This past weekend I journeyed to the centre of the universe, which is Toronto. Yep, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sorry New York, London and Paris – Canadians far and wide know that Toronto is where it’s at. After all, Toronto is the cultural capital of Canada, the world’s most ethnically diverse city, the location of the highest number of corporate head offices in Canada, and…the most hated city in Canada!?
I have to admit that Toronto IS a nice place to combine business and pleasure. Business was the writer’s conference I attended at Victoria College, and pleasure was the time spent with family and friends.
My little sister and her young family live in Milton, my parents in Waterloo and the friend in Oakville. Unfortunately I had no time this trip to visit my son, the Obnoxious One in Kingston. I was only in Ontario for two nights – I was afraid if I stayed any longer than that my darling dogs would come to a bad end. You see, my trust in my beloved husband and daughter to look after, feed, and water my babies is limited at best.
As it turned out, Friday night after I checked into my room at the luxurious and amazing Windsor Arms Hotel (thanks to the CANSCAIP lady who recommended it), I received a phone call from my sweet daughter.
“Mom, when are you going to be home? Can you pick me up in like an hour? I don’t want to sleep over at my friend’s house any more.” – Hey I’m doing just fine. Thank you so much for asking. Your every wish is my command.
“Well dear, that’s going to be a little difficult as I am in Toronto right now.”
As usual, despite numerous verbal and written reminders the Demon Child had completely forgotten that I was away for the weekend – far away. It’s not that’s she’s stupid; oh no, just totally focused on her world of sixteen year old kids. I swear, anyone over the age of nineteen is just NOT on her radar. And of course she forgot to feed the dogs. No matter that her dad was out at a client function until midnight. No matter that the dogs would scratch, chew, nibble and shred each and every corner of the kitchen chairs, table, island and more. No matter that the puppy was not quite house trained, so he would deposit “treasures” all over the place.
So my Friday evening wasn’t quite the relaxing, decadent one I had envisioned. For some reason twenty billion emergency text messages and ten billion phone conversations tend to put a damper on things. I just prayed that when the Demon Child left the house she didn’t leave all the doors wide open and blaring lights on. Ah well – my husband, the Original Obnoxious One would just have to deal with it all…for once.
The conference on Saturday was filled to the brim with inspiring talks, interesting writers and informative workshops. Wonderful to be able to think about something other than laundry, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, etc., etc. Also wonderful to wander through Yorkville and drool over the gorgeous designer clothes and boots and bags and goodies.
Saturday night my sister met me at the Windsor Arms and we reveled in our night of freedom from kids and family. We drank champagne, we scarfed down delicious tidbits of gourmet delights from Prime, and we giggled over shared remembrances. We discussed and dissected challenging aspects of our current situations and resolved ALL the problems of the world.
Sunday was a whirlwind of driving and eating and visiting friends and family. And traffic. And highways. And people. And lineups. And noise.
In no time at all I was flying back to my little corner of the wet coast. Which, even though it was pouring, was not so bad. I may not live in the centre of the universe, but it sure is nice to know that I can visit it from time to time.
Dorothy had it right though – there’s no place like home. Really!