Creating childhood memories

We just came back from a long weekend in Kelowna, where Zak’s grandmother, who now lives in an old folks home, still owns a beautiful orchard property. I love going there for several reason, but one of the most important ones is that Zak has wonderful memories of spending childhood days playing there, and I love seeing him share them with his son and create the same kind of memories for him. I have great childhood memories, but all from places that have long since been sold or even leveled to the ground! I cannot take my son to the three cabins my uncles owned side by side on a lake in Abitibi, near where my grandparents used to live and where we would go fishing on the dock, because the cabins were sold. I could show my son the alley where I learned to bike and hit a baseball, but the house we used to live in right next to it has long since been sold. Zak can go back to the orchard and show our boy how you climb a ladder and pick apricot, or cherries, or plums, etc. It makes them both happy and I just love watching them share those moments.

This time it was too early to pick fruit, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t create lifelong memories. We went to Value Village on our first day there and found a bike that was just the right size for our boy. It is old and a bit wobbly, and pink, but our boy really doesn’t care, it works good enough, and it is a real bike with pedals and no training wheels. After a year and a half of riding his push bike, our boy seems ready for a bigger challenge, and the bike was $13, so we decided to buy it and leave it at the orchard – make it the “orchard bike”. It was also a test to see if he was actually ready for a pedal bike, as we don’t want to get him a bike with training wheels, but he is so young – not quite three yet!

Well, he went on his first bike rides on a big bike with his dad, and we have the videos to prove it – if I figure out how I’ll embed one in here. He is far from being able to do it by himself, but he’s not doing too bad, all things considered. I watched as they went down the hill, then tumbled down – but all in good fun without ever actually getting hurt. We left the bike there as we are planning on being back in July, and now I guess we’ll have to look for a real bike for home…

We also bought a water rocket at Value Village, a cheap plastic toy that shoots out in the air pretty good – especially when it’s Zak pumping it. My boys spent hours – well, at least a couple – with Zak shooting the rocket at least 100 feet away, then our son running after to bring it back. I know it’s that kind of silly activity that will create warm fuzzy memories that our son will cherish forever. It feels especially important now because I suspect he is old enough to remember at least some of what happens for years to come. I know I have a few memories from when I was that young, so he may keep them too.

I hope the family will be able to keep the property. It’s hard as there is nobody who lives on-site to take care of the fruit trees and all the maintenance needed on the house. They have to hire a neighbor, but he’s himself an aging man, and when he gets too old to help out, the family will have a hard time affording the real value of the work he has been doing at a discounted price out of friendship. Hopefully they’ll find a solution. I would really love it if my grandchildren could go pick up fruit on those same trees and learn to ride a bike down the grassy orchard hill.

Our next trip will be to Horby Island, where our son absolutely wants to go fishing, and his dad and grandpa are more than looking forward to taking him. I’ll let you know how that goes!

One Response to “Creating childhood memories”

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