Bull Pythons, Bugs & GolfersWednesday, August 02, 2006
Back in the late 70s when we lived in Burnaby I wanted to experience childhood through my daughters. I purchased a slot car racing set in the hopes that my two daughters would be as excited as I was about manifesting some sort of interest in the now forgotten desire for an electric train. As a little boy my parents could never afford the Lionels or American Flyers that my American friends had in their Buenos Aires homes. They compensated by somehow finding a large Erector set which was much more interesting (it was American-made!) than the boring English green coloured Meccano. I thought the slot car would be a contemporary replacement and would fill the void for the Lionels I never had. My daughters showed no interest and it didn't take long before the awful shag carpet of our house clogged the cars' terminals and I finally put them away.
Now Rebecca has provided me with the opportunity to revisit my youth. Unfortunately she is more interested in my contemporary pursuits. She loves to be in the garden with me and has a keen interest in roses and in strange rhododendrons like Rhododendron 'Golfer' with its white tomentum (a fuzzy white coating on the top of its leaves). I never had a penchant for musical instruments and I balked when my mother bought me a beautiful Argentine guitar and hired a teacher. Rebecca, on the other hand relishes going to Nikolai Maloff's house for her piano lessons.
But worst of all Rebecca will pick up and hold whatever insect, bug or worm she finds in the garden. At the Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. she delighted in being able to hold 4-inch cockroaches and other insects that made me squirm particularly the spiders with their randomly independent moving legs.
And it doesn't end there. Rosemary and I had to take Rebecca twice to the reptile weekend at VanDusen Botanical Garden. While her sister Lauren (4) stood her ground as far from the reptiles as she could Rebecca held and draped every snake she could find.