At low tide, Rathtrevor Beach stretches away toward the horizon, an enormous length of glistening, wet sand. In the distance, you can see the Strait of Georgia, and beyond, the snow covered Coast Mountains. At this time of year, with the wind and the rain, the sky, churning with clouds, can be nearly as beautiful as the beach.
It takes ages for us to walk out to the water’s edge, our heads down to avoid the worst of the wind, and navigating around shallow and ever changing tidal pools. But the boys and I, away for a little Spring Break adventure, venture out as far as we can get, trying to get close to the bald eagle that’s hopping along the tide line.
We’ve been coming up to Parksville and staying in one of the little resorts since the boys were babies. It’s a long-standing family tradition. We walk the beach, rain or shine, we play games, and we spend hours in the pool. Like camping in the summer, it is a family tradition that I didn’t want to give up after my divorce. And so we’ve continued to come up here, just me and the boys. In the early years, it felt overwhelming, as though all I did was cook, clean up, do something to get the boys out of the cabin, and then start cooking again. These days, the two oldest boys cook breakfast, and everyone helps with the dishes. When we head down to the beach, nobody needs a piggyback home. And when we go to the pool, I can sit in the hot tub.
I’m not sure when being a single parent came to feel normal for me. I’m not sure when that feeling of being overwhelmed disappeared. These days it feels good and healthy and balanced. It’s just the way it is. And I like it like that.