a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Jul, 2010

Goodbye hello

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

The house has been very quiet. On Sunday we packed the girls off to an introductory week at summer camp. As I write this they are probably swimming, kayaking, or roasting something over a fire at a place I wrote about last summer

Here they are, just before their departure on a big charter bus:

Sunday July 4, 2010

They were thrilled to go.

One child was a bit more eager to depart than the other. One girl’s kisses and hugs were brief and fleeting, and the other one didn’t seem to want to let go, and gave me enough kisses and hugs to see me through until the time we see each other again.  

I wrote them both little notes to keep them from missing home too much. I did this once before. I was travelling somewhere and I wrote two letters with “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY” on the envelope. Sarah never forgot this so I was asked for a repeat performance. The notes I wrote this time were written on quarter sheets of plain paper, folded, stapled and labelled with the name and the day of the week. e.g. “Sarah – open Sunday night.”

So, packed with memories of home, all-weather clothing, and footwear, and paddles, and lifejackets, and their lunches and Everything Else They Needed To bring … they boarded and waited for departure.

While the girls were in their seats they blew kisses and made heart shapes with their fingers and X’s and O’s and motioned to us about a couple of thrilling discoveries on the bus that included barf bags and the fact that there was going to be a movie on board. And before we knew it they were gone.

I started missing them the moment the bus left the parking lot. It’s a short stay, only a week, but STILL.

After they left, Mark and I had a nice breakfast at the Heart & Crown on Preston St. The hashbrowns were delicious deeply fried bits of potato and the coffee could have been better. Our meal was quiet and unhurried. We wondered aloud about The Things We Did Before Kids. And you know what, we couldn’t really remember.

Mark is on holiday. The other night we rented a movie (The Road, which has got to win an award for the most misleading trailer EVER) and had a nice dinner. We had Indian food last night. We slept in today and have spent a lot of time working.

We took Piper to the vet’s for a follow-up re: a limpy leg and to Critter Jungle to pick up some dry dog food. And that’s about the extent of it.

Parenthood is so funny. You spend years craving five frickin’ minutes of quiet, and when you finally get it you don’t know what to do with it.

8 Responses to "Goodbye hello"

1 | Dave

July 6th, 2010 at 6:36 am


Amen to your last paragraph.

2 | meanie

July 6th, 2010 at 6:57 am


the road has haunted me since i saw it last summer. seriously.

i know, having the kids out of the house really makes me panic for our twilight years. hopefully there will be lots of grandchildren to boss around!

3 | Lee

July 6th, 2010 at 7:20 am


I hope the girls will come back excited and full of stories they want you to share with us!

4 | Chantal

July 6th, 2010 at 11:00 am


Oh I know, I have my two older boys in day camp next week then the week after they go to Camp Grandma for a week. I keep thinking I will be so productive while they are gone. The reality will probably be that D2 and I will be bored and lonely together wishing the older boys were with us to keep us company :)

5 | Betsy Mae

July 6th, 2010 at 5:17 pm


okay well i’m all teary eyed and feeling sad thinking of my girls leaving for camp one day….if i ever let them go!! kidding. it’s going to be a wonderful week for them, they are going to have a blast! it’s so true though, we long for a break and when we get it we miss them quickly.

6 | Javamom

July 6th, 2010 at 6:31 pm


Sooooo happy when they’re finally out of the house…..

Sooooo happy when they come home again!!


7 | Christine

July 6th, 2010 at 9:29 pm


How fun! I’m still in the day’s of craving those “five frickin’ minutes”, but I try to step back and take it all in, because I know one day I’ll have those 5 min and I’m sure be a little sad! But regardless, I’m a camp kid, and I’m looking forward to my kids being camp kids… and Wabikon looks perfect!

8 | A bit about a new gig, and kids and camp >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 12th, 2010 at 1:29 pm


[…] Last week I posted about the girls going to summer camp up in Temagami. What I didn’t mention was that we were joining them a few days after their departure. (I hate letting the world know our house is going to be empty. There is nothing really worth stealing here, but STILL. I don’t want to issue this kind of invitation. HELLO! OUR HOUSE IS EMPTY! COME STEAL MY UNDERWEAR AND OUR SMALL TELEVISION SET!) […]

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Jinjer @ Intrepid Arkansawyer: Hiya! I'm still reading you! Love your blog SO MUCH!
  • Agendepo168: Indonesia's Trusted and Recognized Online Slot Broker Agendepo168 is the best trusted slot machine game agent which was licensed by PAGCOR in Indones
  • bukausernesia: USERNESIA: Official Alternative Link to Usernesia Website Determing the best and most trustworthy location to play online gambling is now the key
  • BandarUsernesia: you can find not many gambling sites in Dalam negri that can hold the title since the finest slot gambling site. One of all of them is BandarUser
  • andrea tomkins: Hmmm. I will try it!
  • andrea tomkins: Good to know! Thanks Jenn!
  • Jenn Hagen: I like the PlantNet app for ID purposes - there is a Cdn version. Gives habitat info and uses your photos to help ID. I’ve not checked if it does ?

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter