We Are Just Children

It was 1975 and our family was living in Regina, Saskatchewan.  In this prairie city my Dad had his first posting as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  He’d been serving as an RCMP officer for a few years already, but he finally landed his dream job flying planes for the Mounties.  So it was that he returned to where his RCMP career began, this time with a small family in tow.  While Dad was out flying the Beaver, and sometimes the Twin Otter, Mom was at home with me and my baby sister.

Though I was not yet 3 years old, I have some vivid memories of this time.  On one occasion, Mom was distracted with my sister Gloria in another room.  I was left in the kitchen by myself.  What could possibly go wrong?

On the counter I spied a glass bottle containing some red liquid.  I was old enough to know that red liquid is generally sweet and tasty.  So naturally I reached up and grabbed the good stuff.  It had a lid that I easily screwed off.  I put the bottle to my lips and drank up.  And I drank the whole thing — polished it right off I did.

As I was standing there and feeling quite satisfied, my Mom came into the kitchen to see me standing there with an empty bottle of cough syrup.  To my surprise, she became rather alarmed and the next thing I knew we were at our neighbour’s house and Mom was pleading with him to drive us somewhere.  Dad was slipping the surly bonds of earth somewhere over the prairies and our one family car was at the hangar waiting for his return.

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Wes Bredenhof | “When I Thought My Mom Was Killing Me” | February 20, 2024


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