Mother Canada divorced Father America.
New Westminister, BC, and Brooklyn, NY fell in love in San Francisco, CA before the famous Summer of Love. My parents were too square for altered-states; so, they perfected the Winter of Hate.
Children came before the winter freeze: my brother and me. We witnessed the glacier slowly form around our parents’ union then saw the last door slam; shattering their frigid marriage. Sadly, brother and I observed both frozen hearts blast apart into an icy mist.
My Father went to Florida to scuba dive with sharks. My mother spoke of Australia, kangaroos, koalas, wombats but embarked on a journey back to her roots: Canada.
My first Canadian friends threw Oreo cookies at my head as they fed me jellybeans. We hung out at the mall and strolled around drinking malts then graduated to drinking beer on the playground across from the RCMP. What kid would dare? A Canadian kid because it was the perfect cover!
I learned how to play hockey in the street with sticks wrapped in cotton tape and when to yell “Car” in time to move the nets. The warning in a matter-of-fact tone rather than panicked. All nations were my friend, and we could ask each other freely about our customs and cultures without offending. We would party-hardy and did not bully. Violence didn’t stand a chance against Canadian humour.
My brother and I now have adult homes in America. When we reminisce about our childhood, there is no doubt that Canada provided us with our best and most genuine friends.
Thank you Mother Canada.