Monday, December 17, 2012

I Breathe

Their skin is baby soft and their eyes illuminate goodness and innocence.

I Breathe and Hold and Squeeze them to me.

They wriggle and giggle and push at me for space.

Then collapse back into me.

I Breathe and Hold and Squeeze them to me.

My fingers entwine with theirs and my heart expands and explodes at once.

They are here, they are safe.

My mind is a darkened haze that swirls with scenes I wish to block out.

The sweetness of having my sons with me is tainted with the darkness in my mind.

I Breathe and Hold and Squeeze them to me.

My eyes reflect relief, great love and tremendous sadness.

And yes.  Anger.

My sons' question why.

Why are you crying?

My eyes prickle.  My throat tightens.  My mind an array of nonsensical prayers and thoughts.

What can you say when something worse than your worst nightmares occurs?

What can you do?

How do I answer...what do I say?

Nothing seems right.

My spirit is adrift...but my babies are right here.  Giant pieces of my heart and soul.

As 27 families have just lost theirs.

I Breathe and Hold and Squeeze them to me.


It's been four days since the horrendous tragedy at Sandy Hooks and I just can't stop thinking and crying for those babies and brave souls.  I feel so small in the wake of such a nightmare.  My eldest stayed home from school today.  He was sick.  I was relieved to not have to say good-bye to him at the school doors...but there's always tomorrow. your part -whatever you can.  I sent a card to Sandy Hook Elementary School...

Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson DriveSandy Hook, CT 06482, USA

I know it's not a lot but it's something.

Send a note, a card that has nothing to do with Christmas to your child's teacher today.  Hug them if you wish.  I can't imagine being a teacher AND a parent in the wake of what's just happened.  They are struggling so much too.

RIP sweet angels and brave souls...may God be with you.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Never Dreamed That I'd Love Somebody Like You

He sat at the kitchen table quietly playing with his play-dough.  I swept the sun spilled wooden floors and music played in the back ground.  I marveled at this time with my youngest while his big brother was in school.  So peaceful, calm.  I sighed and sang softly to one of the most beautiful songs ever of my favourites, 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaac, when his soft voice piped up and asked me this..."Why not he want to fall in love?"

He glanced at me waiting for an answer then continued squishing his superhero figurines into the play-dough.  I stopped and stared at him in amazement.

Not only was my three year old listening to the lyrics of the music.  He was pondering them.

The wonder I have towards my kids never ceases as the years move...but grows. 

When he was born, his eyes were of quiet dark blue constant contemplation.  He didn't start talking until a little bit later than most boys his age.  

He has made up for it since.  So much so sometimes that I worry about tuning out some of the poetic gems he spouts.  At merely three he speaks of silver moons, blackest shadows and melting tears. (He also cackles when you say penis, pee pee and poop too...I like to think he's well rounded)  And now, now he's asking about something far beyond what he should really be interested in knowing.  

What does a three year old know about being in love anyway?  

"Why doesn't he want to fall in love honey?"

"Yeah - but why Mummy?"

"Well.  He's singing about how he's scared to fall in love because he doesn't want to get his heart broken."

Here I am talking to my 3 year old like he's 13.  Like he has a perfect clue what I'm talking about. 

"But why?"

And then there's the why's.  Always the why's. 

"Because it hurts to have your heartbroken."

"But Adrian not hurting.  He not fall in love."  I had no idea what his older brother had to do with this conversation.  None whatsoever. And I'm not even sure what he was saying made any sense at all. But I went with it.

"No, not yet.  But someday I hope he falls in love.  I hope you both fall in love.  More than once.  It's a beautiful thing.  And sometimes you will break hearts honey.  (oh will they) And maybe you'll have your heart broken. (God help the girls that do, for the wrath of this Mama)  It's not intentional when someone breaks your heart.  Not always. "  

And so there I was rambling on and on and on to my three year old about breaking hearts and falling in love like I knew what I was doing. 

So I brought it back to simple.  "Mommy's in love with Daddy you know."

He continued quietly playing with his play dough and then said..."But I am.  I'm in love with Daddy."

Oh those words.  Oh this boy.  

I walked over, placed my hands on either side of his scrump-diddly-umptious face and kiss, kiss, kissed it.  You know those moments when you wish you could inhale the very essence of your child, hold on to it and never let it go?

This was one of those times.

"I know you are my love.  I know.  You are sweet.  You are too sweet."

So there you have it.  Turns out 3 year olds do know what being in love is all about.  

