I had a marvelous plan. Many times Cameron and I have sat on the bus and zoomed past Kits Beach on our way downtown to catch the Skytrain, and many times I’ve consoled a beach-trip-wanting little boy with, “Maybe next sunny evening.” Well, I figured tonight it would be fun to stop at the beach, meander on over to the Maritime Museum, where we could catch a False Creek Ferry, change ferries at Granville Island, and head to Science World (which would thankfully be closed), and catch the bus home. Good plan, yes? Home for supper, maybe even a decent-hour bedtime?
You can probably guess that’s not quite how things played out.
I told Cameron we would go do something fun, but that it would be a surprise. He didn’t see the beach as the bus drove there, as we were on the other side and it was crowded. So the first thing he saw was a Starbucks. Ah, and his little heart seemed to break a little when I answered his shriek of glee with a, “Oh, no Cameron, that’s not the surprise!” His face fell, and I got a quiet, “Oh.” I relented. After all, he didn’t whine or cry or beg or plead, and what’s the harm? Hot chocolate in hand, we headed for the beach!
Cameron was thrilled! “They have logs, Mama! They have sand, Mama! It’s a beach, Mama!” We sat on a log in the sunshine and salty wind, and drank , snuggled together. Then we explored. Cameron spotted bird tracks in the sand, and left his own trail of hand prints next to them. I so wish I had brought a camera! The cloud cover had broken, and the warm golden brilliance had a magical touch. He wanted to wash his hands in the waves, but wanted me right there – in case he was washed away! Only trouble was that I was wearing my favourite red leather shoes. Salt water isn’t so good for them. No worries! I got them and my socks off, rolled up my pants, and froze my little toes off. Cameron climbed over mussel beds, picked the air bladders from seaweed and squeezed them to make little squee sounds, and with my help climbed and jumped from rock to rock. We watched dogs playing with balloons, and laughed ourselves silly.
Finally, over to the docks. Whups. Last ferry from there left more than an hour earlier. No worries! We walked to Granville Island. We said hi to geese and ducks, talked about what’s in the planetarium, talked about the boats down at the docks. It’s a long walk for a little guy, but he stuck it out.
Whups. Last False Creek Ferry up the creek left 45 minutes ago. But the helpful guy said that the Aquabus still ran up there, from the other side of the market. To the market! Through the mark … uh … no. Closed. Around the market … uh. Not that way, it’s taped off with yellow caution markers. Back around the other way!
Finally, we got down to the Aquabus dock. Indeed, they were still running at least part way up. Which meant another very long walk for little Mr.Cameron. Heck, by this point it was a long walk for me! But Cameron saw the stairs going up onto the Cambie bridge, and nothing else would do, we HAD to take those stairs. HAD TO. Fine. Halfway up his question, “Why are we going up” was answered with a rather exasperated, “Because you wanted to, Cameron!”
In all, it took us over three hours. But that was three hours with long chunks of playtime! It was three hours of plan changes, something that in the recent past would have sent my wee control freak son (and myself, to be honest) into tantrums. Instead, he rolled with it. “Sorry, honey, we’ll have to walk a bit more,” was met with, “Oh, okay. What’s over there?” The only real tears were on the home stretch, the final few blocks. I can’t say that I blame him, as it was late and we’d been walking for ever.
This bodes well for summer hike and camping plans!