Toddler Tuesday ” Playing Hooky”


Happy Toddler Tuesday everyone

As I begin to write this I am sitting on a plane in Ottawa, on my way to Moncton, for the first leg of East coast tour. I want to share a little story about yesterday and how it ties in with one of imagemy favourite childhood memories. This is the story of the day my father bought a new convertible. He drove it home from Toronto and parked it on the front lawn right in front of the kitchen bay window for all to see. When my brothers and I woke up in the morning, we took our usual places at the breakfast table and proceeded to eat. It was a typical day; but that was all about to change!
As we were scarfing down our last bites before catching the bus my father proudly walked in the room and asked if we liked the new car? New car? As I turned around my jaw dropped parked outside was a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. It was bright ‘guards’ red with black interior and it shined like nothing I had ever seen before. Ever since he was a small boy and first saw a 356 speedster, it was his dream to own a convertible Porsche. This was his moment and he choose to share it with his children.
As we all ran outside and climbed in and out- oohing and awing all over the place- in unison we exclaimed,
“Can we go for a ride?” I remember my dad looking at my mom for approval as the bus was arriving soon to take us to school. She nodded, not wanting to put a damper on the excitement of the day.
So here we were, what started as a regular Thursday morning before school, turned into all of us playing hooky.
We drove all over the place top down, with its air cooled flat 6 engine roaring (anyone who has ever heard a 911 howl at 7000 rpms knows what I mean) To this day, it’s a sound I can pick out from a mile away. I remember the excitement in my father’s face as he accelerated, making full use of its power and all the while taking corners at a controlled but very fast speed. We drove around all morning, stopping only for ice cream at Maples Corners, and the occasional pee break!

Once home, I began what was and is a lifelong love affair with cars, especially that one.

How does this tie into my day yesterday? I wish I could tell you I bought a brand new convertible but sadly this not the case. No, my story is a little less glamorous, but easily as satisfying for me anyway. As my daughter sat on the couch I was in the kitchen making her lunch for the day, thinking about my tour, the flight, what to pack, etc.

With the window open to the kitchen I heard this unmistakable sound (the roar of a 911) as I leaned toward my window clamouring for a look, I saw it. Flying up the hill, in all its beauty, as it pulled to a stop across my street. I was immediately transported to that day so many years ago. I knew right then what I needed to do. I waked into the living room, looked at my daughter and exclaimed, ‘ let’s play hooky!” She looked at me and said ‘what’s that?’ ‘It means you and daddy aren’t going to school, we’re going on an adventure’, I explained. She was in! We walked outside, the world at our feet. We walked to a smoothie shop and as we left she climbed on my shoulders, drinking her smoothie, smiling at our reflection in the store front windows. We went to the bank, window shopping at the toy store, the park, a wading pool, the beach, and finally had some gelato at the waterfront. As we sat there eating gelato, she looked at me and said, ‘I love ice cream!’ ‘Me too’, I said. ‘Daddy’, said Maggie-Mae, ‘I love Hooky!!’ ‘Me too’, I said!!
‘Daddy’, she said, ‘I love you.” ‘Thanks honey.’ ‘You’re welcome’, she said.

During the long walk home, Maggie-Mae laid in my arms, fast asleep from the morning excitement. My arms were burning as we made the 45 min walk home, but I enjoyed every minute. As I placed her in her bed to finish her nap, I couldn’t help but notice the smile on her face; she looked so content.

While I sit here and reflect on that day so many years ago, I realize that although there was obviously a shiny red car to be excited about, the real reason I was so happy was because my father was so happy. He beamed at his kids that day, he took the same enjoyment at watching his children eating ice cream that day as I did today.

And even though the shiny car is long gone the memories of that day remain.

Years from now it is my hope that my daughter will be able to look back and remember days like yesterday and many more to come. I want to be able to make each day an adventure, to participate fully. And if there happens to be a shiny new convertible in any of her childhood memories I won’t mind at all!