Robin at OurBigEarth.com gave me the idea to check out the salmon starting to come up the rivers around the Comox Valley, the beautiful place we call home. Why not the river where I grew up? The river about oh 5 kms from where I live now. The home of my childhood. The home of all my memories and dreams. The smell of childhood. I got out of the car at the end of a cul de sac where I rode bikes FOR HOURS as a child. It did seem like a steep long hill. It's a street with about 5 houses along each side. We walked down the trail, which is totally different, someone bulldozed the embankment - we used to have to balance down a slippery log. The smell though, it was familiar, it made my heart and stomach ache for the innocence of childhood. The days when all you had to think about was what to do next? When such a huge pallette was open to the young mind full of nothing but curiousity and brilliance. I ached for the child I was and the person I became and the person I want to be for my kids. I watched them run ahead with eagerness to see what was next. I gazed around at the overgrown riverbeds that have changed so much in 30 years since I played there. I have tears in my eyes now. I had no idea then my mother was an alcoholic. A functioning medical doctor alcoholic. I had no idea my dad - gosh I have no label for him, he was a product of his misguided parents. I had no idea school and misquided parenting was going to ruin any innate intelligence I may have had, the search for praise, awards and 'A's would sap the curiousity and love of learning from me, that I would be able to memorize and regurgitate anything but not truly enjoy it, that I wouldn't realize I wasn't the brilliant daughter of doctors that everyone thought I was until Professors at university truly challenged me to think and learn and I couldn't....I didn't know who I was or what I wanted....all this from a walk where the innocent me used to roam....My beautiful eager children running ahead of me, my little guy holding my hand, how I hope I can provide more for them, but I fear I can't I'm too damaged. Now I'm openly sobbing alone here in my chair. I wish I had the neverending patience of the beautiful unschoolers I read about. I wish I could always be there for my kids. Why do I ruin a perfect day with impatience at bedtime??? Why do I finally get frustrated and shout the 5th time I ask them to do something??? Wow, I was just going to write about the great time we had and all this came pouring out. I'll let the pictures tell tale of the rest of my day.....ending with my 3 year old stripping naked at bedtime to dance in the leaves, because you can only jump in the leaves naked you know. And then the big brothers crash at bedtime. Aren't they the best?