Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Camp Trillium

We just got back from a week at Camp Trillium. Wow.

Camp Trillium provides camping and recreation for children with cancer and their families and we were lucky enough to have a week at Garratt's Island.

The week was joyful, like when ten children eddied and scrambled and waited impatiently for a nest of baby turtles to climb out of a hole in the ground, one-by-one, and scramble away to their new lives; or when my little girl put on safety equipment and scaled a 30 foot climbing wall (while I chewed my fingernails down to the quick).

There were laughs, when the entire camp dressed up for a 'wedding' in costumes from the costume trunk, including my husband in a fuscia skirt and myself in a mosquito netting 'sari'; or when all the 'sheep' counsellors had to be bathed 'in the lake'.

There were moments of deep connection with other parents who have had to stand by and watch their children undergo painful and dangerous procedures in order to fight their disease. I met parents who spent weeks or months in the hospital caring for children, who lost their jobs or gave them up, who exposed themselves to radiation because their child's therapy was too dangerous for hospital staff. I am in awe of these people.

There were moments of hope and peace, meeting parents and siblings of survivors, meeting a mother who has lost a daughter to cancer who is a wonderful mother to her children.

Georgia loved the other children and the turtles, Sydney loved the archery range and kayaking. Scott enjoyed the peace and quiet. What a great rest.


Friday, August 18, 2006

The Drive-In

Last weekend, we took the girls to the Drive-In to see Zoom and Talladega Nights.

To get a good parking space, you need to get there before dark, but at our local drive-in there's lots to do. They have a new splash pad that's free for all right now, and both Sydney and Georgia enjoyed tramping through the water.

Then, we went over to the mini-golf course. Now these people know their marketing. When you're inside the mini-golf hut, waiting for your turn to pay, there is a shelf laden with sweet and gooey candy concoctions--right at the eye level of a 2 year old.

Now, Georgia is certainly not one to leave a shelf of brightly-coloured candy unexplored. She reached her little paw right up there and snagged a gigantic, sugar-coated gummy-thing and popped it into her mouth--add 25 cents to the bill, please. Now, I know I let her get away with more than I should--having that neuroblastoma roulette wheel rolling over her head does that to a mother. But she looked so damned cute, with that big hunk of sugar hanging out of her mouth, she looked like a kitten after her first hunt. I just smiled, took her hand and led her away from the candy counter.

We played mini-golf. Sydney is just old enough that she's very competitive, but she still can't beat her daddy, and it kills her. She is so cute when she's trying to be blase about something, but she can't turn off that inner competitor, and I know that will do her well in the future.

I had a great time doing something that I might have, in the past, viewed as a necessary time-killer between parking and seeing the movie.

Now, I consider every moment I spend with these little marvels a moment to be savoured, learned from and tucked away into my memory banks.