As a little girl my mom would take me to the beach ALL summer long. We would park, get out of the car and we would run down the big hill to the tunnel, the tunnel that echoed our excited screams and our silly giggle fits. Usually sometime before, during or after a swim in the pool we would hit the beach and look for sea animals, mostly crabs, but me and my kids seem to find a lot of starfish. The fun of exploring and soaking up the sun is a HUGE childhood memory for me and it’s something I am organically passing down onto my kids. At first I didn’t realize I was recreating my childhood, but when you have fun memories it’s just so easy to do what you know and enjoy. We would swim and munch on homemade snacks, maybe grab some fish and chips and just lay in the sun. We had a wicker beach basket that was filled with cards, some board games and magazines. I remember as I got older I would hold one handle and my mom would hold the other, that just came to me and now I’m smiling. The beach is where I learned to play crib and backgammon, my mom always, in her words, whoooooped my butt! Of course there are subtle differences like, I use a wagon not a wicker basket for instance but the one major difference is I document our memories. I would give almost anything for just a look back into those days, those days that where just not “special” enough to bring the camera for.
At the end of the day I can vividly remember my mom handing me her change purse so I can go to get a Popsicle. You know the one, the one with the 3 different colours the red, white and blue one. The lady behind the concession counter always remembered what I liked and always had time to ask how I was and how much fun I was having- no matter how busy she was. To this day that lady is still there and she talks to my kids just like she used to talked to me. She tells me my daughter looks like me and it’s like a blast from the past, there is always a sigh and a “I can’t believe you’re a mom already”.
If it was above 25 degrees my mom knew where to find me, our happy place, New Brighton Park a hidden gem in the middle of East Vancouver. I would be sitting with my kids and I would look over my shoulder through the chain link fence and there she would be sitting on the bench patiently waiting to hang out with her grandchildren.
I still look to see, I know the bench will now be empty but I can’t help but look anyways.
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