I’m writing this from my mom’s house in Oak Bay, in Victoria, in British Columbia. Paul, Ben and I came out here on Monday, after a couple of quick days visiting friends & family in Vancouver. My sister, her husband, and their baby daughter have been here for the week as well. The six of us have all been happily visiting Nana for longer than our usual four-day weekends because this may be one of the last times we’re all together in our childhood home. Monica and Jonathan move to Toronto in two weeks, and with Paul and I settled in Brooklyn, who knows when all of us may make it home again from the East Coast?
This is not something I like to think about too much. I’ve loved being here this week, with my family, in a leisurely visit. Being able to live everyday life, without being on a short visit timetable, has given all of us the time together we’ve only had in scraps and pieces for years. Being all together in the same house has been quietly wonderful, a series of ordinary interactions and events that add up to be memories. And while it’s a little strange to be the grown-ups in the place where we grew up, I also haven’t had the transition back to being Child In Parent’s House that usually goes with anyone’s trip back to their childhood home.
And now, today is Friday. I’m not quite sure where the week went. I spent part of Wednesday taking Mom to get a new TV, and switching her over to satellite from cable to go with it. We spent yesterday at the Royal BC Museum, which is Victoria’s Natural History museum, and then took Ben to get his birthday present (a tiny scooter) in the Village. We’ve spent hours at the beach I played on as a small child here, taking Ben to throw rocks, play on the driftwood logs, catch tidepool fish, and examine the purple shore crabs that live under the biggest rocks. And today, after I supervise the installation of Mom’s new satellite dish, I’ll take my son out to a forest park somewhere, so he can enjoy the Pacific Northwest a little more before we leave tomorrow.
But still, the days have somehow both drifted by and flown by. Drifted, because each day has been unhurried and slow paced; flown, because I can’t believe it’s Friday already and almost time to go. This week has been a lesson in slowing down, for me, as I’ve put away my work computer and focused on time with my family or just plain “down time”. It’s also been an example of how sometimes, the most ordinary things, like a week at home with the people who are closest to me, can be extraordinary. This has been a week of being together, for days on end. It’s been something special. I’m very grateful that all of us, together, could take the time to be here.