I’ve been staring at half-written articles these past few months and getting nowhere. Since the most common writing advice given to me is “write what you know,” I figure that is most likely my best bet to get those creative juices flowing — along with a nice sativa hybrid. So once again I am writing about my slice of heaven: the incomparable Wreck Beach, located at the furthest western tip of Vancouver, BC. This time, I’m writing about Wreck Beach with kids — my kids!
Wreck Beach with Kids
It’s no surprise to anyone within 2-degrees of separation of myself (or anyone who has read my back articles) that I live to go to Wreck Beach. It’s on par to a house party with all my favourite people in attendance.
One thing that had been recently grating on me though, was that I’d never done Wreck Beach with kids!
See, Wreck has always been the place for “me” time. When my two kiddos were younger, a day on the beach meant a lot more work on my part. Even when we had visited more accessible beaches. And it seemed a bit futile when I could take them to the local water park for an equally memorable time.
I also don’t drive, so transit is a factor. Living nearly 20 km away meant taking a bus, the skytrain, and then another bus with two kids and all the stuff they might need, only to traverse nearly 500 stairs at the beginning and end of the beach day. No, thank you, even that sentence was hard.
But my kids have grown up a lot over the past few years. Shocking, right? They can even make their own breakfast! I feel as though I am in the golden age of my children. They still want to hang out with me, but I don’t need to follow them around as much anymore. And having two rugrats, I also have a built-in buddy/tattletale system.
So I watched with a critical eye what it was really like down at Wreck, with my children coming with me in mind. I realized most of my crew is pretty solid, with behaviours akin to a low-key backyard BBQ.
Yeah, there is going to be some beer. Some joints. Maybe by the time the kids are wrapping up to hit the sack, singleton friends might discretely eat some mushrooms if there is going to be a fire going for a bit more, or they are heading elsewhere. But it’s never out of control, and parents are always on top of what their kids are up to. Sounds great for everyone! True community.
Typically though, I drink down there. Even times when I bring down a book and put in some headphones, or intend to get some sun, exercise, and fresh air, I’ll end up buying a few drinks. But I am not comfortable having more than a drink or two over twice as many hours when I have my children a long way from home.
Makes me happy to have pot as an option to feel festive without booze.
Kids and Cannabis
I’m pretty honest about pot with my kids: they know it’s something that adults use to relax and have fun. Inquiries are met with simple answers — and they seem disinterested at most, which seems pretty appropriate at their age. In a nutshell, they don’t care. And they’ve never seemed anxious, concerned, or even noticed when I am a little stoned.
With that all factored in, I decided to finally make the pilgrimage with them to my home away from home at the bottom of UBC trail 6 — time for Wreck Beach with kids!
I went down prepared to sit on my own with my two spawn; I didn’t want to expose them to more than they were ready for, or anything inappropriate for their age. In the end though, I ended up with some friends that weren’t heavy drinkers. One less thing to worry about.
My daughter is eight years old and my son seven; they are becoming more aware about bodies and their differences. And Wreck is a clothing-optional beach. A healthy way to learn, but I still didn’t want to overwhelm them; although there were some great discussions on anatomy during our excursion.
The Beach and Bud
We smoked weed while the kids were playing near the water. It was really no big deal: the kids didn’t even notice, and I still had my wits about me. No one blew smoke in their face. While a drinking crowd might not be conscientious of their habits and words around kids, my stoner buddies were just fine.
I’ve never been one to censor much from my children aside from depictions of gratuitous violence or extreme sexuality. I feel they should experience the world with mature thoughts surrounding them while still allowed to be kids. And they do.
It is important to me that my children are capable of critical thought. They need to understand that people have choices. Whether it be keeping their clothes on (or not) when appropriate, consuming cannabis responsibly simply for the sake of adults relaxing and enjoying themselves, or when making other decisions.
With Wreck Beach’s inherent open-mindedness, I felt it was a great way to illustrate this. And considering they both ended up in their birthday suits (their choice) by the end of the day, I think I succeeded hitting up Wreck Beach with kids.