I got up at 5.30 this morning to make coffee for and say goodbye to Ed, my ex, off to Pearson to fly home. How far we’ve come. He and I married joyfully in 1981, had two children, separated in 1991 and divorced in 1992. Now we are grandparents and still parents, checking in with each other regularly about family issues. Since Eli’s birth, he has come three times to visit his children and new grandson, and while here, he stays in my basement suite. This gives us calm time together, especially at breakfast and at night, and we have become again the friends we were at the beginning.
What a gift that is, not just to us, but more importantly, to our children.
Last Friday, Lynn flew back to Montreal, and a few hours later, Ed arrived from Washington, D.C. That evening, he took Sam and me to local restaurant F’Amelia for a fine meal, both of us eager to check in with our son and see how he’s doing. Just fine, was the reply. Saturday afternoon was Eli’s real birthday party, organized by his extraordinary mother, who was lucky that the cold weather turned just before the guests arrived – because besides many adults, there were eventually 14 children under the age of 7 playing in the backyard, with fierce little Eli determined to be part of every activity. And then a vast barbecue dinner with five salads and a wonderful dinosaur cake made by his father’s sister. Anna had an eclectic group of guests, including most of Eli’s father’s family, her oldest childhood friend with brand new son, her favourite gay buddies, and a neighbour who weighs 600 pounds. Edgar and I were so exhausted by the time we got home that he went to bed at 8.30 and I not long after.
Sunday, a family dinner here. I baby-proofed the kitchen by covering everything possible with tablecloths so that Eli couldn’t see the treasures of interesting stuff to pull out from underneath. Though surely that won’t last long. Between us all, we managed to keep an extremely energetic young man busy – up and down the stairs, what a fun game! – and then, when dinner was ready, fed. He ate with his usual gusto, as did we all. A family a family we are a real family – what a wonder.
Today though, after Ed’s departure, I felt like I’d been hit with a 2 by 4, not just because of all the cooking and talking and wine last night, or the big burn on my arm from being careless taking the chickens out of the oven, that had me strapping a cold compress to my forearm all evening to fend off the pain. I adore these people more than anyone on earth, but dealing with their beloved selves certainly requires energy, tact and focus. I wasn’t up to much today except de-baby-proofing and cleaning up. Luckily, the weather is finally turning – that chill in the air lasted nearly a week, but today was sunny and warm, and later this week, it’s supposed to go up to 30 degrees. Toronto in spring – freezing, boiling, everything in between.
The ghastly Ford brothers continue their rampage of prevarication, bluster and deceit, portraying themselves as poor persecuted little guys when in fact, they’re bullying millionaires who have probably broken the law many times. Please, someone, step up to the plate and produce the video, or use your real name in accusing these jerks. Please! In Ottawa, the Senate scandal continues. Meanwhile, Obama weathers his own scandals by making two superb speeches, one to black graduates about developing a social conscience not just for themselves or their race but for the good of their country, and the other, a vital speech about putting 9/11-inspired paranoia and calls for war away and looking to the future. The man is an orator and an idealist – so inspiring, despite his detached nature. Whereas Canada has a cold secretive control-freak helmet-head incapable of a generous gesture or thought, and as for the city …
Thank God for Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, a politician in the best sense of that word, an honourable, intelligent woman who should be running everything in sight.
Here’s Jian Ghomeshi’s eloquent essay about Toronto, from this morning’s Q: