Missing Alberta

Our first apartment in the city was half an hour from both of our parents. We spent weekdays with my husband’s parents, weekends with my family. But we knew that we’d be moving when my husband finished his degree. There was high competition for teaching positions in the city and a desperate need for teachers in the rural areas. We thought that being willing to move to the country would get him a job—and we were right.

His first job was in northern Alberta, in a small town that was a four-hour drive from my family and a seven-hour drive from his parents’ new home. We drove that at least once a month, for various family gatherings, conferences, weddings, and other events; at the end of the year, we decided that we wanted to be closer to family again.

For the last year, we’ve lived within an hour of my aunt and uncle, forty minutes of my brother, half an hour of his parents and his sister’s family, fifteen minutes of my grandparents. My in-laws were able to babysit Sunshine while I was working. And when we had to move to BC sooner than we expected, we took an extended holiday at his parents’ place.

Twice as Far Away

Now, we are twice as far from either of our families than we were when we lived up north. Sometimes I find myself questioning that, wondering why we choose this city. (Because it’s the only one with a creative writing program for me and a law co-op program for my husband). Convincing Sunshine that we can’t go visit “Gamma and Gampa” whenever she wants has been hard.

The other day, my mom called us. After I’d been chatting for a few minutes, Sunshine wanted her turn to talk to “Gamma D—.” She visited for a few minutes, talking about swimming and saying “yes” to whatever Grandma D— was telling her. Then she asked Grandma D— to come visit. When that failed, she changed tactics, suggesting, “I go to Gamma D—?”  Mom and I didn’t know how to explain that she couldn’t do this, that she had to wait until Christmas (of which she has no concept yet).

One of the parks that we went to had a little ride-on toy for the kids in the shape of a D6 cat. I wished that I had brought my camera, to take a picture of it to send to her Grandpa—though riding it isn’t quite the same as riding the real thing with him. Every once in a while, she says “oh boy” just the way that he does and I find myself missing them.

Everyone says we’ll like it in Victoria, that we’ll want to stay here when we’re done school. I keep saying that our family is back in Alberta. We’re getting our degrees and going home again.

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  1. Tracy Krauss August 31, 2010
  2. Koala Bear Writer August 30, 2010
  3. Steena Holmes August 30, 2010
  4. Writer Mom August 30, 2010

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