It’s May and while we are supposed to be seeing earlier sunrises and spring blooms, the weather has been horrible. Mayvember. Daily rain, with grey skies and chilly air are not a recipe for wanting to jump out of bed at an early hour. Apparently, though, track and field begins in the spring and the hardcore teachers facilitating the 7am practices didn’t receive the ‘raincheck’ memo. I try so hard to teach the kids not to quit things, and me not wanting to drive in wet weather wouldn’t set a very good example!
Mother’s Day sucks. There, I said it! I fully admit it. It shouldn’t. I’m the proud and lucky mom of two great kids, a girl, 10, and a boy, 4. They are my life, my joy, and I couldn’t imagine my world without them. But see, I belong to this club, the one that no one ever wants to be a part of.
I’m a card-carrying member of the “my mother is dead and it sucks club.”
Somewhere I have a black and white photo of my mother’s purse, hanging off a tree limb, on the edge of a beach in Maine. It’s not a particularly great photo. But I still remember the moment I took it, thinking it looked odd and a bit lonesome.
We’d been at my cousin’s wedding in New Hampshire. The day after the wedding was overcast and rainy. Instead of driving south to head home, Mom first drove north. Just so we could stop for a while at a beach. She needed to see the ocean; walk in the sand. Like the photograph, there’s not much to the story. It was just a very “Mom” thing to do. Like hanging her purse on the tree.
“What’s it like, being adopted?”
Not a ton of people have asked me this question, but maybe more than you’d think , and it’s really never bothered me because the answer, for me, was easy. “I don’t know,” I’d always tell people. “What’s it like not being adopted?”
We are so very blessed in Canada. When we get pregnant, there is nursery-planning to be done, websites to study and prenatal vitamins to consume. This magical time isn’t so exciting in other parts of the world. We are very much the exception and not the norm. In countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Rwanda, the outcomes of pregnancy can look very different. Every day, more than 800 women die from pregnancy or child-birth related complications in developing countries.
“Throw away your scale.”
“Just throw it away! Never weigh yourself again.” This is one of the tenets of intuitive eating for several reasons, key among them being the notion that a “bad” weight reading will lead to disgust/discouragement, which can lead to why-do-I-even-try, which can (and in my case, will) lead to a binge. A food extravaganza.
It seems like just yesterday my kids were in diapers. It’s like overnight they sprung fully formed into these magical creatures, these growing boys with distinct likes and dislikes. Movie nights used to be easy to pick what to watch, age appropriate selections were obvious and there wasn’t much guesswork involved. Now that they are getting bigger it’s just a little bit trickier to know what is going to be ok for them to watch. This is my advice for movie nights with growing kids.
March is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! What? Are you scratching your head? If you are, please know that arthritis is a condition not exclusive to the elderly. More than 24,000 Canadian kids live with arthritis, and for young bodies in a constant state of growth and development, the condition can be debilitating. Can you imagine sitting out games, choosing not to climb the tree with the other kids, or giving up organized sports due to joint pain and inflammation when you are 10? While most people think of arthritis as an “old persons” disease, arthritis is actually one of the more common disorders resulting in chronic disability in children and teens in Canada.
We are living in a miraculous time. Life is complex, yet we are constantly able to accomplish more and more in the course of a day. Technology continually advances to allow instantly-scheduled meetings or automatic photo printing. Our homes have also become meccas of convenience and efficiency. Interior designers have analyzed life for real people, and our living spaces now reflect adaptations for our realities. For the elderly, this may mean electronic stair lifts and non-spherical door handles. For the modern family, kitchens include pull-out shelving solutions, smart home technology and laundry rooms that have relocated to a central floor.
As parents, we experience an abundance of “firsts” while raising our children. As new guardians especially, the “firsts” seem to pile on top of one another so quickly that it feels like you are collecting winning tokens in an exciting new casino game. The first sonogram. The first time hearing baby’s heartbeat, first kick, and eventually the first trip to the hospital. Every moment is a milestone to be cherished.
Eagerly awaiting the spring snow melt and joyous emergence of tulips, many parents are feeling taxed by the long school year, obligations and activities. We all may be ready for a vacation, but it is also a great time to evaluate the family’s goals set early in 2017. Ours included many ambitious health routines – but over the past weeks there has been a definite downward slide.
Dear Nate –
I know it seems weird to hear from me, your best friend’s mom. Even weirder than the time I sang “Watch Me Whip” in public or came to school in my Griffindor bathrobe. But something happened today, and I didn’t know where else to turn.
Today was a terrible day, Nate. I didn’t know this day would come so soon.
Today there was a hole in the world.