Page 14 - 04-June-2024
P. 14

14 EDify. JUNE.24
One day, I am going to get to Bora Bora. My family knows full well that this is my dream vacation spot. They’ve caught me on travel websites, looking at shallow lagoons filled with rays. They’ve seen me looking at cabins built on platforms that overlook the azure water.
Will I ever get there? I don’t know. One thing you learn as an adult, is that time off is a special thing. It’s fleeting. So many of us don’t use all of our vacation time, or we take calls and open our laptops when we’re supposed to be away, relaxing.
For my wife and me, like many parents, vacation time
is swallowed up by parenting commitments. I spent Victoria Day weekend with my son in Montana, as his baseball team played in a tournament there. Meanwhile, my wife and daughter were in Kamloops for her soccer tournament. Our weekends are filled with 6 a.m. wakeup calls in small hotels in prairie towns — only to end with long drives back to Edmonton. We burn vacation days because our kids’ tournaments start on Fridays or end on Mondays. Or both.
You wake up in Olds. You wake up in Fort Mac. You wake up in Lloydminster. You walk the streets of Lacombe, you go for a team dinner in Lethbridge. You make at least two trips to Kamloops every year. You know Okotoks like the back of your hand. You have keycards in your wallet that you forgot to return during checkouts.
Alas, these trips leave no time — or budget — for a real getaway. I know this comes off as very much a first-world problem, but we haven’t taken what I’d call a family vacation since before COVID became a noun.
So, as I look over the stories we’ve compiled in this issue, one that celebrates travel and tourism, I’d like to take the opportunity to send a message to my kids. Hopefully, they’ll cut this page out and keep it. If not,
I will cut this page out and keep it.
Tate and Nico: Your mother and I care about you so much. We’ve spent so much time cheering you on, listening to your hopes and dreams, watching you succeed — and being there for you when you don’t. We’ve dined on sun- flower seeds and beef jerky as you’ve played.
Now, for totally selfish reasons — no pressure — I hope both of you make it. Nico, maybe one day you will play for Arsenal. Tate, maybe I’ll go to a Major League ballpark and hear your name announced as a starter. Look, I know the odds are 99.999 per cent that it’s not going to happen, and parents should never live their dreams through their kids. I don’t want to heap on the pressure.
But, if one of you does sign a contract, I don’t want you to thank your mother or me. I don’t care if you talk about your childhood or your favourite memories. All I want is for you to take the damn bonus cheque, and book your mom and me on a flight to Bora Bora — first class. You’re not cheaping out, here.
I want a freaking luxury room for the both of us.
See, the thing is, I am not a man of simple tastes. I’ve been bluffing my way through free breakfasts and long drives. Payback is coming. And, if you’re not getting the big contract, no worries, you can just send your mother and me to Palm Springs or something.
Steven Sandor

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