And it begins.

With us.

Such wisdom in those only 6 weeks old.

I fell in love with this little man before I ever met him.

John did too.  He is Daddy's little boy to the nth degree.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

He's A Christmas Star

Cars lined every street within a kilometre of the school.  My presumption that the school parking lot would be packed full was correct but I had no idea that the streets would be too. This was simply a school Christmas concert after all, not a Justin Beiber one.

It became crystal clear to me suddenly that Beiber fans got nothin' on children's fans. Their parents.  Their families. Number one fans that is.  As it should be.

I parked on a side street probably illegally but time was closing in quickly and I had to find a decent seat in order to get prime camera angle.

I walked into the dim light of the gym and saw the stage in all of its magenta, deep red and purple glory, decorated with paper gold stars.  The excitement was palpable.  There was an undercurrent of sentimentality and a whiff of nostalgia from our own past early childhood school stage memories.

My throat caught unexpected tears.  I thought of my husband who was in another country missing this big moment and the tears that sprung suddenly were at once for him and for my biggest baby boy who had no idea what a big deal this was to me.  To us.

The gym continued to fill and fill until there was standing room only.  Cameras and camcorders sat in laps and were clutched in hands of almost every parent in the audience.

The first group of children blasted us with big voices and huge smiles.  You really couldn't help but beam back, giggle even.  Their enthusiasm was incredibly touching.  The next act was much subtler but just as sweet.

There really is nothing that makes your heart and soul smile bigger than children's innocent voices singing together.

Except maybe seeing their parents waving maniacally half standing and calling out their child's name.

Parental paparazzi.  It's nothing to sneeze at.  Serious, serious business in fact.

When I knew Adrian's class was coming up I, of-course, scooted out to the front...but made sure to stand behind the yellow Caution tape.  (I kid you not).

As the 4 year old boys and girls paraded in front of my camcorder, my throat once again, abruptly closed over and proud tears sprung fast to my eyes.  I had to tell myself to get a grip.  I mean really.  I had NOT come prepared with kleenex for this.  The tears held close at bay.

"Adrian!"  I whispered loudly as he passed by.  I lurched and waved but he did not see me.

The boys and girls lined up in their school uniforms and a green and red tie for festivity.  Their clear high perfectly uneven beautiful voices raised to sing "Mary O Blessed One".

Of-course my eyes saw only my son whose eyes seemed to seek mine but couldn't find me because of the bright lights.

I watched him sing.  I watched him so intently I felt as though my heart might burst into silver glitter and red and green confetti hearts.  I watched him sing his heart out and rub his nose.  I watched as his eyes wandered every now and again.

I'm right here honey!  Over here with the camera...I promise not to miss a minute of this.  Remember...Mommy doesn't break promises.  I'm right here baby boy...I always am.

I wanted so much for him to know I was right there.  I yearned for it. It hurt my heart for him to think I wasn't there supporting him. Watching him with such love and pride.

He knew, after I picked him up.  He knew when I hugged him close and kissed his soft cheeks and told him how awesome he did and how proud I was of him.

He knew when I made it extra special by taking him out for lunch.

Just the two us.

Our favourite moments.

Are these moments spent.  Just the two us.


He had 2 mini burgers and mashed potatoes.  And Skittles for dessert.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I did it. I bought The Elf.

I broke down and bought the Elf today.  If you need further clarification on that you're either not a parent of small children or have been hiding under a rock for over a year.

It was very anti-climactic actually.  I know you're supposed wrap him/her up and have her delivered to your house but since my husband has been away a lot of the month and won't be home too much until after the 15th which is a bit late to start the tradition I just went to Chapters and bought the darn thing with kids in  tow.

Of-course the questions from my 4 year old began right away and I cursed myself and all the legions of parents that indirectly peer pressured me into buying the darn thing.

Upon examining the Elf in Starbucks over delicious ridiculously expensive snowman cookies, this is how our conversation went...

"That's a boy."

No she's a girl.  Look at her earrings.

"But boys can wear earrings too."

You're right, they can.  But she's wearing red lipstick.

"But boys can wear lipstick too."

You're right.  Some boys do wear lipstick.  (where he's seen this is a bit troubling to me, though I do love his open mind)

"It's a boy."

No.  It's a girl.  It says so on the box.

"How does she get to the North Pole?"

She flies.

"But how does she fly?"


"Why can't she talk to us?"

She isn't allowed to talk to us.  Remember?  Santa's rules.

