Through Rose Coloured Glasses
As I write this column, it is the last week of June and therefore the end of another school year. Throughout the city this week, each high school has held its graduation ceremonies. It is an exciting time for our graduates. They are about to start their life as adults, the career choices they make this year will chart the course of the rest of their lives. There is no doubt that each graduate is experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions; from excitement at beginning their new lives and yet a little melancholy that this group of students who have been together for years will each go their separate ways.
This week-end, we will proudly celebrate Canada’s birthday. With each passing year, I appreciate even more what we have here. As Prince Albert becomes a destination city for more immigrants each year, and I have the opportunity to meet them and to speak with them, I realize how very fortunate I am to be Canadian. We have freedoms and opportunities which are so entrenched in our customs and laws, that we take them for granted.
My boys were water babies. They both loved the water and spent hours either in pools or at the lake. We spent many week-ends at the family cabin enjoying the sun and water. For them, it didn’t matter if the water was cold or not. Water temperature did matter for me, so I spent many early-spring hours on the beach, wrapped in a blanket, while they played in the water. Last week-end, we spent an afternoon at that same cabin with our grandson, who is also a water baby. He loves playing in the water (although he does draw the line at getting water in his face – but that’s another story).
As more of our friends and family members become grandparents (including my husband and I), I find myself wondering how is it possible that we are all old enough to be grandparents? When did that happen and why didn’t I see it coming? It seems that one day our children were babies and suddenly they are having babies of their own. Where did the time go? I guess life happened and, just as every generation of parents before us, we were too busy living life to notice the years marching on. Maybe that’s the real reason we are given the opportunity of becoming grandparents: it is a second chance to slow down and enjoy the children in our family and to see life through the eyes of a child.
If you ever have the chance to hear members of STR8 Up speak, don’t miss the opportunity. They tell their stories of how they became gang members and how STR8 Up helped them leave gang life. Sometimes it just seems there is only hopelessness and a sad future for so many of our young people who are struggling with unhappy home lives, and who are enticed to join gangs in order to gain a sense of belonging. The STR8 Up members offer hope through their own experiences and an alternative to living a violent life.