Somewhere Down the Lazy River


One moment we were in the middle of Thanksgiving weekend, Dylan in the hospital, me in the throws of the final stretch of the election campaign. The next moment, Dylan was ahead of me, floating somewhere down the lazy river at the Syncrude Aquatic Centre. As he laughed going round and round on the clear plastic inner tube, I felt a deep sense of contentment and gratitude. I am content knowing that our family is whole again and I am grateful for having this "Island Playground", just a short drive down Franklin Avenue and in reasonable walking distance when the weather is right.

I'm not sure if it was my substantial girth or the way I was wedged into my tube, but Dylan was effortlessly out pacing me, seemingly gliding across the surface of the lazy river tapping into the existing current in a way that my body just would not allow. So, round and round we drifted, enjoying the random showers and fountains of water scattered throughout the course.

Ben hates the lazy river, something connected to a fear of showers that he developed as an infant. He chose to make multiple trips up and down the yellow slide, a one minute adventure that manages to make my stomach turn and leave me disoriented and deliciously dizzy upon leaving the arrival chute. It has no negative effects on my son, who fearlessly darts down the slide, not a care in the world.

This pool is an oasis, a place to experience moments that matter in the heart of our Fort McMurray winter. Looking out the frosted window from my perch on the inner tube floating down the lazy river I saw the snow falling down and the lonely skating rink sitting quietly off in the distance. Bitter cold on the outside, delightfully warm and wonderful on the inside, a great place to be on the first day of 2011.


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