It’s the Little Things

I’m blessed. Or “blessed”, depending on how you look at it. I am a part of one of the biggest families in the Yukon. I bet my family could launch an honest invasion on a sovereign nation — looking at you Luxembourg.

That’s just one side of one side of my family. There is so much family, there’s so much I don’t even know about. So let’s make this about my immediate family. Let’s focus on good ol’ Mom and Dad.

An anecdote: When I was eight or nine we would go to our cousin’s cabin at Lake Laberge because going to a cabin is a thing that people did back in the ‘80s. We sat by fi res, threw rocks in lakes, pushed things with sticks into other things — everything a taxpayer would ever need to do. There was a really fun old boardwalk that ran from the side of the cabin to the lakeshore, which was great for sprinting on. When I would hit it at full gallop I swear I had the velocity to jump and clear the south end of the lake. Obviously I went for it.

Instead of breaking any long distance records though, I tripped and clipped my knee on an exposed nail head. After all the blood, tears, bandaging, and wellwhat-did-you-expect therapy, I was just fine. Important things were on the grill, so we moved on with our lives.

The next week at school I had a pretty cool scar to show off to the class; that mangled square centimeter on my knee was a hit. However the story seemed to lack a je ne sais quoi — that means something, right?

So I decided I’d ham up this little accident and give the people a story. I remembered my folks chortling about having to amputate the leg after my fall. We all laughed. It was good material. Good enough to use in lieu of my boring slip and fall. The class thought it was a hit, but my teacher didn’t see the humour in leg amputatations at the cabin.

This wasn’t the first or last time I’d spun a yarn for personal gain or for the sake of a good story. This one got me into some trouble though.

I was too young at the time to understand, but my parents and I were subjected to after-hours meetings with the teacher and guidance councilor, and the possibility of more meetings. I think even pamphlets were distributed.

Trouble was stirred — horrible, embarrassing, and completely uncalled-for trouble.

This kind of thing happened several more times as I grew up. I was otherwise an excellent child — I don’t care what you’ve heard — however these kinds of things that parents go through can be tough. It would have been easy for my parents to box me up and mail me to an Eastern Bloc country. I’m sure some teachers would have high-fived at that prospect. But they didn’t.

It’s the uncommon things, the unique stories that make families special. I have been blessed with a family that accepted me and encouraged me to be uncommon even though it cost them several head cramps and after-hour meetings with various administrations.

Only family would do something like that for you — the family are born with or the family you choose.

I love you Mom and Dad. If I had the time and space for more examples of your patience I could fill a warehouse, but hopefully these few paragraphs cover it for now.

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