It was Family Day weekend, and here in Toronto it was four days of family bliss from which I’m still recovering. The kids got their report cards and had the Friday off school, in addition to the Monday holiday. We had various activities and things planned, skating and music, and squeezed in a little fun as well.


Our local library branch is always quieter on the weekends, but it’s most quiet during the weekday, so it was a treat to spend Friday morning sprawled out, the children’s area entirely ours, while Jon popped into the shop. Of all the things I’d like to teach the kids, most of which I’m managing with limited success, one of the most important ones may be that no matter where they are in life, they should always find out where the library is. The answer to all life’s problems can usually be found in a free book, and if not, at least you’re in good company for the ride, Matilda and Inspector Bucket with their own good ideas.


We all went into the shop on the holiday Monday, when it was closed, and the kids clanged around in their toy cars and restocked the pencil cups and watered the plants. Everything else around was closed, and Caleb was disappointed there was no Tondou ramen lunch as a reward for all of their destruction and shrieking. Instead we headed into Kensington Market to see if anything there was open. It had been several years since we’d last been, and I was surprised by how much the neighbourhood had changed, the pandemic and perhaps also the changing climate of Toronto real estate having taken its toll. Once upon a time we’d seriously considered a location in Kensington Market, and I can’t remember why we didn’t go with it—probably the size. It’s a bit sliding doors to walk Augusta again and contemplate what life and our shop might be like if we had taken that location, but I’m glad the journey has taken us where it has, even with the various challenges we have where we are.


In any case, I always find myself a step behind after a long weekend, trying to catch up on emails and projects and laundry while the baby naps. There’s a saying about parenthood: the days are long but the years are short. I sometimes feel like in this house, in this chaos, the days are short for me: the kids’ after school pick up arrives before I know it, before the laundry is hung, before decisions for dinner are made, before I’ve wrapped up the last blog post. At least I’ve got a leftover donut for motivation.                         



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February 22, 2023 — Liz Chan

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