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Working Woman

23 May

Since the weeks leading up to Bella’s birth I had been a stay at home Mom. My days were filled with housework, errands, kids and lots of little mindless tasks. It was not easy, but it was perfect. I watched them grow and change, I was here for anything they needed, I loved that time.

It’s gone now. Those breezy days of feeling like I might pull my hair out if I didn’t get to speak to at least one grown up. Keeping strangers on the phone when making appointments or ordering stuff. Those poor people, I’m sure I wasn’t the only Mama who told them EVERYTHING she was thinking about just to keep the adult conversation going.

Clearly I have an assortment of feelings about my time at home. I would never change it, if we ever had more (which we are SO NOT) I would do it again.

Now though, now I am a working woman again.

This new life is crazy busy and the things that slip past my attention are growing in numbers. I dove in head first, no floaties. Every day I get them on the bus and head to work, every day I try to find a free second to orchestrate all the things I used to have all the time in the world to manage, every day I suddenly notice the time and pack up and race off to this appointment, then that store, then to the kids before the after school program ends. I now remember why people get excited for Friday, and the weekend. Why stats and holidays are a big deal. How precious my time with my babies is, so much more now that I see them so much less.

The house is always waiting for my attention, always needing to be tidied, swept, scrubbed. It will keep waiting. The time I have at home now is for my kids, my husband, and for me. The dishes really can wait, the laundry is not going anywhere.

The other day Logan asked Scott when he would be able to see him more. His Dad explained to him that the reason we can have our home, stuff, food, activities and everything else is that Daddy works. Logan wondered when we would have enough money that he would get to see his Dad more. This breaks my heart, my boy is missing his Dad, and his Dad misses him, infinitely.  I would love to be able to offer him a date, a time, some idea of when we will all be able to spend more time together. I wish I could, but I can’t. What I can make sure he has is all of the attention I can give him when we are together. What we can offer is fun, laughter, cuddles, LOVE every moment we’re not apart.

I’m working, Scott is working. Our babies are in school. Our lives are busy.

The dishes will wait. We love our wrinkled t-shirts.

We will play and read. Sing and dance. We will love every moment. This woman will work for that.

Are You Raising a Douchebag?

25 Jul

I saw a picture on facebook today (pause for gasp).

No seriously, it happened. Anyway, it was a kid, clearly a shithead kid. It asked, “Are you raising a douchebag?” and pointed out that “Your indulgent parenting is spawning a generation of hipster brats.”

I think this picture is right. Yeah, someone somewhere on the internet got it right.

I have a problem with being indulgent with my offspring. I want them to have everything their little baby hearts desire, then SHOCK they act like jerks when they don’t get their way. So now I’m working on this whole giving them everything illness I have. It’s tough, and sometimes I say no to something ’cause I think I should be saying no more often than I realize I could have said yes in that case and nothing would have exploded. It’s a work in progress.

Now to the point of my rambling. As a parent I know it is my job to help in the shaping of the people my spawn turn out to be. Hopefully guiding them down a path of goodness and away from shitheadedness. What about all those jerk adults out there though? Hey person non-specific standing in front of the mall/restaurant/kids play area surrounding yourself in a cloud of death that I now have the option of dragging my kids through or using another entrance and hoping another one of your kind isn’t there? Go to hell! Yeah, that’s right. You choose to be a smoker, that’s a bad choice, go make your bad choice away from those of us without wishes of stained teeth, foul odours and untimely deaths.

Those people make me mad…can you tell?

There are so many adults making horrible choices, sometimes they are me. Sometimes they are the people in my life. Those bad choice may be as simple (and regular) as not thinking before speaking, or as all consuming as addiction. It’s always happening around me. And as I am trying to mold my kidlets into good people I wonder about how to best handle all the bad stuff so that it will have either no negative impact or maybe even sometimes a good impact (by the way of lessons to be learned). I recognize and sometimes SOMETIMES accept that I cannot change the people around me or stop them from making poor decisions. What I am not too confident about is how to manage those people in relation to my babes. We know that when kids are being bullied in school doing nothing is comparable to endorsing the bully’s behaviour. So, should I try to say or do something about bad behaviours so the kiddos see that I do not support it and am trying to have a positive impact on their world? OR knowing that those choices are not mine to make and only the people making them have the ability to make better ones do I simply not include those bad choice makers in the circle of people my family hangs out with? Standing idly by as my children witness people inflicting harm on themselves or others does not fall into the category of acceptable for me. Not only could that tell them that I am OK with whatever is happening but also that I am willing to expose them to bad shit…better words are not currently available.

