Catherine Hyde – Family Law Clerk
Summers in Barrie, Ontario have always been beautiful. We live in a marvelous city with the beautiful Kempenfelt Bay at its centre. I came from a single parent home and there was not much money. Back in the 60’s every Sunday we walked from our home on Mulholland Drive which is near Barrie Central High School to East End Variety (which is still there) by St. Vincent Park for an ice cream cone and back again. Most of the time there was a lot of moaning and groaning as I recall but here all these years later it is a fond memory. We looked forward to the Rotary chicken barbecue on the August long weekend. You got your quarter chicken dinner cooked by the Rotarians and sat along the shores of Kempenfelt and watched speed boat racing in the bay. My sister and I had a bicycle built for two that we rode all over the City without a care in the world. (I was a lot skinnier in those days – guess if I took up some of these old habits that might happen again. Food for thought! Oh did I say food?)
I’m hoping our children have fond memories as well. Fast forward to the 80’s and 90’s. Our trips in the summer were not by plane or train but by automobile. According to our oldest for some reason we stopped at every fish hatchery. Another recalls all the local museums we traipsed through. There were tons of books to read, crafts to make, stops for picnic lunches. There was the usual squabbling in the car so we played those car games where you count the cars that are red or different provinces or look for trucks or play I spy. We were not only travelling to a location but we were making memories. When not on vacation there was bicycle riding every Sunday, trips to the lakefront or in the fall, hiking in the conversation areas or going out for apples.
What will the next 20 years bring? What kind of memories will our children be making with their children? As we drove around the Barrie Waterfront on the July long weekend it was clear that people were still enjoying the bay and I expect they will do so for the next 20 or more. Many were out picnicking, swimming or just sitting and watching the boats go by. Young and old – no matter. All were enjoying the same things.
What memories do you want to be making? Whether you are a custodial parent or an access parent, or have shared parenting, enjoy what time you have with your children. Try to put aside the grievances you may have with your spouse and try to be the one taking the high road in a difficult situation. Your kids will remember the time they spent with you as being enjoyable and not a tug of war between parents. Trying to control your spouse by saying no to changes in the schedule without true justification only hurts the child in the end and increases the friction between you and your spouse. Remember the first concern is the child not you or your spouse!
Have a fun summer and make the most of those memories!