Saturday, May 14, 2016

Aya's big day

Emi flies high at West Vancouver playground.

One ride is never enough.

Surprise, delight on unusual rolling-bar slide.

At the end of the day, enough.
It was my niece-in-law Aya's birthday on Saturday, and her plan was to go shopping at West Vancouver's Park Royal, then have a picnic in a nearby park with her daughter Emi, her husband Etienne, and us, her aunt and uncle.

 I imagined Aya, an astute and enthusiastic shopper, arriving with bags of delicious crinkling tissue paper hiding a multitude of treasures. It didn't quite go that way. There was no shopping trip, no shopping bags, just an armful of Emi and some picnic supplies.

 Plans had changed, as they do for working parents with toddlers. Instead of hunting down treasures in the mall, Aya watched as 20-month-old Emi explored the delights of  John Lawson Park on a beautiful sunny day. There were swaths of green lawn to run over, other picnickers to study, and a rocky seashore with shells and logs to explore.

 Then there was the upscale, beautifully designed playground that only West Vancouver could afford, with a magical ship's hull to climb up and slide down, a crooked fantasy "cottage," a slide made of rolling wooden bars, and best of all -- swings! The two side-by-side swings were the hit of the afternoon; forget the fancy ship with its mast and fake seagulls overhead. After one devoted parent had tired of pushing her in one swing, Emi was happy to transfer to the adjacent one, certain that a new swing meant the fun started all over again.

 By the end of the afternoon, everyone was tired. Etienne's car passed ours on the way home, and we could see that he was alone in the front seat. In the back were Aya and Emi. Aya, the birthday girl, appeared to be fast asleep.


  1. It does sound like a wonderful playground but kids find fun in the strangest places. Richard was about 8 or 9 and we had recently been to Disneyland. We were in Puerto Vallarta and from our hotel we took this rickety old bus into the core of the city for the equivalent of 12 cents. When we were bouncing along the paving stones, Richard cried out with glee "This is better than any ride in Disneyland!"

  2. What a beautiful family I have! Emi has definitely grown since the last time I saw her - she's a little girl now! Love the photo of the three of them :)

  3. It looks like Aya's big day turned into Emi's big day 😊