It’s curious how one views things differently depending on what stage of life one is currently experiencing.
I’m getting to the age where every now and then I stop myself and think “omg, my dad would’ve said something like that.”
And, of course, it happens more often than not when I’m talking to my kids as one generation attempts to pass on what it’s learned to the next, whether they want to, or are ready to hear it in the first place. It may be more of a required need for the older generation to justify their existence than it is necessarily beneficial to the younger set.
Still, we can learn from each other. Which is what happened, I think, during a car ride with my older son on Thursday night.
It should be noted I was taking said son to some get together, the second in as many weeknights, ah the life of the recently graduated from high school. And, yes, I am jealous.
Anyway, the conversation took place as we drove along the Lakeshore Road portion of Kin Beach where city crews had already placed cement barriers about halfway along on the lake side to keep vehicles off the beach.
Dad: “Wow, they’re already halfway home. It’s nice to see something get done shortly after it gets announced. This will go a long way to cleaning up the beach.”
Son: “I don’t know. I kind of liked it the way it was.”
Dad: “What? But the vehicles were tearing up the beach and sometimes getting stuck. And it’s not exactly safe either. How would you like to have to be the one raking the beach every morning?”
Son: “I don’t know. You’re just old. Like the rest of Vernon.”
I have to admit that one was a bit of a zinger and he had some truth on his side. Us over-50 types that tend to dominate these parts, and its government, just want a safe, quiet place to go for an evening walk and, well, if the truth be told, maybe the young people and their music and mayhem can go, well, somewhere else.
Suddenly I was on the defensive.
Dad: “Well, the beach is supposed to be for everybody and old people like me might be a little intimidated to go to a beach where there’s people parking their cars on the sand, and did I mention they get stuck sometimes and make a real mess? And people launch their boats where they’re not supposed to. It’s not exactly, well, civilized.”
He seemed to be contemplating my thoughts but it’s kind of hard to tell because he’s not much of a talker. As we passed the end of the beach by the creek where a lot of the action took place and people brought their pets, even I was struck by how the placement of the barriers was going to impact things.
Son: “Where are people supposed to park?”
Again, not a bad question as convenience was definitely being sacrificed for the greater good.
Dad: “Well, I know there are two overflow lots for parking over on the other side of the beach along Tronson Road that hardly ever get used. Hopefully they’ll come into play now but you’re right when people are used to parking close to the beach and now they can’t they’ll probably try to get, well, creative. It’ll likely take a little time to work itself out but it can’t be worse than before with people parking on both sides of the road and all over the beach. Besides the plan is to add angle parking eventually, and maybe even a sidewalk. This is a temporary thing, which you’d know if you ever read the paper.”
Son: “Whatever. Hey, I did read it this week, actually. I knew they were doing this.”
Dad: “That’s good. Hey, I’ve got an idea. Maybe you can write a letter to the editor and say what you think of this project.”
Son: “Yeah, right. Like he’d print it.”