Just Another Day on Fire

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

After an 8-day stint in Toronto, I arrived yesterday with a two-four of Krispy Kremes in order to bribe my way into the tumult of teenagers. Charm alone doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

It worked. 

The gang was grateful. Parents, apparently, you taught your kids to say thank you. It’s a head start in their long journey to gather social skills, like picking raspberries in July.

Ripe and rosy cheeked, they are already shedding pounds and gaining muscle mass. The gang looked utterly beautiful, freshly infused with Ottawa Valley oxygenated air.

Marisol was especially grateful. I got a “thanks man”, spoken like a California surfer dude with her polypropylene kaleidoscope tights. I told her so. Unsure of how to receive this dispatch, she opted to hear it as a compliment (which it was). She giggled. I compare this to day one, where her eyelids were weighed down like one-ton weights.

They had just spent the afternoon playing in the rapids and were chilling out in the dining room in what has become a pre-dinner ritual of banter, bracelet making, and endless games. Squeezing myself between Tristan and Kauan, the conversation flowed like the rapids they just navigated.

Tristan asked me if Boundless will hire Isaiah once he graduates here.

“What are you,” I replied, his agent?”

Isaiah is sitting back grinning, perfectly content to have Tristan do the heavy lifting. 

All the while, Sophie is crafting an intricate bracelet. Bella, a new staff here, is supporting the effort digitally – literally with her fingers. I thought about how this place now feels like home.

Quiche, fully emerged as the leader of the student population (it’s about time), mused about how difficult it is for parents to let go of their kids. I told him that I blubbered like a baby when my own daughter took off to Europe for a year. He told me how his mom was in tears at his departure two weeks ago.

“You know,” he said, “I am my mother’s favourite child.” This confidence is priceless.

One by one, the kids came to greet me.

Fantasia, otherwise known as Joetasia, gave me a 1970’s handshake. How appropriate given that the people here have to interact with each other face to face, stripped of their screens. I cannot tell you how joyous this makes me feel. People just hanging out. If we could only bottle this.

Laura is right in there with the pack. This feat is akin to humanity landing on the moon. Her mom won’t recognize her.

Liam, Quiche and Isaiah told me how they are preparing to conduct a ceremony for National Truth and Reconciliation day. They invited me. I told them I couldn’t make it because i will be surfing in Tofino. Sorry Justin Trudeau, I couldn’t resist.

I made an announcement that my office is always to open for anyone to pop by and say hi. I juice up the offer with a promise of being a chocolate dispensary. Ricci has already taken me up on this offer, munching on a Reeses cup before she took off to make a video for English class.

It’s beyond gorgeous up here. The leaves are on fire. So are your kids, growing by leaps and bounds.

Thanks for sending them.

Warmest regards,

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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb