“Are These The Good Times, Dad?”

So after spending a few hours at the lake yesterday, my dad, Pace and I went back into town.  Dad bought a few things he needed at the local co-op including some candy as a treat for Pace.

As we drove away, the sun was shining.  Someone had a fishing shack painted with The Punisher logo across the street so we stopped to look at it.  We were feeling tired but fulfilled after a busy day and looking forward to a big supper my mom was cooking.

Out of the blue, Pace asks, “Dad, are these the good times?” and all I could say was “Yes, they are, son.  When you get to spend quality time with your dad and grandpa, those are special times indeed.”

But that conversation, along with spending some time going through our family photos recently, had me thinking of a really easy way to summarize how different the “good times” are for Pace compared to myself (and for myself compared to my dad.)

PLACES MY DAD HAD BEEN BY THE AGE OF SIX (NEVER OUT OF SASKATCHEWAN)

  1. Indian Head
  2. Regina 

PLACES I’D BEEN BY THE AGE OF SIX  (NEVER OUT OF CANADA)

  1. Indian Head
  2. Regina
  3. Saskatoon
  4. Calgary
  5. Kelowna
  6. Victoria (as a baby I think)
  7. Winnipeg

(SELECTED LIST OF) PLACES PACE HAS BEEN BY THE AGE OF SIX (HAS HAD A PASSPORT SINCE AGE TWO!)

  1. Indian Head
  2. Regina
  3. Calgary
  4. Kelowna
  5. Vancouver
  6. Winnipeg
  7. Minot
  8. Weyburn
  9. Las Vegas
  10. Cuba
  11. Hawaii (Maui AND Kauai)

…with hopes to take take Pace (and Sasha) to a few other places (Edmonton, maybe California) in the next year or two.

There’s also the difference that my dad had very little of his childhood documented, I have some print pictures whereas Pace has literally had either a photo or video taken of every major milestone of his life.

So anyhow, by one narrow definition of what creates “good times” – how exotic and distant the places you’ve visited are – Pace has had a totally different experience than myself and I had a totally different experience than my dad.  (I can only imagine where Pace might take his kids someday!)

Of course, the original point that getting some candy at the local co-op after a hard day’s work on a nice sunny day can be just as nice as being on a beach in Cuba or Hawaii.  (Well, in some ways anyhow!)

But it’s interesting to think of the different economics, the different mindset and the different opportunities that exist compared to thirty or sixty years ago.  Admittedly, ours is only one story – we know families today who have very similar incomes and worldviews to ours who haven’t taken their kids very far and we know families who take their kids on major holidays twice a year.

What’s my point?  I guess it was nice to have Pace realise that the good times can be present without spending a lot of money.  But I also hope he realises and appreciates that he’s going to have a very privileged upbringing.

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