Sunday, July 15, 2012

Calgary / 31 / Fun


Saying goodbye to Henry for 4 days was not as difficult as I feared.  He generally understood what was happening, and I had already had my blog & cry the night before.  I got to the airport with about 40 minutes to spare, but then the flight was delayed another hour and a half.  Lots of reading time!

My observations from the taxi window between the Calgary airport and the Kensington Riverside Inn were that:

1.  Everything looks new.
2.  Everything is green.
3.  Everything looks clean.

I checked in and was shown to my room and instructed on how to work the air conditioning as well as the fireplace.  Air conditioning is not standard in Calgary, as if one taxi driver is to be believed, there is only about 6 weeks of warm weather in the year.   We were far north enough for the sky to still be light after 11pm.    

My co-worker & I met with 3 clients on Monday and 4 clients on Tuesday.  These were the likes of BP, Enbridge, Talisman....basically the big energy companies.

On Monday evening we checked out the Stampede grounds.  Lots of rides, lots of meat on a bun.

In the mornings, pancake breakfasts are held at various locations across the city, where people will line up an hour or more to have pancakes and eat them in public spaces.  It's just tradition.  We had pancakes at the hotel.  Also daily are the mini parades that snake through the downtown.  Here are the "Indians" or so they are commonly referred to in Alberta.

Then Tuesday night was the company party.  This is a vodka luge.

Yee Haw Calgary!

31 & FUN

When I came home, there were flowers on the table.  The house was clean.  There was food to eat.  Henry had only minor changes in behaviour, like pushing a kid at daycare, but no big tantrums or meltdowns.

I first saw Henry when I picked him up from daycare on Thursday afternoon.  He ran over to me and gave me a big hug and said "Ice cream truck."  I was choked up and couldn't speak, but when we kept repeating it, I had to laugh.  We made our way over to the farmers market and bought strawberries and peaches.  

On my birthday, both Henry & I took the day off daycare and work and met up with my good-friend-practically-a-sister- who was visiting from St. John's, Newfoundland.  I finally got to meet her other half as well as her 2nd baby.   The three boys could be their own Dickens novel:  Edwin, Henry and George.

Saturday was a full-on Mummy / Henry day.  We started the adventure at the Woodbine / Gerrard bus stop.  

The new face of the East End.

We took 11 subway stops to St. George and went to the museum, only to find it was not open for another 20 minutes.  Up & at 'em Henry!

So we trundled down the Philosopher's Walk & had a snack.  When we did go inside the museum, we were  practically the only ones there and Henry was in his element.  We ran through the rocks and crystals exhibit, ran through the armour displays and through the Beethoven 1-32 exhibit.   He did like the dinosaurs this time.

As we were leaving, Henry saw his first double-decker bus, and the conductor hanging on at the rear entrance gave Henry a big wave.  

An outdoor piano, in front of the ROM.

By 11am, we arrived at my friend's apartment for a birthday brunch.  She had us dress up in party-gear before feasting on blueberry muffins and Caprese salad.  While Henry napped, we snuck out for a coffee and chin-wag, while her fiance stayed and kept an ear out for ol' Henry who never stirred.  

To round-off this exciting day, we met up with my brother at Dufferin Grove park where Henry played in the splash pool, climbed the jungle gym and enjoyed going on the see-saw with his doppelganger uncle.  

Sunday was also fun, but more low-key:  church, nap, rainstorm, groceries, neighbor's good-bye party. Now it's back to the grind.  Bring it on!  Yee Haw!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Bientot Sesame Street / Howdy Cow Town


Muster up some energy.


I am going on a business trip!  I'm going to go to the Calgary Stampede.  I get to stay in a hotel, eat my meals out, fly on an airplane.  Take taxi rides.

I will be meeting up with clients to discuss our business relationship, particularly from an administrative angle.  

I will be assisting with the registration table at the company event, and then mingling with clients.

Possibly I will see some of the Stampede events like rodeo or chuck wagon racing, maybe go to the midway?  Hard to say, as there will be many other co-workers there and who knows what event/party/pursuit might happen.


But the enthusiasm is not really there.

This is my first time away from Henry.  I've most always been there in the evenings when he goes to bed, but always have been there in the morning.  Not 24 hours have passed in his life that I have not been there.  

But he doesn't have reason to be afraid.  I will be coming back.  

I do, however, have to wrestle with my feelings of knowing that the possibility of a mother not coming back, can be a reality.  

If I went away often, we'd both get used to it.  However, this is the first time and it is not something I want to get used to.

Sometimes when I put Henry to bed, like tonight, I can't stop the tears.  There aren't many tears and they don't last long.  

But each tear has weight.

The weight of knowing that Henry needs me and loves me so much.  The weight of loving him to my core.  The weight of how do you recover from tragedy?  The weight of trust broken.  

If I never came back, he wouldn't remember me.  

But the odds are in my favour.  I most probably will come back in 3 days, bearing gifts, stories and pictures.  I will have had a much-needed break from the tough slog it has been to make Sesame Street work.

I will miss having to remember to pick-up milk and chatting with the staff at Better Bulk.  I will miss pulling the wagon down the street after dinner, chatting with neighbours and throwing rocks in the sewer with Henry.  I will miss the scramble of what's for dinner.  I will miss the meltdown every morning about having only 1 type of toothpaste on the toothbrush.  I will miss pushing the stroller in the baking sun for 20 minutes, while pointing out butterflies, flowers and animals.    

But I will be back, and will be back in time to take Henry to the farmers market to buy strawberries and ice cream.  


While I may be lacking enthusiasm and feeling some weighty emotions, I do very much look forward to the feeling of living my own life.  Just for a few days.  I can decide when to get up, what to eat, where to go (to a certain extent).  I will have time...time to explore the city, time to party, time to read, time to just sit, time to watch TV (and TV channels to watch), and drum roll please...a chance to eat breakfast without interruption!!!

And I may even get my nails done.  

I look forward to blogging all about it.