Remember how you used to feel when you were a child and school was out for the summer? how you used to rush to the beach as soon as you got a chance? how you ran barefoot through the grass, there was not a cloud in the sky and the summer months seemed like an endless adventure?
Would it not be great to be a kid again every summer? how much fun is it being a grown up anyway? all the responsibilities and worries. I would happily exchange all of it if I could be a kid again, at least for the summers!
As I do not have kids, I let myself feel like a kid at times. I am an only child and my parents will always treat me like I am 12. They usually visit me in the summers and we always have a good time. I treasure the time we spend together.
My parents are full of energy and mischief. We laugh a lot together, and reminisce about old times like families do. I try to come up with some type of entertainment other than just hanging around me.
This year I took them to see the Buddy Holly show at the Stanley Theatre one evening. I knew they would love the music and we lucked out and got front row tickets.
My mum was boogieing to the music in her seat, especially when her favourite song “La Bamba” was sang by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. It warmed my heart to see my mum so excited. She used to be quite the dancer when she was younger. My dad, however, has two left feet.
Towards the end of the show the wild showman known as the Big Bopper, clad in a leopard suit jacket and shiny striped pants, zoomed in on me. The spotlights were turned towards me. I was also wearing a fancy shiny jacket, albeit not leopard patterned!
The Big Bopper jumped off the stage and danced over to me while singing “Chantilly Lace”. He asked me to dance. What is a girl to do? accept the invitation of course and get up and dance! The Big Bopper swirled me around and we danced together like it had all been rehearsed and choreographed. I might have stepped on his toes here and there, but he was too excited to notice. Had anyone ever been so enthusiastic to be pulled out of the audience? probably not. I even did a bit of a sole number and the audience cheered. Why not? I am all for ceasing the moment.
“Oh, I like this one!” yelled the Big Bopper.
“Give me a kiss on the cheek, would you?” he said and leaned in towards me. So I planted a red lipstick kiss on his cheek. The crowd cheered and the Big Bopper jumped up and down like an excited schoolboy.
The Big Bopper escorted me back to my seat before he jumped back on stage. There is always a danger you might be part of the show if you sit close to the stage, and that is exactly why I always try to get front row tickets!
My parents laughed and rolled their eyes at me. My dad mumbled his usual mantra; “Nothing surprises me anymore!”, and my mum wished that she had gotten the invitation to dance. “I am proud of you!” she said and patted my arm. Parents. You have to love them and all that unwavering support!
As we waited for our ride outside the Stanley Theatre, a girl from the audience came up to me. “Oh, you were one of the dancers! I loved your enthusiasm!” she said and shook my hand.
A week later I felt like an excited kid at a crystal infused fantasy world in Okanagan. Louise, my Travel Coordinator Extraordinaire Friend, had managed to arrange for a few nights at the Swarovski resort called Sparkling Hill outside Vernon for us.
The atmosphere was subdued, sophisticated and very posh. Soft chanting could be heard in the spa where you were served cucumber or orange infused water and a variety of teas.
There were numerous spacious rooms with floor to ceiling windows facing the magnificent views where the guests could to sit back and contemplate life in comfortable leather lounge chairs.
You could choose between eight different type of saunas, and my absolute favourite was the Igloo one which had a wall made of ice. Genius! it felt wonderful to walk outside to the 35 C degree heat afterwards!
The staff treated the guests like royalty. Everything was impeccable at Sparkling Hill, and my whole body relaxed as soon as I walked in and was met by crystals and smiles. It was a different world. One that I could happily stay in forever.
I was drinking it all in, and not complaining in the least, as I sat by the infinity pool and dipped my toes in the water. One of the fellow guests called for me and asked me to jump in. He gave me a beaming smile and splashed some water on me. And before you think I had a really good time at Sparkling Hill…let me explain.
I seem to attract the attention of “the distinguished crowd” more often than not. It does not matter that I usually mind my own business. There is always some aging Silver Fox who picks me out in the crowd. I have resigned to this fact and I take it in stride. I converse, I smile and I do not encourage. After all, I am not looking for a Grandfather, but I am polite.
One day, I just might be an old Silver Foxess myself with blue hair, and a mind that refuses to age. I will probably try my best to chat up the pool boy. Perhaps Karma will pay me back that day?
Mr. Debonair zoomed in on me the very first day in the whirlpool. As most elderly gentlemen on a mission, he was utterly polite and engaging. He had enjoyed a privileged life, and entertained me with stories from his various adventures around the globe.
Mr. Debonair reached into his dusty memory banks and vividly described a cross-country trip in his Oldsmobile convertible to “visit a lady friend on the East Coast” after graduating University in the early 60′s. He could not think of the exact year, but it was the only time he went to New York. He had not been back since, but he claimed to had been everywhere else. Or maybe this 70 something gentleman was serving me a plate full of Debonair nonsense?
I did not waste too much time analyzing the details or developing the conversation, and luckily Mr. Debonair’s current lady friend with orange hair always rescued me. She was busily chatting up the pool boys, but kept an eye on Mr. Debonair at the same time.
But in contrast to Mr. Debonair, who did make me feel young with his attention and compliments, the perfectly trained customer service friendly lads driving me between the spa and the Predator Ridge Golf Resort made me feel old. The lads were all in their early 20′s and kept saying “Yes Ma’am, No Ma’am, That is correct Ma’am, Thank you Ma’am”.
I kept wondering when I became a Ma’am? should you not be married and have kids to be a Ma’am at least? I know it is a sign of respect to call someone Ma’am, the short version of Madame, but it makes me feel absolutely ancient. I do not have blue or orange hair yet, and I have my own teeth!
And as polite as the lads were while answering my questions and pointing out the sights, I knew they were only humouring me the same way I was humouring Mr. Debonair. Is Karma paying me back already? how civilized indeed, but it is too early! I still have a few good years in me!
After the Sparkling Hills extravaganza, which I very reluctantly left, I visited friends in Okanagan. I was suffering Spa blues as we drove away, and I saw the last glimpse of the crystal infused hotel perched upon the hills. Would I ever be back? and what color would my hair be then?
A few hours later I had a stark reality check when I met my friend Sandra’s kids. I barely recognized them. They were all grown up! I must admit I behaved like the typical old lady as I kept “oohing and aahing” over how much they had grown. I simply could not stop myself. I was in shock.
The kids were kids when I saw them last. Now, eight years later, they are beautiful, smart, impressive teenagers. They entertained me with clever stories and quick-witted conversation.
If they are not kids anymore, that means I cannot possibly be a kid other than at heart. At least they did not call me ma’am. But this crusty old lady’s heart melted into a puddle, and I even had to blink away some surprising eye moisture, when they put their arms around me, hugged me and told me to come back soon to visit them.
Kids can so easily do that…pull on your heart-strings with all that innocence and beauty. Bright eyes filled with wonder and enthusiasm for the future.
Oh, to be a kid again, and to not have to hear “Yes Ma’am” for a very long time. Or be chased around the place by Silver Foxes.