Do children need both a mom and a dad? Many people are asking this question today. Fifty years ago, everybody agreed that both parents are necessary for rearing children. I have happy memories of our one-and-only family vacation to Sylvan Lake in July of 1961. It was a time when differences were set aside by both parents so we could all have a good time.
Two occasions stand out in my mind. One was when Mom and Dad headed for the beach after supper. The sun shone so brightly in my eyes that I begged to walk behind Mom so she would shield me from its brilliance.
Once we were at the lake’s edge, my eyes had adjusted to the light. Us three kids played happily with Mom as Dad took a photo of us. By the time we returned to our motel apartment, Mom had calmed down from being angry at me for not being able to face the sun’s glare.
Sylvan Lake also had an amusement arcade. One game they had there was a miniature bowling alley. Dad handed me one of the red rubber balls and told me to roll it down the alley. I did so but the ball went into the gutter. I managed to hit a few pins but then I grew bored with the game. Dad insisted I bowl some more but I refused.
As we walked along the road by the lake, I spotted a boat made of concrete. It was mounted on a pillar and had a hole in the bottom. I crawled through the hole and sat on the boat seat. Dad and I had a short conversation about boats before he told me to come along with him.
My family was never the same after that vacation. Roy was dumped at the Alberta Training Centre for Mental Defectives in 1963 and I was shipped off to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind the next year. I wrote of those painful years in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Visit the Bruce Atchison’s books page for details.
I also have a new book out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check out this story of God’s unwavering faithfulness at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.