Family: Remembering that one moment in time

I had this idea one time, a long time ago, when summer, with lovely affection, had wrapped its arms around us all in a fiercely warm and loving embrace.

My idea was going on a holiday with my three kids.

And, so as winter temperatures dipped ferociously low, and the winds howled menacingly and radio announcers suggested wisely to stay off the roads, my idea came into fruition.

We went. Me and my three children.

OK, proper grammar, here. My children and I.

I was, of course, dancing about in the morning in my kitchen wearing butterfly wings of excitement.

This was going to be so cool. Too cool.

Literally, it was just that. Too cool.

It was probably, without a doubt, the worst weekend of the winter to take off on a little mini holiday, or, for that matter, any kind of a holiday.

But here we were.

My kids and I.

We were traveling down a road less traveled. The road was less traveled, of course, because the visibility was close to zero.

But, we made it to our destination.


The town of Banff is a magnet for tourists from pretty much everywhere and, even as the winds howled and the snow swirled about the streets like very disturbed white icing on a giant cake, there were people lining the streets. People talking on their cell phones. People snapping pictures of themselves wrapped in scarves and hats and mitts and anything else that remotely resembled some kind of warmth.

As for my family and me, we huddled inside my son’s truck, trying to figure out how we could get from outside the hotel to inside the hotel without seeing our breath.

Impossible, we decided.

My children, because it was my weekend and they were treating me in a style that I humbly admit I quite delighted in, had planned this amazing weekend. We were going to go up on the gondola, gaze at the stars, get lots of pictures and then enjoy a winter walk.

It all sounded to good to be true.

And, apparently, it was!

Who goes up on a gondola when it is minus 38 degrees? And who enjoys a winter walk at that temperature for goodness sake.

As it happened, we did some winter shopping (malls are wonderful) and went for a meal that seriously still makes my taste buds yearn for more.

It was better than delicious.

As we crowded around the booth, my youngest daughter, bless her heart, took it upon herself to tell the waiter they were celebrating their mom’s birthday.

I smiled graciously hoping the young man would say I looked like I could be their sister or something equally appropriate.

He didn’t.

I’m still waiting.

But, still it was a night filled with the things fantasies are made of.

Laughter, that bubbles out of you instantaneously like champagne bubbles, good natured teasing that can only happen between siblings that have lived and loved and laughed and cried together.

As for me, I didn’t say much.

I just kept eating lots and smiling lots and saying, “thanks, guys, this is so cool, so very cool.”

And later we sat in the hot tub and agreed this was absolutely the very best place to be when the world outside had turned upside down like a very upset snow globe.

And I thought about those years so long ago, those busy years when we all lived together under one roof and there were three sets of runners at the door and three bikes dropped carelessly in the yard and my biggest decision of the day was what to make for supper.

I foolishly thought those years would last forever.

But it seemed they were over in less than a heartbeat.

And this weekend was over in less than heartbeat, as well.

But, still I am grateful, so grateful for that one moment in time.

When there was three.

And I was just the mom!

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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