On the way to Nelson, we stopped to camp overnight somewhere near Kelowna.
This was at an off-road location and I remember a really cool swimming hole. There was inlet in the river and someone had dug it out more in order to make it more swimmable.
Many years later when camping with my son we tried to find this place again and weren’t able to, though we did find a great spot on a river where I thought the spot should be that had a lot of great mud for sliding around on.
I might’ve mentioned this before, but ostensibly this trip was a babysitting gig and I tried my best with the three young ones asking what needed doing and generally making sure they didn’t die.
I remember that R’s mom had a wonderful big garden which we ate vegetables from. We shelled peas and grandma made her own fruit punch from strawberries, I think it was, and that was very yummy.
That summer I had had my first period and my mother was quite excited by it.
She had me read Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There God It’s Me Margaret’ and handed me some strange lithographed notebook that was called something like ‘What Every Girl Should Know’ and figured her job was done.
She did not as far as I know show me how put on a sanitary napkin or provide one. I was required to use rolled or wadded up toilet paper and this might explain a lot of plumbing issues they had and I also didn’t realize that tampons weren’t flushable until I was in my early 30s.
I was also felt strangely betrayed when my mom ran out to meet my dad as soon he arrived home to inform him of my fledgling womanhood.
Maybe it wasn’t so strange to feel betrayed by my mother after all. Maybe that is getting to the crux of the matter. Hadn’t I, after all, had a lot more expectations of my mother then she was able to deliver on? Wasn’t this the whole root of the matter, my expectations? Were they reasonable or should I just have had a tougher skin?
‘She would do that’. I told myself.
My mother also didn’t notice that I required a bra.
It’s, of course, possible that this was just another thing to do with my burgeoning adolescence that was too much for her to handle. It also occurs to me that it’s possible that she was somehow threatened by my maturity.
That certainly was the case later on. She seemed to be jealous of any accomplishment I had as I got older. I now know that this is because she felt she wasn’t doing what she should with her own life.
I now know that that’s what happens with people. They are not generally mad or upset at the person that their anger or hurt is directed at. They are generally angry and upset at themselves and their own inability to do anything about it. This was definitely the case with my mother, I can almost feel sorry for her when I realize that she must’ve spent most of her adult life with these feelings.
The question here is: Is this mental illness or is it a personality thing?
My lack of a bra for my thirteen-year-old burgeoning breasts was remedied by R that summer in Nelson.
Bless that woman. She was as sensitive and generous about the subject as any young girl could hope.
On the way back to Vancouver we stopped in Cranbrook to visit friends who had a daughter who was a couple years older than me and full-fledged teenager and therefore uber-cool. She was very kind to me and shared with me her brand spanking new possession the LP ‘Don’t Look Back’ by Boston.
I was ready to be strapped into the back of the truck and we had a few minutes to kill.
“Look. Now it’s a spaceship” flipping the album, “Now it’s a guitar! You know what this is?
This is DECENT.”
Never was a truer word spoken by a cooler person and I knew it was gospel.