Downtown Zen

I had to travel downtown today to drop my son off at his summer camp because his dad is at the dentist. I was really looking forward to the change of pace not to mention popping in to the fancy Winners store nearby

As we took the subway across town this feeling started to creep up on me. Not only was my baby growing up but he was such a city kid. He knew which end of the train would get him closer to the stairs at his destination. He had his tickets securely tucked in his pocket and confidently led me to the museum, our destination, along a path I hadn’t considered.

As we walked down the street towards the museum I felt wave after wave of realization hit me. What a lovely city Toronto is on a summer morning with the sun shining. How much it felt like Manhattan or Paris with its sidewalks still rolled up, tourists absent, and locals heading to work. The museum is reminiscent of the Natural History Museum in Manhattan and overlooks a grand boulevard filled with imposing and beautiful buildings.

And here we were, Mini Me and I right in the thick of it. Him in his Pokemon t-shirt and backpack, lunch packed sunscreen applied. Ready for another day at architecture camp. I always wanted my kids to have the opportunities I never did and this morning I realized that I had done it.

We live in this truly beautiful city and as Torontonians we tire of hearing the term “world class” because it sometimes sounds like our Canadian way of asserting ourselves despite our insecurities. But truly, I feel so privileged to be here and to let me kids enjoy all it has to offer.

Now, I realize there is a lot of dislike for Toronto in other parts of the country, and this big city is not everybody’s cup of tea. But my little love- fest for my adopted city is about more than buildings and summer camps. It’s me realizing how much I have to be grateful for in my life and to take stock. As a teen living in southern Ontario I dreamed of the kinds of things I get to do all the time now. I look up and can see the CN tower from my neighborhood. I take the subway, I go to concerts, restaurants, plays, musicals, dance clubs (or at least I did until I had the kids!).  I live amongst like-minded people who agree with my life views. I can take virtually any kind of class that I can dream of for fun or education. I can be whomever, and love whomever I chose without raising an eyebrow. I have this city to thank for me realizing my dreams. I hope my kids will have the same, and for that I am grateful.

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