The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Playing Pretend in the Dark

By Ania Vesenny

If my four year old wasn’t screaming that she wanted to go out, I would have stayed home. It was 7PM. It was dark. Very dark. I considered my options – staying home equaled a tantrum. Going out equaled… getting dressed, getting my toddler dressed, helping my 4 year old getting dressed, and then staying out. I have a logical kid. “The fresh air will calm me down, and I won’t scream anymore, and I will sleep better,” she wailed. Some time ago I made a resolution to choose my battles. I got us dressed.

With my first step out, I realized how warm it was. Not October-Toronto-warm, but about +3C- with-no-wind-warm.

With my second step I realized that if my toddler was more than 5 meters away from me, I couldn’t see him. There were patches of complete darkness between houses. The streetlights were sporadic and dim. Many windows had black-out curtains, making the houses look abandoned. There were no stars.

We made it to the playground – six houses down the road. From there I could see the bay and a part of town called Lego Land, because of its red, blue, and green roofs. From where I stood it looked like the houses where right on the beach. I stared at the boat anchored in the bay – a triangle of light, reflected in the calm water.

My toddler was pretending he was a dog.

My four year old was pretending she was swimming with dwarf minke whales.

I was pretending I was in a sea-side town in Croatia (could have been Italy, but I’ve never been to Italy), in the middle of the Adriatic winter. There were palm trees around, and a short walk away there was a bustling, cozily lit downtown with art galleries and cafes. And it felt good.

But then we walked home and had tea, and no one screamed, and it felt good too.


Blogger Patricia said...

what a beautiful evening Ania, thanks for sharing it with us..xoxo

Sat Oct 21, 12:34:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Nice, Ania. I can picture thee scecne. It's scary being a mother, isn't it? I remember those younger days well.

Sat Oct 21, 06:17:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

I enjoyed this much earlier today but was unable to post a comment...what's going on with blogger today? Your world there is facinating, thank you agin for sharing. Your four year old must be tough to keep up with :)

Sun Oct 22, 12:20:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I was never more terrified than I few times I lost sight of my kids when we were out of the house. That parent terror seizes your entire body. I lost my four-year-old daughter in a crowd at the farmer's market once. I started crying. Somebody held her over their head and over the heads of everybody and there she WAS, floating in the air ten feet to the left. I kissed her and kissed but I wanted to kiss the couple who had quickly hoisted her and made her laugh and comfortable while they did it. (She had waved at me as I headed her way- not a worry in the world.)

Sun Oct 29, 10:15:00 pm GMT-5  

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