A mother and son bond over birding


Lynn Thomson is best known as a bookseller. She's worked in bookselling for years, first at Book City on Toronto's Danforth Avenue, and then at her husband's bookstore, Ben McNally Books. Now, Lynn can be known as an author - and a birder. She recently published a memoir about bird watching with her son, Yeats, aptly titled Birding With Yeats. Both Lynn and Yeats were on CBC Radio's The Next Chapter recently to discuss the book. You can listen to their conversation with Shelagh Rogers in the audio player below:

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Lynn and Yeats took up bird watching in 2007, just as their lives were both beginning to change dramatically. Yeats, who is introspective and shy, was just starting high school, and Lynn was about to go back to work for the first time in almost 15 years. Immediately, bird watching became a way for them to escape their busy, changing lives and to grow closer together. "I love stepping out the front door, knowing that we're going bird watching and knowing that I can leave everything else in my life behind," Lynn said. "We didn't talk about homework, we didn't talk about the bookstore, about anything else that was bothering us. It was a way to get out of our everyday life and into the forest or out on the marshes and really be there in my life at that time."

As Yeats grew older, however, he began to pull away from his mother - and eventually asked if he could bird watch alone. At first Lynn struggled with this. But as she threw herself into bookselling and writing, she realized that it was an evolution that needed to happen. "It's time for Yeats to grow up and do his own thing. Sometimes I do want to go birding with him, but I understand what he needs to do," she said. "We all grow up a little bit."