I could see how some may say I’m thinking too much about this. And I SO see how my need to control is impacting my train of thought here…but what is a mama bear to do trying to raise her cubs in a world full of assholes?

Chatterbox

4 May

Bella was a serious baby. That is what I said when people would coo and smile at her and she would stare back at them. Face unmoving, expression the same, if not slightly annoyed looking. That’s not to say she never smiled or was unhappy. She would certainly giggle and was very able to engage. Most of her time was spent looking very, well, serious.

If you met her now you would strongly doubt my ability to recall past events. Not only will she smile at you, if you so much as make eye contact you are getting an earful. That child can talk, and talk, and talk. Yes, yes insert chuckle here. She is, with absolute certainty, her mother’s daughter.

Lying awake last night I got to thinking about my previously serious girl. And I think I’ve solved it, the mystery of those glaring eyes. That look that said she had you figured out. She was known to give THE look. You know that unimpressed woman, irritated girlfriend, frustrated Mama look. She would stare you down, my girl had THE look down before her first birthday. I believe I now know why. She wanted to tell us what she saw. What she heard. What she knew. She was aching to share her thoughts with us, and she was downright pissed that she couldn’t get the words out.

She has so much to say. So many observations, questions and even more corrections (yes another chuckle here, I know me to a T). “Bella could you grab your jacket please?” “Do you mean coat Mama?” Oops yes I meant coat. “Bell where is that pink ball?” “Mom, its orange” If her sneeze is not immediately met with a “Bless you Bell” she will remind me, promptly.

That’s my little lady. She knows what she wants, and how she wants it. And there is no way you can escape her telling you EVERY SINGLE thought she has.

Hook, Line…

4 May

Did your school have those round, grey rocks in the playground? The ones that were perpetually covered in a very fine dust that got on everything? When you jumped off the swing and landed with your hands in them you would fine lots of small grey circles on your hands, and if you touched your clothing you would have white hand prints all over you. Mine did. I’m not sure if Logan’s does though.

Walking up the driveway after school one day this week his hat was covered in white smudges. The ones I feel I had seen so many times in my elementary school days. I asked him how his hat got so dirty. “Bullies throwing mud again”. Odd, I thought. Mud doesn’t leave a powdery residue. Thrown mud wouldn’t leave smudges. I decided he wasn’t telling the truth. I assumed because he didn’t want to get in trouble for getting his hat dirty. It’s his special hat, the one he earned when he got up on stage in front of his entire school and let a stranger shave his head at the Cops for Cancer: Pedal for Hope assembly. He’s four, that’s a big deal.

Hats can be used for digging, for carrying, for fanning, for catching. I’m sure there is a myriad of uses my son could find for a hat. I’m also sure that a small pile of those uses could result in the smudging all over it. I don’t give him trouble for playing in the dirt generally, you know unless a mud puddle is attacked while we are walking towards the van to go somewhere special, he’s a kid and I’m cool with that. I don’t see why he wouldn’t tell me the real reason his hat is covered in that fine dust.

This is not the first time I’ve heard about bullies at school. And on some occasions I have sought out a conversation with the teacher to explore further. These kids are smart though. They hear us tossing words like bully around in a very serious manner. They know it’s a big deal and that we are working to keep bullying out of their lives. I think he’s deduced that ‘bully’ is a hot button. He knows that word will trigger a reaction. The things they learn in school. Not long after he started he was telling me that he didn’t want to get misbehaving kids in trouble when I asked why he didn’t report inappropriate behaviour he had seen. They learn the code in a hurry, don’t they?

Not too long ago he went to a birthday party for a classmate. For the very first time he went without me. After I dropped him off I began to wonder if he would be ok. What would they do if something happened and he needed me? I let this worry go, rather, I tried to let it go. Kids go to parties, and he loves being with his friends.

When I picked him up and asked how it went I got the usual semi complete account of event. Lacking some logic and certainly not in order. Then, the more he talked about it the more it changed. Soon he was telling me about how he was sad and cried for me. I smiled and said, “But you were ok after that right? You had fun.” Yes, he had fun. I’ve heard this kind of line before. Stories about nursery school and then his kindergarten classroom. Even when I’ve gone out and he’s been home with Scott on occasion this same little piece finds its way into his account of the day or evening, whatever I’m asking him about.

