I realized how small Prince Edward Island was today when I took my daughters bra shopping.
It’s not that I didn’t know that it was small before. I mean, a population of 135 000 is what we would call a small city where I come from.
But when the options of where to go on this grand over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder seeking venture can pretty much be counted on one hand, the “tinyness” of PEI makes itself boldly known. Especially when one is a native of, say, Montreal…
My own early bra shopping ventures took me to Carrefour Laval, and if I remember correctly, to downtown Montreal by train. And possibly metro. Because that is what we did with my mother.
We lived in Montreal North when I was very young, and moved to Deux-Montagnes (a suburb, kind of, about 15 minutes north of the city and off-island) the year before I started kindergarten. That is where I grew up, with regular trips downtown and into Ahuntsic to visit my grandparents. One set lived on Clarke Street and the other on Lille, between Henri-Bourrassa and Fleury.
So… back to PEI bra shopping.
Somewhere along the way, my daughter who didn’t grow hair before her first birthday and who needed her socks tucked into her pants “just so” and her snow pants over her boots “just so” and her sleeves over her mittens — you get the point… somewhere along the way she started to grow up. And grow boobs. And so did the other daughter, the younger one, the one who the nurses at the hospital didn’t believe was actually smiling within two days of birth (until they saw it for themselves and could no longer attribute it to gas); the one who almost died several times over and burnt her eyeball on a woodstove the day after New Year’s when she was 2; the one who almost drowned in a pond and then at the beach. They both grew boobs and suddenly needed bras.
But that was a few months ago, and they outgrew the first ones and needed more. More. Bigger. Bras.
My husband is an efficient man. He can look at a task that needs to be accomplished and figure out the most practical and productive way to accomplish it, in the shortest amount of time possible.
One cannot do that with tween girls and bra shopping.
It was a day unlike most other days. A rare day, when I actually got to spend time alone with my eldest daughters away from anyone else, just the three of us…
We shared Greek and Caesar salad for lunch, and lingered a little.
I can’t believe how quickly they are growing up. And I can’t believe that regardless of the fact that I can still smell the metro and Place Ville Marie, my own time being their age is a memory. A vivid, joyful memory.
I cannot hand my children the joy I experienced as a child, or teen, growing up where I did, when I did, with whom I did. I cannot expect to duplicate my memories in their lives.
But I can acknowledge the things that make a difference, such as time alone with me, time to do what needs to be done, time to connect, unrushed, time to sing along with Taylor Swift in the car about never ever ever getting back together (it used to be Sass Jordan)…
My daughters have boobs.
And I’m grateful.