Making Memories

Today was one of those great days where nothing spectacular happened but I'll remember it forever. The big event was going for a bike ride with my kids and my folks. It was grey and rainy, nothing special. Except that it was special.

My mom called yesterday to see if we had plans today - I know she and my dad had planned to go to their island home this weekend, and I'm pretty sure they cancelled just because they knew Dean was out of town and they didn't want me to be alone on Mother's Day. So after breakfast in bed courtesy of Chickadee (microwaved eggs with catsup, and a 'dessert' she invented of melted chocolate chips and raspberry jello powder), we loaded Chickadee's bike into the car and headed into town. My parents have an apartment at the entrance to Stanley Park, and often take the kids cycling (we have a wagon thing for MonkeyBoy). So they rented a bike for me, and we set out with a picnic lunch. As I buckled on my rental helmet, I realized it was the first time I'd ever worn one. Not because I'm a scofflaw, but because the last time I was on a bike was at least 9 years ago and there were no helmet laws at the time.

It's true, though - you never forget how to ride a bike. Braking, now, that you can forget ...

It was overcast, but quite warm, and we cut across Stanley Park, through the heron nesting site - which was really cool, there are well over a hundred nests in less than a block, in some majestic old chestnut trees - and started round the False Creek seawall. There are flowers everywhere - the Vancouver Parks Board does an amazing job, with block after block of glorious beds of colour - and not too much traffic.

There are parks every 5 minutes or so (by slow bike; they're probably 10 minutes apart if you're on foot) and we stopped at a few to let the kids explore. At one, we saw a pair of Canada geese perched in a concrete planter. As we watched, one black and yellow gosling peered out from under its mother's wing. The parents were completely unconcerned by the audience they had attracted.

We made it as far as Science World and spent a good 15 minutes watching the giant kinetic sculpture out front. By this point, it was raining fairly steadily and, being good Vancouverites, none of us brought raincoats (you'd think we'd learn, with 150 combined years living here, but no). We decided the grass was a little wet for a picnic, so we went to the McDonald's across the street, then cycled home, MonkeyBoy sleeping the entire way.

Nothing spectacular, as I said, but it's a memory I will always cherish.