A weekend in Vancouver

A columnist reflects on teens, sunshine and flowers

  • Apr. 19, 2016 3:00 p.m.

A weekend in


Here in Alberta, it seems we have to coax spring along, begging it humbly to please show its lovely, tender face.

And it does, but only allowing us glimpses. Crocuses, carefully hidden someplace that lots of us don’t even know about. Pussywillows, all grey and plump, adding an understated elegance to roadside ditches, all dirty and wet and covered with winter’s dark, untold secret hoards of garbage.

Trees, their stark outlines becoming blurry and soft against a defiant blue sky.

It’s all there, soft, subtle signs that spring is on its way.

But in Vancouver, spring is not like that.

In Vancouver, spring does not hide. It is not subtle. It’s all over the place, flaunting itself, all fragrant and warm and beautiful.

It’s so lovely it makes you want to skip down the sidewalk and wear flowers in your hair and just simply be one with the sun and the sky and the water.

Well, on second thought I’m sure there are other ways to becoming one with the universe, but the flowers and skipping thing were the first thoughts that popped into my mind.

It probably wouldn’t work for guys.

But, for me, being a tag along grandma at the CHEER competition my granddaughter was in, I could not believe my luck at actually walking, well, flying, into a fresh, new world where spring wasn’t afraid to hide its face.

For me, being number three in a three-generation weekend get-together proved to be a delicious jumble of moments. During that time I learned what I had forgotten and a little more as well about teens.

In the end, I learned I really didn’t know very much about that generation at all.

Teens don’t wake up well! “Good morning, sweetheart,” I said to the 13-year-old in the bed, sounding all chirpy and cheerful, like I do, for a short time frame, after I’ve had my morning coffee.

My granddaughter did not respond. She simply opened one eye, looked at me in horror like I was an alien from a different planet, closed it again and buried herself deeper under the covers.

Right. Now I remember. Teenagers like to sleep and sleep and sleep some more.

I also learned  another thing I had forgotten. Time means nothing to teens.

When my kids were kids, phrases like ‘hurry up, we are going to be late,’ were like a record stuck on the turntable, with the needle playing the same words over and over.

Apparently, that same record is still playing. Still stuck.

I also learned what the three most common words used by teens in the English language are.

I don’t know.

Mom: Where do you want to go eat? Teen: I don’t know.

Mom: What do you want to do? Teen: I don’t know.

Mom: What did you guys do? Teen: I don’t know.

Finally, grandma — that would be me, said, “okay, this is what I want to do.

I want to eat at a restaurant by the water. I want to make use all my senses. I want to watch the water and the boats and the people and marvel at it all. And I want to breathe in deeply and let the smell of the salt water and the fresh spring air assault my nostrils.

I want to taste the ocean.

And I want to taste delicious food prepared by someone else and savour a glass of red.

And after I had said all that, I looked at my daughter and granddaughter who were staring at me somewhat quizzically and added, somewhat apologetically.

“If that’s okay.”

“It’s okay,” they said.

Sometimes being the grandma is so cool!





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