Every 4 Years. but not this year.

I’m sad today. But happy. In a nostalgic-sad-happy kind of hybrid way.

This is in my calendar right now. An event that repeats every 4 years, along with a message from me in 2017. I like leaving myself messages in the calendar to read in the future.


So what’s going on?

We used to live 3 doors down from a little park and one day – specifically, May 28, 1997 – I took this picture of the lads on a bench there.

may 28 1997


I liked that picture a lot. I still do. So 4 years later we strolled down to the park to take the same picture on the same bench.

may 28 2001


The astute viewer will note that child #2 is wearing the shirt that child #1 was wearing in the 1997 picture. That was a complete coincidence, and somehow I forgot to continue this trend. But we kept returning to that bench, and taking the picture again, every four years.

may 28 2005


By this point I’d started putting the series of pictures in a nice frame, and giving a copy to various relatives. And the photos continued.

may 28 2009


Number 1’s in high school now and is wearing his Ursula Franklin Academy shirt. I think they moved the bench in the park by 50 feet so the angle was no longer quite right, but we kept going.

may 28 2013


By this point I’m starting to become exceedingly grateful that they’re still willing to go along with this.

may 28 2017


We’d moved to Oakville, but returned to Beresford Park to take the picture again, and the photographer may have been a little overcome with waves of nostalgia. (Along with regret that we didn’t continue the hand-me-down-shirt routine but these guys are getting all grown up now …)

may 28 2021

Today’s the day.

I have been staring at my calendar all week wondering if we can pull off the “Every Four Years” picture this year.

But I don’t think we can. For one reason – you know, global pandemic, nobody should be travelling, Ontario still in lockdown.

For another – both of the subjects have jobs and are working today and have moved away, one’s a two hour drive, one’s a four hour drive, and the logistics are getting too complicated.

Also it’s raining.

I think we might bend the rules a bit, what with there being a pandemic and all. The next time they’re both in town, I’ll see if they’re willing to take a little drive to Beresford Park and see if the bench is still there, and I’ll bring my camera, and take another 200 pictures in the hopes that 2 or 3 turn out well, and I’ll print Photo #7 and find an even bigger frame to add it to ….

but it won’t be the same somehow.

time marches on. Take lots of pictures of your kids. They grow up awfully fast.


well we managed this on the evening of May 28 2021, at least. In this pandemic year of craziness, it’ll do!



One Reply to “Every 4 Years. but not this year.”

  1. Don’t break the chain! (Sorry, it started as, “Don’t break the tradition!”, but the Fleetwood Mac song popped into my head.)
    Anyway, there’s still time! Call them both now. Stop wasting time! They’ll arrive after dark; that’s perfect. You can safely take a quick photo in stealth!

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