Looking at these little reoccurring instances as a whole I have reached a conclusion. My boy is keeping me on the hook.

Maybe as a favour to me, so I know he still needs me. More likely as a way to remain a little boy despite all the big boy changes in his life. Obviously, he is a genius. I admire his emotional awareness and ability to manipulate loved ones. Now, do I worry that he is turning into me or do all people use small emotional triggers to affect the people around them?

The Story Of Us

30 May

 

It was a snowy April night, 2004. With her Mother at a Jack & Jill at a neighbors farm, she saw him. Having been ready to leave she was now compelled to stay, who was he? Quietly watching from across the room, summoning the courage to talk tom him, she was about to approach when she suddenly realized he was no longer in view. Scanning the room, it became clear that he had left. Disappointed, she agreed with her mother that it was time to leave. Then, as if by her very will there he was, chatting with people on the other side of the room. He appeared to be turning down dance partners, some young, and some clearly the mothers of his friends, smiling politely each time he’d shake his head and they’d move on. She wasn’t going to miss her chance, this time there was no summoning of courage she walked straight across the room. “I see you’re saying no to everyone that’s asking you to dance.” She noted, convincing herself she was this confident and forward person, “Will you dance with me?” He smiled, they danced. They spun and spun until the room continued to spin though they had stopped dancing. The night came to a close, and she headed home with her mother. The next morning she awoke excited with this new possibility, eager to explore what this new person might bring to her life. After some ‘research’ she learned his name and phone number, “Hi, I don’t know if you remember me, we met last night.”

After some months of spending nearly every day together they parted ways. She cried, but knew that this was not the right time for what she felt. They saw other people, always just slightly in touch with one another. In good times and in bad she thought of him, wondered where he was, if he was happy. The relationship she was in had not been what she was seeking, in her heart the knowledge that the one she met that April night was the one, pulled at her. On one particularly sad day, the tears blurred her vision and she needed someone. Someone to drive her home, someone to ease her broken heart. On that day the number she dialed was not the one of her current ‘someone’, but his. He answered and his voice brought some peace, then it was clear that the one who should be her someone was on the other end of the line. That was the end of the relationship she was in, now in the world a free agent, she waited.

Not so snowy, but April again a year later. Walking across a crowded bar she felt a poke and looked down. Standing there, a step below the platform she was on, was the one she had been waiting for. Without even thinking she fell into his arms, the remainder of the evening spent as close to him as she could get. This time she knew that this was the time for what she felt, she was ready for what he could bring to her life.

Some months passed. One sunny afternoon as they said goodbye in her mothers driveway she asked, “Should I cut and paste some pictures of rings that I like for you?” He smiled, “Yeah”. Together they looked and found the perfect one. July 2005, at dinner on a weekend away she asked for the dessert menu. When the waitress returned, she was carrying a platter with a little box in the center. As she processed what that might mean she looked down to find him on his knee at her side, “Will you be my wife?” Tears filled her eyes, her hands shook, “Yes!” She was reminded that they were in a crowded restaurant by the applause that filled the room around them.

Little more than a year went by and she was standing at the back of the church, clutching her Grandfather’s arm. As she watched the flower girls and ring bearer make their way down the aisle she began to shiver. “I’m scared” her feet froze, pulling gently on her arm, her Grandpa brought her down the aisle. Tears streaming down her face she was surprised by the emotion that overtook her. There he stood, just as he had that snowy April night, smiling and his presence alone putting at ease any fear she had felt.

Time went by, doing what it does. They drifted apart and came together as couples sometimes do. In the midst of one of their drifted periods he came home from work to find her crying. She gave no explanation, shutting the door to his attempt at understanding her tears. Wanting to tell him but not knowing how she searched online. On a page, on the table, she had printed off he came home to find a section circled. “At five weeks the heart beats for the first time” He looked at her, question and amazement on his face. She smiled with tears in her eyes and nodded, they were together again, now more than ever before.

Thirty-six weeks later the doctor handed him a tiny, perfect boy. His boy, this was a new love. A love they shared with each other and for this new and most important person in their lives. The baby boy grew and changed and they learned. About him, about themselves, and about each other. Her love for him grew. More than the night he put a ring on her finger, more than the day she said I do, her love for him and for what they had created together multiplied.

