Via Ottawa Tourism
By grade 4, at the age of 9. I was happily settled in Canada, after back to back postings abroad. I lived only 3 blocks away from school, and in a 3 block radius of all my friends. Like so many Canadian kids, I was spending every day at an after school program at the neighbouring high school, and my older sister would come pick me up at 5pm everyday like clockwork. One evening, we were walking home, it had snowed heavily, by Ottawa standards winter had just started to set in. The mountains of snow had built up already on the sides of the road, huge mounds had already been plowed into the corners of the curbside. Christmas lights were twinkling and reflecting softly against the snow. Christmas time was coming, and so were the holiday’s. I was getting excited. We started to walk home, the snow crunching underneath us, snow lightly fell around us, making the walk so magical. The silence was comforting, and safe, until my sister became irritated with me over something. She was 7 years older. Through the years, she had become a 2nd mother of sorts, holding my hand through illnesses in postings, taking care of me when our parents were out, being saddled with responsibilities she was too young to take on, but she did anyway.
That evening, our age gap showed, she harped on something I had done wrong. Instead of getting upset, I wanted to get even. She bent down into the snow to make a snowball. She was good at being the bully at times, she was going to start pelting me with snow. She was wearing jeans and running shoes, I was fully dressed. Yet, I had a slight advantage. I could see our house from where we were standing, and I knew, I could outrun my sister any day of the week, even with a full snowsuit on. As she bent into the snowbank to gather a good handful of snow, with all my might, I pushed her head first into the snowbank. She went in without even a hesitation, completely off balance. Like a cartoon character, her body went in, and made a good foot deep imprint of her body in a starfish position. I turned and ran like a bat out of hell. I sprinted like my life depended on it. I ran so fast that I could hear her screaming at me from down the street, and my legs kept pumping, and I leapt up the steps into the house, our front landing had a small powder room and closet, but I ran through the hallway to find my Father sitting in a chair enjoying a fire still in his suit, smoking a pipe. Me, still fully dressed in snowsuit and boots saw him, ran behind him, as snowballs came flying into the house. My Father could only muster up “hey hey hey!” as he sat completely confused. My sister arriving at the door yelling covered in not only snow, but icicles from head to toe like something out of a cave. She realized my Father sitting there, me crouched behind. My Father didn’t take long to realize that little sister got snowy revenge, and began to laugh so hard, that my sister’s nose went out of joint. Puddles of water formed all over the place, but my Father didn’t care, he was just laughing hysterically.
After we all calmed down, we looked at my Father, and realized something was off. We got undressed and cleaned up. My Mother stood in the kitchen drinking a big glass of whiskey. There were blueprints spread all over the kitchen table. We knew what was coming, we just didn’t know if we wanted the news.
My Father and Mother sat us all down, and broke it to us that we were going on posting again.
I sat frozen in place, and looked outside to our wonderful snowy paradise, I didn’t want to leave, and I was sad that I had no choice in this decision. Like every diplomatic kid, it was 3 years like clockwork.