The Lifespan of a Fly


National Holidays, three-year-old style
July 2, 2010, 7:26 AM
Filed under: Generalizations

As with previous years, it was hot. It was also loud and busy and very, very exciting. At least that’s how I saw yesterday’s Canada Day celebrations. This year though was the first year that I got to see the magic that comes along with the music and junk food.

I booked Alex well in advance. I knew that some other relation, and likely a blood one, would want to take him to the festivals. I was able to scoff! Ha! He’s mine today. So we packed up his little Cars backpack with berries and granola bars (well, he calls them “Chewy Bars” because when he tries to say “granola” it comes out as a derogatory term. Funny, but embarrassing in the wrong situation), peanuts and extra clothes. He wasn’t too sure how he felt about the masses of people swirling around him in their red-and-white garb. Warily, he eyed them and came to the conclusion that he might, just might, try it out.

The fountains at City Hall were spurting out their white plumes of water and I had him sit down with me at the edge. After searching through Dollar Stores for Canadian flag tattoos, and finding none, I was delighted to see that they were being given away to all the children and adults who wanted one. Alex is one of those kids who really doesn’t like being dirty, even with Aunty encouraging him to just lick it off. He was LIVID with me for splashing cold water on him, but forgave me when he saw the end result: a bright red maple leaf the covered the entirety of his hand.

The line-ups were long, and children were crying, but not my Alex, he patiently waited his turn for the petting zoo. Surrounded by quacking ducks and shy, traumatized pigs, he took his time scoping out exactly what animal he would like to pet. Sticking his little fingers through the wire cage, he fell in love with the white chinchilla. I looked on in delight and tried to ignore the llama who kept making aggressive advances on me and tried to eat my hair when I wasn’t looking.

For lunch we sat in the grass and ate onion rings and french fries, followed by ice cream in the shape of cartoon characters with bubble gum eyes. Blues music wafted up through the Square and he sat in my lap and we grooved together, enjoying the sun and shade in equal portions and watching the people milling about past us.

To me, a daily commuter, the train is a necessity. For Alex, it was the best thing we did all day. Sure, we could have walked the couple of blocks to the legislature grounds, but the train was built for the enjoyment of little boys. That I’m certain of.

The Legislature Grounds were filled with an impossible number of people and Ukrainian dancers. After much pleading and teasing and name calling (“Look, there’s a baby in here Alex. You’re not a baby are you?”) we spent the afternoon in the wading pool. He’d climb up to ledges three-feet high and holding onto my hands, jump into the shallow water and splash all the other children, and myself.

I remember being his age. Hard to believe I know. I remember how much fun it is to just be around other people and enjoy the music and the food and the light atmosphere of people celebrating their freedom. At least I thought I did until yesterday. Alex, you’ve shown me how amazing the world is, especially seen through a child’s wading pool.

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1 Comment so far
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Very cute. He sounds like a great little man 🙂

Comment by J




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