Now that Vancouver has begun the big clean-up and I’ve mostly recovered from Sunday’s post-hockey parties, I thought I’d catch up with my letter-writing. It’s hard to think of anything to say which isn’t related to the Olympics: the first part of the month hoping that everything would go well, the Games themselves, the idiots in the British press trying their best to lower expectations for London 2012 by slamming Vancouver for every perceived slight, the Cultural Olympiad, my taxes…
April’s visit went really well and she enjoyed the break enough that she’s talking about spending the summer here. I’ve offered my guest room, but made it clear that she’s not really a guest but a roommate so can come and go as she pleases and we don’t have to do everything together. She’s old enough not to need me to babysit her, plus I have my own life and will be getting ready for my sabbatical trip.
Speaking of babysitting, I don’t mind taking Francie for the occasional day out while Liz is away, but I’ve made clear to Anthony that he and Liz will really need to find a more regular babysitting service. Surely there are some teenagers in their neighbourhood. She’s a nice kid, very bright, and I had a good time taking her to the pairs figure skating, but I do wonder sometimes why my ideas about children seem so different from Liz and Anthony’s. For instance, we went for some food after the skating and Francie seemed upset about something. When I asked, she said that she wanted to be a figure skater when she grew up, but was worried that she couldn’t do that and work for her dad as well. Since no one else seemed like they were going to say anything, I explained the obvious fact that she didn’t have to make her mind up right now. She looked genuinely surprised when I said that, so I told her that I’d done years of cross-country running in high school. Then I started to study geological engineering at university and finally settled on geology and wound up teaching, but I still run (maybe not quite as quickly). I said that I was sure Liz and April had similar stories about changing their minds and plans, but they both looked kind of awkward and didn’t say anything for the longest time until Liz finally said that she used to sing in a choir in school but isn’t a singer now and April changed the subject to Mike and Deanna.
Oh, that’s right. My half-brother and his wife split up. It made April’s last full day in Vancouver a real downer as she and Liz just couldn’t stop analyzing everything about Mike’s marriage until Liz decided that she just had to fly to Colorado. I have to admit complete indifference. I barely know him – I tried and tried but just could not get into any of his books – and Deanna made next to no impression on me at all other than a sense that she’s pretty bland. Maybe that’s why Mike left. Anyway, I wound up taking both April and Liz to the airport while Anthony looked after the kids. April’s flight was first and no sooner had she gone through security than Liz said she would kill for a burger after all that vegan food and made a beeline for A&W. (I’d actually enjoyed the change and Gareth and I have added Gorilla Food to our stack of take-out menus.) Fortunately, Liz’s flight was pretty soon after so I could excuse myself rather than watch her eat a Grandpa Burger.
Sooooo…the city will be getting back to normal and shrink to about half its recent population, and I won’t see crowds of superhuman athletes striding along, head and shoulders above us mere mortals. Down come all the Team Canada banners from all the downtown buildings and all the students will return to class. It has been a blast and I’m so proud of my city and country, but I think I’ll live happily ever after if I never hear another cow bell.