Mum's The Word: At home in Canada, I have a chance to recharge my batteries

Every year, Alison Curtis and her family travel to Canada for a holiday. This year, like so many of us, she is choosing to stay at home and staycation in Ireland
Mum's The Word: At home in Canada, I have a chance to recharge my batteries
Our columnist, Alison Curtis, pines for her annual summer break in Canada, which she is missing out on this year due to Covid-19. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

This week I should be in Canada with my daughter Joan and my twin Karen sitting on the porch of our childhood home, but we aren’t. 

We were due to fly out on Monday for our annual trip back to see family and friends and to relax and recharge.

Each year I save up all my holidays for either July or August, taking no weekends off from my show across the year so I can get a good run at a summer holiday. 

Around the end of June, I find myself getting more and more exhausted with daily tasks, I get a little less patient with everything and my anxiety climbs up a notch or two because I haven’t had a break all year.

This is my fault and perhaps I should manage it better but I want all my 'free' time to be spent in Ontario.

When I am there, my husband says I am like a different person. All of us 'change' I think when we are in our childhood environments, for better or for worse. 

We can regress into old behaviours and family dynamics but for me, it is like I have a battery that gets emotionally and physically recharged when I am there.

Every corner of the house has a memory of my parents or my childhood. I feel connected to who I am there and I get to share all of this with my daughter so she can have a greater understanding of what life was like in Canada for us growing up and most importantly who her grandparents were as they passed long before she was born.

Both my daughter and I are water babies and each summer we spend most of the days sitting in the same lake in the same spot where I spent all of my childhood summers. 

Jumping in and off a dock into the water, floating around for a while, snorkelling, getting out for a snack in the hot sun then dipping back in to cool off.

My sister and I would make up elaborate games of pretending to be from different villages, we would build forts on either side of the inlet where our beach was and then paddle canoes back and forth visiting each other's towns. For the past few summers, we have been reenacting this with Joan.

There are no devices, iPads or even TV when we are there. Simply old fashioned card games, rounds of badminton, swimming, walks and lounging. Absolute bliss.

So to know we are missing out on all of this, this summer has been pretty difficult to accept. But it is the right decision and it is for the greater good. 

I want to say I have played my part to the best of my ability to not but my family or others at risk of spreading Covid-19.

Instead, I have promised myself that we will do a series of nice things over the next few weeks. The first is to go canoeing. 

This is absolutely my favourite thing to do when I am back in Canada. I am never so relaxed as when I am just paddling around our lake and taking in the scenes of the shoreline. 

There are so many wonderful waterways in Ireland to explore and places to rent canoes that we have a few day trips planned like this.

The second thing is I am going to escape to the countryside for a few days with my daughter. Away from city sounds and to be surrounded entirely by greenery. 

One of the most positive things to come from staycationing in Ireland is having the chance to go to places I might not otherwise have gone. 

We are an incredible little nation with so much to offer so here is to the summer of 2020, staying safe, staying home and making new memories.

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