Saturday, March 19, 2016

my kids: a love story

Tonight, a date with the two adults who matter most, and the two small people as well. The plan was that Anna and the boys and I would meet at Value Village, the biggest in Toronto and full of great deals, to shop for half an hour before meeting Sam at his bar the Gaslight, just a block away. And then Sam would treat us all to dinner at Emerson's, a restaurant nearby.

Anna was held up in traffic, so I combed Value Village by myself, ending up with a big Fisher-Price pirate boat for you know who. At the cash, the groovy young woman standing behind me, wearing heavy eyeliner, a vintage cloth coat and battered Converse sneakers, said, "Is that to keep you company in the bathtub?" Yes indeed!

Sam's bar, his second home, is funky and comfortable. At first glance, I mistook the tall sandy-haired young man in the kitchen for my son, and when I told him so, he said, "I'm honoured." We had a drink and then went to the restaurant, where my son and daughter seemed to know every single person who works there - Sam because this is his profession and his 'hood and Anna because most of the kids she went to school with have ended up in the same business - including her friend Grant Van Gameren, who is now the superstar chef of the city.

One of the owners of Emerson's took Ben and gave him a 15 minute tour around, while the other owner sat with his arm around Anna and talked old times with her and business with Sam. Eli  scribbled with crayons and I schepped naches, as the Jews say - revelled in my pride. Oh oh oh, how I wish my father the gourmet, the man who loved good food and wine, could partake of this, the sophisticated cuisine of Toronto - 'cuisine' and 'Toronto', in the same sentence! - and his grandchildren at the centre of it all.
That's Ben in the mirror behind, getting his tour. These two are 100% siblings, yet physically, they have nothing in common. In other ways, though - hospitality, loyalty, generosity, humour, a certain amount of temper and not suffering fools gladly - a great deal.

I am doing laundry and trying to limit what I bring to Vancouver, stacking things up and taking them away. I'm gone for 5 weeks, and it's cold here today so hard to imagine that somewhere else, it's not. I'm finishing an essay to send to a competition, why not, and making lists for Carol, who will look after everything in my absence. I will be glad to get away, but I know I will also be looking forward to coming home.


  1. What a lovely post. And I am just home from something down the Coast (an hour north of Vancouver) where I was warm enough in a linen dress and jean jacket. Daffodils, cherries in bloom, frogs loud in the pond. Pack accordingly!

  2. Hard to imagine happy frogs, Theresa, as the chill wind cuts through here. But we've had an incredible winter, nothing to complain about. Thanks for the heads up; I'll try to imagine warmth and cherry blossoms - and a certain amount of rain. Can't wait.