"But why?  And does she have sucker feet?"

Santa's rules buddy.  And no, no sucker feet.

"Why is her hair fake but her clothes real?"

(Are you kidding me?  What?  Who asks that question?  And what does that even mean?)

When you're sleeping tonight her hair turns real.

???!!!  At this point I have no idea what I'm even saying.  I'm just trying to shut my twenty thousand question kid up.

The inquisition died down at long last and he kept saying, "This is so exciting!  I can't wait to wake up tomorrow and find her!"

Adrian named her Tracy eventually.  After mulling over the names Pelf, Sugar (I loved this one the best), Drew, Jack and Avery, I have no idea where he got the name Tracy from.  We don't hang out with anyone named Tracy - the only Tracy's I know are my cousin whom he's never met and my friend's sister whom he's also never met.  Last week when we built our first snowman of the year he named it Elaine.  We don't know any Elaine's.  And to my knowledge he's never seen an episode of Seinfeld.

He's so random I love it.

My three year old on the other hand couldn't give a two flying fairies about this thing.  Hated the book.  Refused to read it with us.  Doesn't even flinch when I utter those dreadful words, "You know Tracy can see everything you're doing right now.  She's going to be reporting back to Santa tonight!"

His brother will chime in at this point, "Yeah and she's going to say,  'Santa! COALS for Finley!"

Adrian - well it works like a charm for him. It actually makes me feel a bit guilty.  But the gleeful excitement on his face when he thinks about where we might find her tomorrow pushes most of that guilt away.  And of-course to make things a little more interesting and fun...not to mention more work because I love making my life more difficult then it needs to be, I've decided to leave little rhyming notes with her every morning.  Tonight I've propped her up in our Christmas tree with a rolled up note.

I'll leave you with what Tracy has written for them come morning...

Good morning boys and how are you?

I made it back from the North Pole just in time - PHEW!

My report back to Santa was more than just fine.

Your brotherly love and affection to watch is divine

However, please keep in mind to stop slamming doors
and clean your toys up off of the floors

Though Mommy's voice gets loud (it sound like she needs a good rest)

Remember she loves you so much and always knows best!

Love, Tracy xoxo

Tracy the Elf chillin like a villain in our tree...with note for boys to find in the morning.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

First Crush

There is a girl in Adrian's life.  Girlfriend that is.  Actually, three if you were to ask him.  However one he sees only once or twice a year, the other is in his class and has no idea that she's his girlfriend so we need to keep it on the DL according to him and the third girl...last but definitely not least...well...she lives across the street from us.  And happens to be an older girl.  Like grade ONE older.  She's also his best friend's sister.

Things could start to get awkward soon.

At first I resisted this whole girlfriend/crush thing.  Four years old is far too young to be talking about girlfriends.  Am I right?  But then I took a minute and recalled my first crush.  Shall I just rewind about 30 years?  The scene takes place in my kindergarten class...


"He's really cute." she said to me.

I was bewildered.  Cute?  A boy?  But no.  That can't be. Cats are cute.

But a boy?  Cute?

I looked over to where she was pointing.  We stood by the cloakroom huddled in whispers.  He was standing at the paint station goofing around with a couple of other boys.

"He is cute."  The sandy reddish pin straight bowl cut, the sprinkle of light freckles across the bridge of his nose, his dimples.

It was like my eyes opened up to a whole new world at that moment.


So then I realized I shouldn't downplay my son's feelings.  They are real.  They exist.  I need to validate them without making a big fuss about it.

A fine balance.

Since then there have been pictures exchanged between the two of them. It seems the crush is not just one sided.  Her name's been written over and over on pieces of paper.  Accentuated by glittery heart stickers.  She drew him a picture the other day...with the words "I like you" written across the sky.

It really does make a Mother's heart feel conflicted.  For the past almost 5 years I've been the female who was the centre of his universe.  I knew the time would come eventually when I wouldn't be the only woman in his world.  The time has evidently come too soon. For me. At the same time I get to see the tender side of my rambunctious little guy.

And so here I begin the treacherously delicate road, guiding the way for my son, teaching him how a girl should be treated..

As well as, on an ongoing basis, his father does by the ever important example of how he treats me.

Adrian drawing her a pony.  And a Vampire Tooth Egg.

Ava's picture for Adrian.  So sweet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I took my kids to the mall today.  To see Santa.