Soon she knew there was something else. Something pulling at her, she yearned for something, though she didn’t yet know what. Twenty-three months and two weeks after that tiny boy was laid in his arms, a precious girl was brought to him. When the nurse brought her into the recovery room and she beheld her new family for the first time she was sure that this was what she had been seeking. All was as it should be and there was nothing more to search for.

Time went by, doing what it does. They no longer drifted apart.

There were times when she would sit and think. A smile would come across her face as she realized how blessed she was. She had him, the one for her. And as days and weeks passed by she learned more and more that he was exactly what she needed, more than she knew she wanted. She had known of his kind heart and generous nature. Of his quick wit and dry humor. She learned how tender his heart was when his babies had tears in their eyes, and she saw his heart break for them. How patient his temperament was at trying times, when he hugged her to calm her frenzied state. How considerate he was when, after a long and hot days work, he searched their yard for an escaped pet turtle. How thoughtful he was when he told her to go and see her friends and not worry about the time. How playful he was as he rolled on the floor with the kids and their dog, laughing and playing until it was the children who were tired. How affectionate he was as he snuggled his babies to sleep. How strong he was as his world suffered unexpected losses and breaks.

She saw all of this. She saw him. She learned that on the day they exchanged their vows her love for him was just beginning. That years after she had pledged her heart to him she would find herself wanting to give it to him all over again. Finding new reasons to love him more all the time. With him she had a family she loved more than words could express. There was no more seeking, no yearning after what the world might hold. All that she needed and wanted was with him and the story they were writing together.

Twenty Four Months

30 May

They say time flies when you’re having fun. I say time soars when your life is full of love. These past twenty four months have gone past so quickly it feels like a blur. This is a very quick recap, in pictures, of the girl who made these months so magical.

May 25th 2010 – My heart broke, melted and exploded all at once, so full of love for this new being in my life.

The months that followed…

A very proud big brother

Daddy’s girl

Happy Halloween my little honey bee of love!

Full of smiles

Big beautiful eyes

Yum!

Fun in the tub

I don’t think I like what Daddy has done to me

Sleeping angel

And then, before I knew it, she was one. It had been a full year since my little love bug had come into the world. She was walking and laughing, asserting herself and full of hugs.

Happy Birthday Momma!

The squishy “cheese” face

Daddy’s Princess

Hey Mom, what are you doing on the floor?

Happy Halloween 2011!

Giggles

Look what Santa brought!

The merbaby

Wild and crazy hair, always in her face.

Super cool baby

I’m ready for Spring!

Twenty four months before this last picture was taken I spent the night pacing and crying. Terrified of the unknown, what would a new baby mean to my little family of three?

And now after two years of love and joy I know that my life, and my family, were not yet complete. We needed this girl to make us who we are today and to grace each of the days to come with her big heart and adventurous spirit.

I love you Bella.

My Son

5 Jan

When I first started this I wrote a post about how Logan has changed me. In the post I said I would someday write a post all about him. Who he is as a person. I think about it all the time, but I can’t seem to pinpoint just who he is. He’s growing and changing all the time. Like we all do, and I don’t think I can accurately portray who he is in a post, I think if I tried I could never do him justice.

What I can do is try to describe some of his current qualities, how I see them. The world, I’m sure, sees him differently than I do. To me he is absolutely perfect.

Right now he is energetic and inquisitive. He loves to learn and is, for the most part, willing to explore. He still has reservations, which I like about him.

He is affectionate and considerate. He willingly apologizes when he’s made a mistake. In fact I believe he is genuinely saddened when he believes he has upset someone. Often repeating “I’m so sorry” while backing away from the spilled milk, the broken Christmas ornament , or his crying sister. He loves to share his love and is super cuddly.

He loves to laugh. He is very quick witted, and at times quick tempered. He will tell you what he thinks, and he will tell you when you’re wrong.

He loves his family and his friends. He loves to talk to them and about them. He loves to create stories and share them with an audience. He can be a bit of a ham.

He is learning and growing in leaps and bounds. Just when I think I have a handle on where he’s at in a flash he’s jumping into a new phase.

He is my boy. My light. My life. I love him more all the time. Am simultaneously excited and saddened at the thought of him growing up. And I am infinitely thankful that he is my son.

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