My kids miss the cottage

By Liann Bobechko »Liann Bobechko

Deep in winter, the kids are looking for a cottage tide-me-over.

January 5th, 2012

Winter cottage, closed up

Photo by Lynn Shope

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Catherine Hewlett, former web coordinator at Cottage Life, took a moment out of her busy day as a mother of three to tell us what’s going on with her family as they pine for the cottage in the off-season:

I am very fortunate to have lovely in-laws who are very generous with their cottage. As a result, my husband, three kids and I enjoy many of the benefits of cottage life without actually having to own anything. We’re spoiled, I know. And very grateful.

My sons are nearly-five-year-old twins and my daughter is two. My boys have been going to the cottage since they were four months old and my daughter (a typical third child with increasingly lax parents) has been visiting basically since birth. I have to admit, those early weekends at the cottage with the boys weren’t easy. Twin babies mean a lot of equipment and a lot of worries.

Most of the things that I loved about the cottage in my pre-kid days suddenly took on a whole new meaning: a cottage on a cliff, a fire pit on the edge of that cliff, a big, open stone fireplace in the cottage, a long dock out to a deep, deep lake, abundant wildlife…everything felt like an accident waiting to happen. But we kept at it and now my kids think of the cottage as a piece of heaven.

The place is not winterized so about this time of year, once the excitement of Halloween and Christmas have passed, the kids start thinking about what they have to look forward to, and after their birthdays, the next most important thing in their lives is, of course, the cottage.

It’s January 5th today and we likely won’t get up to the cottage until June, but they’ve already started talking about the lake, Granddad’s pontoon boat, their fishing rods, adding to their collection of important cottage memorabilia (pinecones, mostly), campfires (yes, on that cliff) and Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

And so about this time of year, even though the cottage is a bit of a distant (but very fond) memory, I break out the photos from last summer and we play “cottage”. This involves roasting Lego pieces on plastic sticks over a pile of random toys as a campfire and taking canoe rides around the basement in cardboard boxes. Next summer I think I’ll give each child a box to collect a few souvenirs to bring home. That way when they start to feel nostalgic, they can go through their boxes for a bit of a fix and add some authenticity to their afternoons of building pretend campfires on the edge of a pile of sofa cushions.

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