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Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

No surprise, but I’m a daydreamer. It’s not an easy thing to hide. My school reports often cited that I tended to wander off without actually leaving the classroom, and seeing as I’m confessing it all, I may as well admit that I probably still wander off about a hundred and sixteen times a day.

 

But there was a period of time in my life where I was able to focus. You see I used to be this really good housewife. I was even, in fact, once accused of mirroring the likes of June Cleaver from Leave It to Beaver. I admit I didn’t see the resemblance back then, but I will say that I took my daily chores very seriously. They were always completed in a timely, organized fashion and no cupboard or corner was ever left unturned. The kids smelled good, unmentionables were folded, floors gleamed, toilet rolls were always miraculously placed on the holder and there was something fairly edible to eat at all the right times. The least of which is not that I somehow managed to perform all of these things with barely an eyelash bat.

 

So, why not now?

 

Now everything is Everest, its trails littered with obstacles and me, always looking to tunnel through the middle rather than suffering the long way ‘round. You know the drill. The perfectionist holds out—Oh, if I just give this a swipe and that a wipe I can hold off another week until I can do it…properly. These are the tall tales I tell myself. They are the bungees that bounce me up just before hitting the hard bottom of that long dark rabbit hole—It looks fine. It’ll do for now. No one notices anyway. But I notice. And I’m held in a state of unrest.

 

So, why don’t I just buck up?

 

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. And, it’s starting to sink in. There are just too many balls to buck. I can’t focus because I don’t know what my focus is anymore. Now that the kids are older, my plate is piled even higher with outside responsibilities that go beyond vacuuming and changing the bed sheets. Back when I was a young housewife with three small children, my role wasn’t in question. It was simply to serve and protect. And although serving and protecting will always be my heart’s work, the kids are vying for independence and with me on the precipice of 45, it seems only natural that I start to question whether there might be more to the meaning of my existence.

 

So back to my daydream. I was imagining what it would be like to step off the front stoop every morning to follow my fiction. To have nothing on my mind for the first eight hours of every day but fostering what it is I want to achieve. To write without distraction. To have someone running my family and my home, allowing me to work on making a success of myself. To be one of the chosen few who gets to concentrate solely on my goals and aspirations.

 

But daydreams aren’t always realistic. To truly triumph I must achieve whatever it is I want while living the life I’ve already made.

 

That’s victory. That’s genuine success.

 

That’s being a mom.

june-cleaver

 

 

 

 

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I dreamt all three of my children before they were born.

 

Now don’t click that little x. I am the most skeptical, non-hocus-pocus person you’ll ever meet. Promise. It comes standard with my RBF. (That was for a special friend, but I figure you may as well enjoy a laugh at my expense too.)

 

So, sanity aside, I did dream up all three of my kids before I ever met them. At three different stages of pregnancy, I had three different dreams about three different babies, at three different ages. My oldest was a newborn in my dream, my middle, three months and my daughter was just shy of a year.

 

Of course I dream all the time, but these dreams were different. They were tangible. In them, I could see, hear and taste as if awake. I could feel the hairs rise on the back of my neck as the downy silk of their cheeks brushed mine, I understood their dispositions and knew who I’d be meeting when the day finally came.

 

I would wake changed from when I’d gone to sleep. I’d come to know the tots forming in my belly. I’d been privy to what my future held. I’d been blessed with an extra day of their lives.

 

I can tell you there were no surprises. My first came early, slipping into our world as quietly as any living, breathing thing could. Our second, on his due date, with a head full of ebony hair and enough breath in his lungs to make up for his brother. The third, our daughter, swooped in on a magic carpet large enough to carry her and her big personality.

 

And I’d met them all before.

 

I am reminded of this because I was given another gift last night. Again, an extra day. Needless to say (I really hope it’s needless to say) I am not pregnant, but I had one of these dreams. Different, tangible, unmistakable.

 

Ava was about three years old. Her hair was cut into the short bob she used to wear and she wore a baseball cap. I could only see the back of her. Her squidgy little feet were covered in sand and she was struggling to get across a rocky patch. I asked her if she wanted me to pick her up and she said; “Could you, mumma,” in that tiny little voice she used to have.

Ava in her "Ash" cap

Ava in her “Ash” cap

 

My heart skipped and as I scooped her up, she melted in just like she was a part of me. It was one of those good holds. My arms wrapped under her teeny tushe and air could not have come between us.

 

“You’re the best mumma. I love you so much.” She whispered. And with the bubbles on her lips popping in my ear and the warmth of her comforting breaths, I felt the hair, once again, stand on the back of my neck.

 

I used to chalk my unique imaginings up to the whacky hormones of pregnancy, but after last night I know, dreams are just wishes your heart makes.

 

 

 

 

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When my daughter was four, I made her a promise. She was distraught over her dad leaving for a business trip and I told her she could sleep with me anytime he was away.

From. Then. On.

And. She. Did.

She has slept beside me, over the past nine and half years many, many times. More times than I can count. She kicks, punches, head butts and talks. She grinds her teeth reminding me the stresses she’s under and in short, freaks me right out.

But I’m sure you know what I’m going to say. I love having her with me. I love her with ever fiber of my being and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Because one day, she won’t be beside me.

Before I know it, my girl, the last baby of my brood will be off and out on her own, learning, living and leaving. Breaking free from the nest I have so carefully constructed around her.

I’ve been trying to write this post for a week now but it’s been difficult. Sure, I’ve been busy. In fact, I’ve barely had a moment’s peace. It’s been one job after another⎯never short of something to keep me busy. Which is weird, because I’m down one kid. You’d think I’d have at least a third more time.

Clearly, that’s not how it works.

