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Ben is four

Sitting here in front of the fan with the AC on too, at last – it’s brutally hot outside with a storm predicted, a blessing for the garden. We’re still clicking happily together, my new Mac and I, though it does something annoying; it likes to add periods before I do, before I’ve finished writing, as if it’s editing me mid-sentence. Have to figure out how to stop that; it’s bad enough with human editors cutting us to bits without machines doing it too.

Yesterday’s joy – Mr. Ben’s fourth birthday party. By some miracle, it was meant to thunderstorm, which would have meant myriad children rampaging through the apartment, but after a light sprinkle the sun came out and so did the children, straight into the wading pool, where the submachine water guns were waiting. And that was it, they were out for the rest of the day.

What made me marvel was that, of the ten or twelve children there, my two grandsons were the only Caucasians. The mothers originated in Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, Japan; a First Nations grandmother, one of Anna’s good friends, is raising her 3 grandchildren for her daughter who’s working and in school. These women know each other – and each other’s children – from the drop in at the school run by Miss Claire, who was also at the party. One woman brought her tiny 8 month old baby who’d been born premature; every woman at the party held that baby. Anna said she’s the “therapy baby”; any woman longing to have another child can hold her for a bit and maybe satisfy that itch. Miss Claire said when the principal of the school is having a bad day, she comes to the drop in and says, Where’s that baby? One hug and she feels better.

When I was eleven, a girl from the Caribbean arrived at my Halifax school. She was like a Martian to me. My parents had a few African friends, it wasn’t as if I hadn’t met any people of colour, but they were exotic rarities, few and far between. Eli and Ben have grown up so immersed in a multicultural world, they simply do not see colour. For that matter, because many friends of their parents come in all shapes, sizes, and sexualities, they don’t see any of that either. The way we should be. (The very fact that I’m writing this post about it means that I DO see colour. A dinosaur.)

I escaped from the party to my friend Lynn’s; she has a shady, plant- and tree-filled backyard, a forest glade with a wonderful pool like a tiny lake. We floated and chatted for an hour before emerging for rosé and supper and a second swim. I can feel that cool water on my skin even now. Wish I could create a tiny lake in my own yard; the summers are not going to get cooler. Maybe I’ll get my own wading pool, and a slide too.

Today, hard work getting ready for tomorrow’s Write in the Garden workshop: twelve writers arriving at 10 a.m. to spend the day in my garden, with lunch. I have lots of interesting prompts ready; today was about making four big salads – potato, tabbouleh, tomato/bread, pasta with veggies – cooking the quiches, cleaning the house, doing the garden.

And then sitting in front of the fan.

PS. I see that I started posting 3482 times ago. Feels like yesterday.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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