to start my day, as I only do this commute on a casual basis.  I slide on to  the 410, with my sun glasses on and  my iPod playing.  The only thing missing is my flip flops, but as you know, I had a snowy flip flop evening when I landed in Toronto.  I have learned, once again, to wear my boots.

Well, on Friday I noticed that the traffic was very light and the helicopter guy reminded all of us that it is the beginning of the world famous March Break.  I say world famous because it is the week when we Canadians take our Hoser accents and arrive in various countries around the world.  I found myself a bit reminiscent and quite sad thinking about March Breaks that are no longer a landmark on my calendar, as it was for so many years when the 3 sticky kids were home with me.  We built snowmen, created beautiful crafts and we all baked together, with sticky hands in our matching aprons.  Norman Rockwell had nothing on me and my love of March Break.  There were no set bed times.   There was no morning rush.  It was a week of joy and bliss.


You must understand that at my age, many women feel that we are losing our memory and the mental edge we once had.  I am thinking now that the memory I seem to have lost has been replaced with some crazy, made-up stuff including this memory, which in no way reflects a March Break in the O'Rourke house.  Basically the up-side to March Break was the fact that I didn't have to make lunches.  I also realize that the melancholy drive to work was not so much that I was pining away for the days gone by, but really just that the speed of the moving traffic prevented me from adjusting my iPod  which was stuck on Adele.

 I now realize that I have reached a point when March Break is a week to enjoy the traffic and avoid the airport.  On Breakfast Television, 107,000 people were launching their March Break plans.  Of these 107,000 people, Breakfast Television interviewed my sister Julie and my niece Natalie.  This is not surprising.  Julie and Natalie just have a way.  They are Media Magnets.  I spent yesterday trying to figure out how to put a short segment of a 1 hour newscast on YouTube.  I ended up sitting in front of my laptop recording it on my IPhone.  Seriously, what I lack in tech-savviness I make up for in ingenuity.




So within my web of friends and family, March Break is being celebrated in many different ways. Many of us have just realized this is "that week".  I still have friends who are blasting off with their school-aged children.  They are friends with "that miracle baby".  Terry and Karen,who Julie and I still refer to as "the kids", are still young enough to have school-aged children. I think they are home baking and doing crafts. Julie escorted Natalie to the airport and put her on a plane to enjoy her "Grad Trip".  Julie and Al then blasted off for a
"responsibility free" vacation (quoting the Breakfast Television interview) down south.  My children have progressed into the "coming of age" when March Break is replaced by a February "Reading Week" .  All I can say as a former student and as a parent of post-secondary school-aged children, that this is just a completely ridiculous name.  I have friends who are teachers.  I spend the entire school year being so thankful to be anything but a teacher, but as March Break rolls around, I question this decision.

Kevin and Bridget at Mt Orford
I guess Derek and I are just honestly reminiscent of wonderful family ski trips to Quebec. We taught the kids to ski at young ages with these vacations as our intent.  We loaded up the minivan (of course we had a minivan, who didn't) with tapes and crayons and a bungied VCR when we got more sophisticated.  One of my most wonderful and non-fictitious memories was the day my 3 little ducklings followed me down the 4 km beginner hill, in their snow pants and helmets.  They each looked a bit like  The Great Kazoo  in the Flintstones.  Derek slowly and cautiously (he too was a beginner) brought up the rear trying desperately not to slide into 5 year old Bridget.  Over the years we skied with a number of families.  It became really difficult to figure out which kids went with which parents.  These are some of the finest March Break memories.


I guess for this, March break, I will just sit back and  just enjoy the commute. I look forward to the days to come when I do crafts and bake with sticky grandchildren.  I hope my years of wisdom at this time will have  made me realize that this is exactly what March Break should be about.  Sadly, this realization is often lost on the parents while they are in the trenches.  I fear it was lost on me.









This Child (Neil) does not belong to any of these adults (Don,Brenda and Derek)
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