Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Gratitude

Today I am grateful.
 
 Grateful for a wonderful family. 
 Grateful for a man who loves and adores me and makes me laugh every day. 
 Grateful for children who are growing into such amazing and confident people.
Grateful for this house that has sheltered us for eight years. 
 Grateful for our new house which is so perfect for the needs of our changing lives.
 
 I am grateful for the amazing grace and unending love of my God who has lifted me from the pit and placed me on the mountaintop. 
 I am grateful to live my life as a forgiven and redeemed person. 
 I am grateful for the opportunity to love and be loved.


 Today I am grateful.
 
 




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The fleeting joys of childhood.

There is a simple pleasure in watching your children play when they don't know you are there. Just stopped by my son's school during first break and peered through the fence at him for a few minutes (a staff member actually came over to find out who the weird stalker mom was...very politely, mind you).
 
It was sunny, with a fresh breeze and he was running with abandon along with two other boys. They raced in big circles around the grass, arms wide, heads thrown back, big goofy boy grins on their faces...kings of their little world, filled with joy and innocence and the pleasure in moving your body that comes with youth and energy. 
 
It took me back almost 40 years. I remember when my own body was that strong, when movement didn't require thought or effort, when my feet seemed to fly as I ran. I envy my son these days of childhood. And I take seriously my responsibility to protect them for him, to make sure he doesn't grow up too fast, to guard his innocence and joy as long as I possibly can. I pray that Eden does not fade too soon for you, my darling children.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A second childhood.

The kids are bathed and in bed, stories have been read, teeth have been brushed. It is officially over, this summer respite, this season of rest. Summer vacation becomes sweeter each year as I watch them grow and change and grow away, these wild and wonderful children of mine.

Each year they are less 'mine' and I see more of the world in them. Each summer seems more bittersweet as I wait for the day when they choose friends and bikes and games at the park over lazy afternoons at the beach with mom.

As I count freckles on my baby girl's face, I count moments of joy spent in the sun. As I run my finger across the brown cheek of my big boy, I feel the breeze of quiet days spent talking under the trees.

Today, as I put away water guns and bubbles and Frisbees in favour of backpacks and lunchboxes and new shoes, I walked through fields of memory, reliving smiles and giggles, games of boggle and cuddles and long mornings spent in pajamas.

This journey of childhood is magical. And we are so blessed to travel this road twice, once in our own time, and again as we guide our children down this sylvan road. I pray that I will always remember to cherish the moments and that I will prove to be an honest and faithful navigator for these little explorers of mine.

Adulthood is coming, too fast, but for this time, in this moment, I will sneak up the stairs and gaze in wonder at the sleeping miracles dreaming, safe in their beds.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


As I see many teacher friends posting about the first day of school I am reminded that our teachers have a big transition ahead next week, too. As we worry about our children...entering a new class (or in our case a new school), wondering if the teacher will like them, worried that they won't have friends, planning lunches and trying to find shoes that are easy to get on and off, it is good to remember that our teachers are having similar thougths.

They, too, wonder if the... other kids will like them, they, too, worry about finding friends and colleagues, they are planning lessons for children they haven't even met, designing seating charts for personalities that might clash, or get along TOO well. They are facing 20 unknown little egos in all their wonderful diversity and backed by 40 or more anxious parents vying for attention and reassurance. And they too, are looking for a good pair of comfortable shoes!

These professional people with advanced degrees can seem so unflappable, confident, self-assured...because they have to be, for their students. But our teachers are people, too. And every September they start a new job...because each group of children is different. It's bound to cause a little anxiety, a little insecurity.

I am in awe of these amazing people who every September enter a room full of little strangers with all their foibles and insecurities and strenghts and joys and over the next 10 months grow them into a group, a unit, a class, friends. They teach math and writing and social studies, but they also teach manners and coping skills and behaviour management. They offer affection and solace and discpline and structure. They encourage and cajole. They share laughter and wipe away tears.

Teachers spend as much time with our children as we do and most of them love our kids almost as much as we do. So as we enjoy this last long weekend of the summer I am cognizant that the teachers who will mentor my children this year are probably not at the beach but at Scholar's Choice buying supplies. They are planning and dreaming and cutting and pasting, writing names on notebooks and sharpening pencils. And I am so very grateful.

Please remember to pray for and encourage our teachers as we all make this big transition back to routines and learning; classrooms and school buses. They have the hardest and the best job around!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sometimes, it's just easier to things yourself. Sometimes, it's just faster, cleaner, more efficient. My mother was a do-it-yourselfer. Of course, this is how I ended up 22 years old with no idea how to cook a whole meal.
 
So, last night I was making a last minute stir fry and needed someone to stir while I chopped. Usually, that's my husband. Last night, I asked my son. And as he stirred the veggies in the pan I explained why I chop the carrots on an angle. I explained how to crush and dice garlic. I talked about which veggies take longer to cook and what order to put them into the pan. We talked spices. He was with me for about 10 minutes. He stirred and added salt and pepper and he listened.
 
Sometimes, it's just easier to do things yourself. But sometimes, we need to be the mentor, the teacher, the conduit of experience and knowledge. That kid was so proud to eat the dinner he helped make! And, I hope, he learned some things that will help him not starve down the road!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Childhood's fleeting joys.

I wrote this two years ago.  It becomes more true every day as time seems to accelerate and my children seem to grow exponentially. 


I am sitting here drinking my coffee wondering how it is that there are only ten days left of summer vacation. It has been a magical time of splash pads, wading pools, play dates, video games, books, cuddles, laughter and love.

I am going to miss my ragamuffin duo when they head off to school. Each year becomes more bittersweet. Next summer they will be older, more mature. Already my son has grown beyond the wading pool and McDonald's playland.

I wonder what "lasts" I have... experienced this summer without realizing it. I wonder when the excitement of playing at the park with mom will fade. I wonder when the magic will end.

Childhood is such a fleeting joy. One that we spend the rest of our lives trying to reclaim. I want my children to reflect back and know that I did my best to ensure every moment was filled with innocence, love, hugs and laughter. I want the sun and sand and warm breezes, the scraped knees and muddy rain boots of childhood to be the solid basis of a happy and fulfilling life.

And I want to savour these last few days with my children, cherishing who they are now and looking forward with anticipation to what they will become.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf3mRZ7SHu0

Friday, July 29, 2016

Safe in their beds....


One of the hardest things about parenting for me has been knowing when to step back and let go. It's especially hard with a kid whose needs and development are different. Is he ready to cross the street? Walk alone to a friend's house? Use the stove?

Each little decision feels dangerous and life changing. But we can't live from a place of fear. And the joy my son experiences when he pushes past his own anxiety to be independent and try something new expands my heart to breaking.

It is bittersweet, this growing up. A process of moving away and letting go that brings both a sense of loss and a sense of great accomplishment.

Creating confident and capable adults is a sacred trust for us as parents. But one that comes at the expense of making our hearts vulnerable. I love watching my "babies" grow up. But a part of me will always long for baby toes, baby smiles and sleeping angels, safe in their beds where no harm can come to them.