Friday, March 16, 2012

Canadians and Their Holidays

(Disclaimer:  this post is written by an American who has lived in Canada for 13 years and has established official Landed Immigrant status in this country.  All perspectives portrayed are due to the fact that the author has divided loyalties between Canada and the United States and, due to the country of origin and the influence gained from those first thirty-two years of life, the comments made cannot help but have the slant that they do.)

Canadians love their holidays!  There's pretty much one holiday per month, preferably on a Monday, and if there isn't really an offical one like Christmas or Thanksgiving or Canada Day, why then, there is one that's created just for the fun of it, it seems.  August has no official reason to celebrate, but we have August 1st as "Civic Holiday".  What's that mean?  It just means that we need a day off in August. 

February doesn't really have a holiday either because you can't count on Valentine's Day to have a day off of work or school.  No problem.  Several years ago, Family Day was created and now we have yet another Monday off. 

Family Day is supposed to be a day where families spend time together doing family things.  For some people, that means cleaning out their basements together or sleeping in and maybe vacuuming out the family van.  To others, it means going on a weekend skiing trip or attending a local museum's free Family Day activities. 

This year, Family Day for us meant spending the day participating in a free Family Day skate at an ice rink with some friends and then going to their house for a wonderful visit the remainder of the day.  What fun!  While the dads worked on computers and the kids played outside in the snow fort and Monopoly Jr. inside , the moms sat and laughed together and cooked together and visited like only two moms with little kids can do - interrupted, disrupted, and non-stop!
Fred and Levi sharing some fun playtime together.

Lots of happy, noisy and goofy children!

 We let the kids eat first so that we could enjoy a quiet meal together with just the grown ups.  They loved the "privacy" of eating without parental supervision, as you can tell.
Watching Roadrunner videos
 When they were done, the kids all gathered around the laptop in the other room to watch Roadrunner videos while we had our quiet dinner in the dining room, next door.
 We weren't so quiet, I guess, because all of a sudden, some little munchkin came over and shut the door to the dining room because we were being too loud and they couldn't hear their show!  That, of course, made us parents laugh even louder and harder! 

While I still think it's funny that there had to be a day designated for families so that we could have another holiday with a day off, I sure am thankful for it!  We had a lot of fun with the Boronka family and the laughs we shared were welcomed and binding for our families.  The day was over far too soon and we left with wonderful memories.  What a great Family Day, February 2012 (or June 2003 - depending on what calendar you use, right Irina?)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Code Yellow

Do you know what Code Yellow at Zellers means?  I didn't either, until last night.  Code Yellow at Zellers means "missing child."  Yep.  When your child seems to have disappeared into thin air, you tell the first store employee that you see, they pick up a phone on a pole in the middle of the store and blast "CODE YELLOW" over the speaker system after describing to their superiors that a five year old boy in a black coat went missing in the toy section.

And how do I know this and why am I telling you this?  Why, because it happened to a particular little five year old boy that we know quite well last night, of course!  We were at Dad Weinhardt's last night and after supper, Fred took Timothy and Christopher to the mall to pick up some things while Stephen and I stayed at Dad's.  They decided to stop and check out the toys in Zellers (whose idea was that, do you think?) on their way out.  Timothy and Fred were looking at some basketballs when Fred turned around and realized that Christopher wasn't there any more.  He quickly looked through the toy section calling his name, but ... no response.  He said his footsteps got a bit quicker and his voice a bit louder, but soon realized that Christopher was no longer in the toy section.  He found an employee who called in the missing child report and then announced Code Yellow to the entire store.

Fred said that he checked out the toy section again, but then retraced his steps and went back to the mall entrance of the department store.  There was Christopher, standing at the gaping wide opening of Zellers, about ready to walk and disappear into that huge mall!  When he saw Fred, he ran to him and burst into tears!  He told Daddy that he looked for him and tried, but couldn't find him.  By that point, employees had swarmed from all points in the store (I would have liked to have seen that since I can NEVER find any employees in that store on any given day!).  All was well when Daddy and son were reunited and they left.

I'm telling you, parenthood can really stress you out at times!  Between the Code Yellow experience last night and Stephen's accident at school on Tuesday (that's another story) and all the every day things in between, I'm ready for a quiet week.  But that's IMPOSSIBLE!  It's the beginning of March Break!