dream, dream, dream (with thanks to the Everly Brothers)

Dream, dream, dream, dream
dream, dream, dream, dream

This morning, photographs arrived: the first day of school for my older grandchildren. How the years have passed. In Edmonton, it’s grade one for K. She is wearing her favourite colour, purple, and her bike is ready for her, complete with ladybird bell.

first day, K

Wasn’t it just a month or two ago that we were driving along the Yellowhead Highway to meet her for the first time? Her father had called two nights earlier to say she’d been born and we spent a day packing up the car. We had gifts for her and her parents and I remember waking in Valemont at dawn after arriving there the evening before (a long day’s drive…), saying if we left right now, we’d be there in time for lunch.

kelly and grandma

When I want you in my arms

In Ottawa, it’s year two of kindergarten.

first day, A

This is a young man who knows the names of dinosaurs and the relative ages of fossils. When his younger brother was born, we visited, and I remember a picnic on the Madawaska River where A. and I sat on chairs by the slow river and talked about time. Well, mostly he talked, and I listened. He pretty much had it down. We talked about water and where it went and if Herakleitos didn’t actually come up, he was certainly in the air.

talking about time

When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Dream, dream, dream, dream

I know that it wasn’t the school bus I heard coming from Egmont at 8 a.m. because school doesn’t start until next week in B.C. but I remember my children racing down the driveway to meet it, new clothes from the Sears catalogue, no lunch for the first day because it was only a half-day, and then listening again around noon for the bus to pause at our driveway to let them off. We’d have lunch and then head down to the lake for a swim. We could swim all through September and then one morning we’d wake and realize the time had passed.

It was quiet at the lake this morning. I swam, I thought of school, and how my mother took us to Spencers Store on Government Street in Victoria for clothing, and how I’d line up my blouses and skirts on my bed to imagine myself in them, a better version of myself, someone who would take more care with her printing, and try not to interrupt the teacher. I thought of walking to Sir James Douglas Elementary along May Street and then Moss, my lunch kit and school bag bumping against my legs, and how September in Victoria was always so mild. Like here. I couldn’t have imagined carrying a mask in my pocket, or wearing one, and keeping my distance at recess. I swam and thought of my grandchildren in this damaged beautiful world and when I came out to dry myself off, my face was wet with what might have been the lake and might have been tears.

Dream, dream, dream, dream

8 thoughts on “dream, dream, dream (with thanks to the Everly Brothers)”

  1. I’m with you, sister – thinking of our grandchildren coping with distance and masks and such uncertainty in our increasingly frantic world. And yet – with such loving, strong parents – not to mention loving, strong grandparents hovering in the background – how supported they are and will be. Nothing will really faze them, is my guess. FYI, that Everly Brothers song is one of my faves too, oh God I used to dance around the bedroom crooning with my arms around myself. And now I’m about to treat myself to some Sauvagine and wine after an irritating day.

  2. If I lived closer, I’d join you for that cheese (one of my favourites) and a glass (or two) of wine. Yes, the masks. When we spent a few days near Kamloops with some of our young’uns a few weeks ago, the grandchildren got to join me in a pleasure I’ve never outgrown: chocolate dipped cones at the Dairy Queen. We pulled into the lot after a swim in Nicola Lake and got out of our cars. They came in the DQ with me to order and help carry while the others nobbled an outside table. Immediately they pulled out their Paw Patrol masks and fitted them expertly to their faces. I was both impressed and kind of saddened.

  3. My eyes are a bit wet now, and there’s no lake to blame! I feel so sad for the kids inheriting this world, and yet hopeful they or the intervening generations will sort things out. Theresa where did you live in Fairfield? We lived on May and I walked my own kids up May, then Moss, on our way to SJD.

  4. Leslie, it’s that time of year, isn’t it? My dad was in the navy so we moved every couple of years. But the years that truly imprinted me were the Fairfield ones. We lived for a time at 1309 May, right next to the monumental works, at the base of Moss Rocks, and then at 144 Eberts Street. I don’t think the May Street house is there any longer, or at least it’s been absorbed by townhouses. The Eberts one is still there and was recently for sale. In those years we walked to school on our own. In grade 1. In some ways they were different times and in some ways, much the same. My grade one classroom was in the Annex (still standing, though I gather the church across the road has been demolished. Went to Brownies there!).

  5. Oh gosh, with that tune of the Everly Brothers as background, I can feel those tears.
    I was nodding my head in step with you all through this post. My grandchildren are older but there are so many darling wee ones out there experiencing this in a way that completely skews the natural order of things. Lovely post, as always Theresa.

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