Not the usual one story, dark, depressing mall that we usually go to only for the cheesy rides, the Kernels popcorn and the this is the big, sunshiny two story mall with stores like Aeropostle (I have no idea how to actually pronounce that store therefore I don't go into it), Bath and Body Works, Coach and Fossil.

After were scoured the parking lot for what seemed like an hour I admitted defeat and had to park in a spot just outside of Sears.

Does anyone else have anxiety when parking outside of a department store attached to a mall?  I feel like I will never, ever remember the doors upon which we entered.  And then when it comes to leaving time I panic because doesn't there seem to be about 89 different ways to get in and out of those places?  I have a hard enough time remembering where I parked when I come out of the grocery store let alone a massive mall with not one but TWO huge department stores attached.

I begin muttering to myself repeatedly about how we can't forget where we parked like the crazy woman that I am while unbuckling my littlest...because kids totally care and pay attention to that kind of stuff.

Not really.

In we walked to Sears.  I noted the lingerie section and prayed my boys wouldn't say anything completely inappropriate about the half dressed mannequins.

Whew.  They did not.

And then come anxiety number two...where the hell is the entryway to the mall?!

Luckily we found it with semi-ease and sans perfume assault and on we went to Santa search.

My heart began to drop little by little.  I had a bad, bad feeling.  When I approached the information desk and inquired where our rotund cheery  red-dressed friend might be he said the dreaded words far too happily in my opinion..."Oh Santa's not here today!  No, no.  Just Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.  Yep!  That's right boys!  He's busy getting your presents ready!"

Well there's one thing that the crappy other mall has over this one.  SANTA.

Clearly my disappointment was far more intense about this than my sons because they beelined it to the scary moving stairs...otherwise known to them as, "Excalators."

This was their first time experiencing such a thing.

I know.  Deprived much?

What can I say?  I'm 34 years old and excalators still make me a bit nervous.

I was traumatized as a young girl when my dear Mother took me to the mall and stepped onto one only to leave me behind.  I remember being frozen with fear watching my Mom ascending further and further and further away from me.  Until a sweet lady gently clasped my hand and helped me step bravely onto those scary teethy metally monsterish stairs.  I was once again reunited with my Mummy.

You see how childhood trauma works right there?  This was exactly what I didn't want to happen to my boys.

Well apparently they do not share the same (irrational) fears as me.  Which is and is not a good thing.  They rode those excalators up and down, up and down, up and down.

It became an obsession.

They also ran through the mall, hopping from patterned tile to patterned tile leaving their jackets for me to pick up and dust off.  They ate orange cream ice cream on waffle cones from Purdy's.  The most delicious ice cream I've ever had.

I mean.  They've ever had.

Okay.  So I admit.  I ate some of their ice cream.  It was just because it was going to drip down their cones and onto their arms resulting in a very sticky mess.  It was for the greater good.

As people passed us by while I was licking the ice cream that both my sons had been licking I began to wonder...and asked this really freaking disgusting or what?  I really is when you think about it.  But it's not possible that I'm the only Mother in the world that does this.  Right?

Oh whatever.  I don't give a rats ass.  That ice cream was freaking DELICIOUS.

And I'd do it again.

After about 67 more excalator rides, 3 stores visited and 2 hours later I told them it was time to go.

After all that chasing after them while hanging onto their winter jackets and still wearing mine I was roasting like a very large chestnut over a bonfire.

Oh but wait!  I almost forgot something.


Finley had to go the washroom.


We ended up finding one fairly easily thank goodness.

But it was in the basement of Sears.

Again with my department store anxiety disorder.

How that hell do we get out???

We went up another escalator - yay - and I found our exit!  There was a bunch of half dressed women in underwear...just like we saw when we came in.

And just as a family of about 10 passed us...well that's when the inappropriateness began as I tried to wrestle them in their winter jackets.

"Sexy ladies."  Says my four year old.


As I'm handing him his jacket and whisper-yelling for him to be quiet and put on his (damn) jacket...

there goes my 3 year old trying to pull down the mannequins UNDERWEAR.

Oh you think that's all?

He kissed the mannequin's ass.

Not once.

Not twice.

I frantically look around for my other child only to find him caressing the booty of another mannequin.

I wanted to die.  But apparently one cannot die of embarrassment.

Then I wanted to hide.  Desperately.  But the only place to hide was between a whole bunch of colourful negligees.  And well.  That would be a whole lotta weird.

I whisper-shouted to Finley to move away from the mannequin and somehow ushered them out the door to the blessed cool outdoors.

Only to realize.

It was the wrong exit.