Wednesday, March 9, 2016

my son the cocktail champ

Some days are so good, it's hard to believe that other days are not. This morning, I got a call from Anna at 7.45 - it's registration day for Toronto School Board summer programs, parents have to be on the phone dialling madly at dawn, and diligently, she got not only her own son but her friend Erin's into all the programs they wanted - two weeks at camp, t-ball, pre-school. She was thrilled. And then she said, "And I'm so happy about Sam!"

So I read the text my son sent at 5.30 a.m. Yesterday he and 3 other bartenders won the Mount Gay Rum cocktail competition and will receive a free flight to and week in Barbados. What's particularly wonderful about this is the place Barbados has had in our lives. Auntie Do's ex-husband Loris owned a small hotel called the Kingsley Club on the almost-deserted east coast of the island, a glorious place we all thought of as heaven on earth - small and friendly, full of air and light and birds, with a massive beach on the other side of the road. You couldn't swim there, there was a deadly undertow, but you could paddle and dig and run. We could only afford a few trips, but they were among the best ever in our lives, and Loris wouldn't let us pay for a thing.

Bus tours would come through on their way around the island and stop there for lunch. When a big crowd arrived, my kids begged to be allowed to help; they'd stand behind the bar and open soft drinks for the guests. The other day, when Sam was inventing his rum-based cocktails, he named one the Loris and the other, the Kingsley. What goes around comes around, or something like that.

On top of all that, it's spring in Toronto, like May in the first week of March - incredibly mild, sweet soft sun. I've never known a winter this easy. The term at U of T ended yesterday, a group I adored, wonderful writers and people. I am editing the last draft of an autobiography by a former student who's been working with me on it for years, and it's gorgeous. My own memoir is coming along really well. All in all, right this moment, things are pretty damn good.

But soon I'll go to the Y for Carole's class and realize just how old I am. George Martin just died, a great sadness, what a brilliant talent, what a good life.
The patch of sun I'm sitting in just vanished behind cloud. And I am grateful for every bit of it.