July 8, 2000

Beyond the Comfort Zone

The kids went to the waterslide park today. It was a strange gathering.. my two sons, Older Son's best friend since early childhood, and Someone Else's Girlfriend.

Kids today are very strange. Would you want your girlfriend going to the waterslides with THREE young men?

This park is out in the middle of nowhere, beyond the usual suburban bus lines. Older Son learned there was a bus link from a commuter train so he assured me they'd manage on their own. I specifically remember asking about the train schedule home, and was waved off with a "Don't worry!"

All was well.. they left the house at 8:30 AM, Older Son on his cell phone with his girlfriend (who was not going along), trying to repair a torn sandal and make it to the bus stop on time, saying "Sure, it's OK, you're not bothering me. What's wrong? C'mon, tell me what's wrong. We can talk. I WANT to talk.." with me murmuring "whipped" under my breath. I'm just jealous.. I never whipped anybody like that.

They weren't heard from until after 6 PM, when they called to announce they needed a lift home. They found out the next train was in three hours and the park was closing soon. Older Son's explanation for the screw-up? He HAD the schedule, he just didn't look at it.

Time for a lesson in responsibility. I told them to try to find an alternate bus route; then sat and worried.

I think they really tried.. they called back awhile later to tell me the bus wouldn't get them anywhere to connect on time. I gave in and drove out there.

It's a half hour on the highway , northwest of my home. I HATE highway driving. I can drive on local or city roads happily all day, but highways scare me. Everything happens too fast. I'm the one speeding up on the exit ramp, just happy to be outta there.

Once I got to them, I figured there was no reason to hurry anymore, so I took the scenic route home. This didn't annoy them, unfortunately, but at least it was less stressful for me. Younger Son came home, Older Son and his friend hopped on a bus for downtown, accompanying Someone Else's Girlfriend as far as her stop on the way.

I did get some satisfaction out of slapping them heartily on the back, all the while yelling, "Watch your sunburn!"

Linque Du Jour:   American Survival Guide to us

Montreal Gazette Page 2 Column by Josh Freed

The downtown streets are filled with loud voices, colourful shirts and white sneakers - and people seem to have gotten bigger. Obviously, the Americans have landed in town.

Josh Freed is one of my favourite newspaper columnists, and this piece is of more than local interest. Enjoy.

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