family day (curling) rocks!
My second Family Day was a little, uh, fraught. For some reason it was incredibly difficult to get both boys fed, dressed and ready to leave, even though we had all morning. Mason made a big breakfast, but the boys wanted cereal. No one wanted to focus long enough to get into day clothes. Andy called to find out if the plan had changed, since I had set up a tobogganing party and there was no snow. I began to regret my decision to leave the house at all. And so on.
But we got out, and we made it to Christie Pits in one piece, even though there was indeed no snow. Things were banging at the community centre, where volunteers were handing out pizza and hot chocolate to the masses of skaters. We didn't bring our skates so we improvised (read: we let Blake amuse himself with the other children sliding, pushing and running on the ice-hills formed by rink snow, and kept Sage near the fire.) For a slow start, it went by fast and Blake was sorry to leave when it was time to return Sage to his mom.
Sage returned, we decided to find a place to eat. I have learned the folly of Putting Off a Meal Until We Get Home – while undoubtedly cheaper, we're more likely to end the day talking to one another if we eat before an hour-long car-ride. Both of our new favourite restaurants being east, we headed over to Leslieville to see if either of them were open. Family Day is such a new holiday that no routines have become settled; businesses are sometimes open and sometimes closed. There are, as yet, no Family Day sales.
We were in luck: even though the resto was not yet open, the Ceili Cottage Dinky Rink was in full swing, with the owner Patrick and his son fooling around with a set of junior curling rocks. When Patrick saw Blake, he told us to stay and throw a rock or seven. So we did.
We stayed for the 75 minutes it took the restaurant to open, warmed equally by the fire, the surprise in the faces of passers by, and by the wonderful sounds of curling rocks skidding and clicking. Blake immediately latched onto the son, who was kind to him despite the difference in their ages (and despite the fact that my son is tremendously shrill and bossy. No, I have NO idea where he gets that from.) We roasted marshmallows, knit, and chatted with Patrick and the other people who dropped by to play. (My olympic mitts still smell like woodsmoke, an excellent addition.)
By the time the food was ready, it was apparent that Blake had found his Family Day niche. We were able to pry him away from the rink to order, to eat, and to sample our dessert; the rest of the time he was allowed to mess around on the ice with the kids and adults who were as captivated as we had been. For a few hours, everyone who came by was in our family, which is a holiday miracle as far as I'm concerned.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*