Growing Up

In the excellent miniseries, Big Little Lies, there’s a scene where Reese Witherspoon’s character is talking to her teenage daughter. She says (and I may be paraphrasing slightly) ‘they don’t tell you, but you lose your children. The little girl whose hair I used to braid is gone.’ This line, and the way she delivers it, really hit home. I’m emotional now just thinking about it.

For my gorgeous girl is growing up. She starts secondary school in September, which I find hard to believe. It doesn’t seem that long ago we were counting cats on the way to school, pretending to be dragons puffing ‘smoke’ in the frosty air. When my dancing didn’t make her cringe, and the only phone she had was plastic and sparkly with a puzzle on the front. The gorgeous chubby cheeks I love to kiss are melting away, smooth cheekbones emerging, the legs and arms that once looked as though they had elastic bands around them now long and lean.

I’m excited, of course, for this next stage in her life, seeing her grow into the marvellous young woman she’s already showing signs of becoming. Every part of this process has been a joy. But oh, I get it now, when people shake their heads and say with a smile, ‘It goes so quickly.’ For it does, it does, and the change, when it comes, is sudden, a realisation that childhood days are gone.

For a variety of reasons, she is the only baby I’ll ever get to have, and I count my blessings every day. I’m so glad I got to dance, pick roses, blow bubbles and sing silly songs with her when she was small. Those moments are immeasurably precious, and always will be. I realise the teenage years will have their own set of challenges, and I can only hope I’ve given her a strong enough grounding that she can make good decisions for herself.

So now I must get past my tears, and look forward. For I am the stable bow, and it is time for me to help her fly.

‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth… Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.’  Kahlil Gibran

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Thursday Doors – The Fabulous Commodore, Vancouver

This week’s Thursday Door is a little blast from my past. It’s the entrance to the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, a 1920’s dance hall still with the original sprung dancefloor.


I moved to Vancouver in my early twenties after finishing university and soon settled into the city, exploring the neigbourhoods and nightlife. The Commodore hosted a lot of the bands I listened to, plus they had an excellent Disco Night every Tuesday, for the bargain basement admission price of $2.00.

When my friends and I first used to go along it was half empty, the dancefloor home to various alternative musicians, a girl who used to do jazz ballet in the corner, and a few Japanese tourists. The big screen hanging over the stage played a continuous loop from Saturday Night Fever, of John Travolta preening in his underwear. Flick, flick, his hips would turn in his black briefs as we spun around under disco lights and a DJ booth that looked like a spaceship, protruding over the dance floor. I absolutely loved it.

Then disco had a resurgence and Tuesday nights became very busy – you had to get there early if you wanted to get in. The Disco King held court every week, young and lean in his flares and feathered hat, leading a dance competition for all the flannel-clad groovers, boots stomping and bouncing on the sprung timbers. It was still awesome.

I left Vancouver not long after, but still remember The Commodore as one of my favourite places to hang out. When I went back to visit recently I had to take a photo, just for nostalgia’s sake. I don’t know if they do Disco Night anymore – it’s probably Grunge Night now, the music of my youth rewound for a new generation.

But if they did still have it, I’d be there 🙂

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