My boy sailed off to University last week, and I don’t know how to feel. I know what I’m supposed to feel, but how do I really feel? Sad? Forlorn? Deserted? Happy? Proud? Excited? Broke.

Please note⎯that last one isn’t a question.

Truth be told, any mere mortal who reaches this stage in life will undoubtedly feel a cocktail of these emotions but hopefully, will be graced with one overwhelming standout⎯elation. We did it! We raised a child that not only meets the requirements of an excellent school, but one that also wants to go.

Rah, rah us!

Yes, it’s inevitable. Our kids will leave us. They may be eighteen. They may be older. They may be younger. Or heaven forbid, we might have to throw them out by the collar, but eventually they will leave.

In the meantime, I wonder if Ava and I can squeeze into that twin extra long…

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I want to start by saying that my life is crazy right now. And I’m leaning towards using that as an excuse for my lack of presence. Presence on my page, existence in the blogosphere and a whereabouts with the words I throw around this place. This place that locks my sanity down.

 

But, I can’t.

 

I can’t do that, because, just like everyone else, my life is always crazy. Isn’t that what life is? Unless you’re a character on a page, sketched with an unbreakable status quo, life is eventful. It’s supposed to be. We are kept moving through its cogs, spinning and turning, suspended upside down at times, because we are living. Living and learning. Growing.

 

We practice and perfect. Train and triumph. Realize and rectify.

 

Producing. Developing. Cultivating.

 

It’s why we read books and run marathons, join teams and take tests. Eat Flax and wear lipstick, crave new music and paint our walls. It’s why we hang on.

 

Emerging. Budding. Rising.

 

We don’t climb through mundane. We don’t stretch with a lack of reach. We sit stiffened without attempts to transition.

 

Forever. Farther. Forward.

 

We move.

 

With that, I leave you with my latest Women on Writing Contest Interview and a few photos of my children leading the way to where the wild things bloom as big as their minds allow them room.

 

And, just because Miley has been never been far away throughout raising my kids, I can’t help but also leave you with this…Yes, I’m sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, my Friday Post gives me a giggle as I read it now. Note that I said now. As I wrote it on Friday, I was anything but amused. In fact, I was delirious and fevered. Sweaty and in the process of transporting down a swirling hole that sucked me into an abyss…mal place where I floated on intervals of molten lava and glacier waters. It held me hostage for forty-eight hours, but seconds before I succumbed to its strong suction I somehow managed to finish, tag and publish that post.

Thank goodness, right?

I mean, had I not, you would never have known to worry about me or concernedly check my blog for a new post and update on my current state of health.

You see, it was an entirely selfless act.

But you can breathe easy now, friends. I’m good! The abyss softened its grip on my tortured soul yesterday morning just enough that I was able throw in a load of towels (seems the rumors are true – there are no laundry fairies) and shower off the shudders in time to head out to my daughter’s soccer game.

Sunset Soccer

There’s something about spending two days in one room, propped on a bed, not moving unless entirely necessary, that made me appreciate all the more, the enormous privilege of standing in the freezing cold, sipping hot coffee, blowing my nose and cheering as my kid’s team ruled the field.

They won their game and obviously, so did I.

*Today’s post has been brought to you by the letter W and is sponsored by run-on sentences.

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My girl turned thirteen and with that I officially and forever lost the privilege of nattering on about my “little” kids. All three are now teens. (I had to put that in writing because I can’t believe it myself) We moved into this house when number one was three and exactly two weeks before I had number two. I sit here, in the same living room where I’ve probably changed over 15,000 diapers and spent the same, give (give, give) or take, amount of hours feeding, feeding…feeding baby after baby.

My oldest son will be eighteen in June, the middle, fifteen in May and as I say, my daughter turned thirteen…yesterday. I’m new to this, a mum of teens. I’m thankful to my boys for easing me in gently. So far, knock on this virtual paper that would have once been wood, they have been trouble-free and catastrophe-clear. Nothing beyond the everyday challenges that occur to most everyone with kids or a beating heart.

There have been coughs and colds, flus and fights, (amazingly no fleas despite the many pets that have crossed our paths) sports and spills, good grades and the odd less than desirable dud. So far, we’ve avoided lice, premature diaper changing, illegal activity and skirted ‘round underage drinking and drug use. Yes, we’re friendly with fortuity to say the least.

So here I sit, in the same living room where all of this did or didn’t take place, where so much has changed and somehow stayed the same, the room where ideally all my girl will drink is a duplicate of the teen behaviour potion her brothers are saturated in  (except of course, she will like hanging out with me a little more than they do, right?) and everything and nothing will change over and over and over again.

Ava Gondola Banff

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I’m not off to a great start. I went away for a week and didn’t bring my laptop charger. But have no fear. I credit that more to my precarious short-term memory than to my resolve to write. A person who toasts an English muffin, thinks about grabbing a plate and half a second later proceeds to hand it, dripping with jam, to her husband plateless really cannot be expected to remember a power cord.

When I was ten, our class planned a big field trip. We were abuzz with what would be in our picnic lunches and whether or not we’d get away without wearing a jacket. If you were cool, you were jacket-free at all times. We’d bring our bikes and ride them onto the Barnston Ferry which would have us on Barnston Island after a chatter-filled, five-minute ride.

The sun was gleaming, my windbreaker was bottle green, (I was never a cool kid) my bike was burgundy, my best friend’s sparkly pink polish was chipped and my sandwich was peanut butter and banana. We lay on our bellies in the tall grass and let the blonde blades wave lazily over our eye-lines. The girls giggled about the boys and the boys chortled about the bugs and we cycled the 6-mile radius a few times over, with zero signs of exertion, pretending we were Lone Rangers or Charlie’s Angels.

Now, what was the point of this post…?

The biggest lie I tell myself

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