My childhood home moved between cities and small towns, stretching from Etobicoke to as far away as Lewiston, New York. After that we returned to Canada, where I lived on Foxwood Drive—my longest ever at a single address.
It was a red-brick bungalow, with builder’s off-white front and garage doors. When we first came to this home the yards were only mud, and my first winter there, I tobogganed down what seemed like a mountain to my eight-year-old self. A mountain of rusty mud and clay, dusted with snow like we don’t seem to get in Ontario anymore. I remember the mounds we had shoveled towering above my mother’s car on both sides. I would stay outside for hours and I don’t remember ever feeling the cold. I tried to get my mom to play outside with me, but she was always busy.
She would make me hot chocolate though, from a tin of powder that I would sometimes climb up on the kitchen counter to reach; licking my finger, dipping it in, then licking off the sticky sweetness. I didn’t dare tell my mother about this habit, and she never mentioned the clumps of powder she would spoon into the trash bin. There was a lot unsaid between us—even then—despite my penchant for chatter.