Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time to Think (An Election Week Story)

I learned a new word last week: prorogue. Made me think of professional, proactive, pros & cons, rogue elephants, mischievous rogues…but what it turned out to mean was the ending of a legislative assembly. The current prorogation (yes, another new word for me!) was different because the Governor General had to step in and call it. The parliamentary boys behaving badly were sent for a time out, a cool down, a chance to think about what they had done. Sounded like a good idea to me. So I prorogued myself. I stopped and took some time to think about what I did this past year. And this is what I remembered:

* Quietly savouring the cold January day that marked my 20th birthday in AA, and gratefully acknowledging the strong women and patient husband who have stood by me all these years.

* Joe leading Mary and I on a springtime hike through the bush and witnessing dozens of baby turtles swimming and bobbing and playing in the deep waters of a deserted gravel pit. The sight was worth every wood tick we later picked off of ourselves.

* Singing along to Amy Winehouse, too loudly and enthusiastically, on the summer road trip out east, and then suffering the humiliation of said singing being posted on Facebook. Thank you dear daughter.

* Bonding with my daughter-in-(common) law, Morgan, as she painstakingly, and only a little painfully, tattoos a maple seed on to my right wrist. A small symbol of my children – sometimes messy, but able to thrive and grow no matter where they fly or land.

* Listening to my sons jam together; Ari on banjo and Joe on guitar, and vice versa.

* Waking up at 2:00 am in a Toronto hotel room to the sounds of quiet sobbing as Brent, Joe and I feel the emptiness of Mary’s absence. Subsequently, the tears have turned to laughter as we watch her stand up routines at YukYuk’s, via youtube.

* Working with Brent to prepare our home for monthly house concerts with some Folk Festival favourites. The scrounged ping pong table stage is a great addition to the performance. Even our friends at the back of the room can enjoy the show!

* Sharing the heartbreaking grief of a young man’s death and trying to find the words to console his mother – the most difficult letter I have ever written for the saddest experience she has ever known.

* Riding my bike alongside my Dad on his 80th birthday during the Terry Fox run.

* Making rollepolser with Mom and remembering Grandma Pedersen as we work together. Was it an accident that Mom poked me with the sewing needle when we wondered aloud if we were making it according to Grandma’s standards?

* Anticipating full rooms in a partially empty nest during the holidays!

So my prorogation has been a success. I have taken time to think. My experiences have had nothing to do with economics or political parties. They are about a strong coalition of family and friends. To the politicians, I say, “Be thankful you have been prorogued. Think carefully about your actions. Try to solve your problems in new ways. Play nice. We’re counting on you.”

(Originally written in December 2008)

©Conni Cartlidge, 2008

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