Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Enough: Loving. Hoping. Being. Doing.

Perhaps it's the way with all children but I'm not the Mother to all children so I don't know for sure.

What do know best is what I love the most about my children.

I love the way they burst out the door in the morning on the way to school or on a lazy Sunday with a, "It's a Sunny Day!"

I love the way they point out to me the beautiful pink streaks in the sunset come evening.

I love when we look out the window when the night falls dim and they begin to point out the first bright stars in dark sky of the night.

I love when my littlest stomps in puddles.

When he stops to pick up every ladybug, potato bug and worm and handles them with such gentleness it almost breaks my heart.

I love the way my eldest has boundless energy and typically runs full speed ahead but will stop every once in a while to notice the bright berries on a bush, a beautifully turned fallen leaf or to smell the giant lilac bush on the corner.

I love that they know how to treat Mother Earth.  How they pick up litter, know how to compost and recycle.  I love that they grasp what's wasteful, harmful and what doing good for others means.

I love listening to them sing the songs they've learned during their morning in school.  Even when they don't know I'm listening.

I love it when they want to show me the actions to a song from school and I sit down cross legged in front of them, chin tilted up  with a smile on my face and in my eyes hoping they can see how much I take joy watching them.

I love watching their faces in full concentration, my eldest mouth slightly open, small brow furrowed, my littlest with his lips pouted akin to mine, when writing their name, building a tower or learning to read a word.  I especially love the look of satisfaction and pride when they've completed each task.

I love watching them with their friends, hearing their conversations, their wide open laughter and simply seeing how much fun they're having.  Just. Being. Them.

I hope they always know how simply rad they are.  Just being who they are.  Loving their life.

Loving the world around them.

I hope they know how incredibly much they are loved. By me, their father, their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends.

And even though I must tell them I love them a dozen times a day.  I hope I show them enough. My theory in life is one certainly can never have too many snuggles and smooches.

Or blankets and books for that matter.

I hope they grow up to know that words are lovely and useful but it's your actions and they way you make people feel that really matter.  That love is love, people are human, being kind is being a loving human.  And there can never be too many of those either.

I hope that one day I will know I have done enough.  That I've been enough.

But I also hope it's okay to feel that one never, ever does feel that way.

Because what does that even mean. Anyway?

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Moments that Matter the Most

There is something that guts me at the most random times as a Mother of young children.  It is the answer to the question of, "Will they remember the moments that I treasure so much?"  As parents we are continually making memories, of-course because that's what families should be doing but we also do it with a vain hope that our children will remember them fully. That they will recall their childhood in some sort of a running commentary video with soft lighting and sepia tones.  Layer upon layer of flashing white smiles and running with laughter in fields of heather whilst hair is blowing perfectly in the wind.

The reality is a heart puncturing no, this is not how they will remember their childhoods.  Mostly because that only happens in commercials but also because my kids only just reaching the ages of memory retaining. My littlest is not even quite there yet, only turning four in the next 5 weeks.  This thought more than slightly breaks my heart.

This is one of the main reasons that I write these memories down.  Mostly for them, but also for me too.  Because even my memory will only retain bits and pieces.  When the days are long and emotionally treacherous...well, those are the days I hope they don't remember.  For those are the days I wonder and obsess and torture myself as if I've impaled their innocent souls or left scars on their hearts that will never heal.  But then there are these days...well this was a day I hope we will all remember for many years to come.


"I think today is a farm kind of day."  I looked up at the beautiful bright blue sky of September enjoying the tinge of the cool autumn breeze as Fin walked beside me his 3 year old hand tucked into mine and his brother by his side.  They were all dapper little men in their navy school uniforms, large backpacks wrangled on their little boy backs.

"Yeah! Farm!"  Finley cried with excitement.  Child of mine has his Mother's love for farms.

Adrian protested.

"How about Andrew's Farm guys?"  We hadn't visited this particular farm in over a year and knowing my eldest is more fond of new adventures he agreed with more enthusiasm.

Then all of a sudden he halted in mid-step.

"Stop!  We need to jump over the rest of the cracks!" He directed.

 Adrian reached for his brother's hand and we were all linked in a line of three.

We all jumped over the crack at once.

And continued on....


We paused at the quiet side street as I asked if we were safe to cross.  Seeing all clear we galloped across, our hands still linked.

And I thought...

This is a moment to treasure.

This is all that matters.


As we pulled up to Andrew's Scenic Acres, Finley asked, "Have we been here before?"

Adrian declared, "I remember this place!  Remember we had apples with caramel?"

We have and I do, I responded.

I had forgotten how much I loved it here.  Low key, quiet, beautiful with an old school playground that the boys absolutely loved.  Made of wood and metal with 2 large poles and a rope attached at the top, a soccer sized ball attached at the end.  The children whip the ball around and around and around, laughing when the ball bonks them on the noggin.  Because eventually, with my boys, this happens all too often.  There are goats and chickens, sheep and ducks.  Haybales to climb, run along and jump in, beautiful wild gardens of gigantic sunflowers and other colourful flowers.  Pick your own pumpkins and raspberries and a pathway that leads to the Haunted Forest.

We enter the market and my sons' beeline it for the goodies.  Of-course.  Until they notice the humongous caramel apples in all their gooey glory by the register.

I indulge them with the apples and myself with a chocolate pecan tart.

We find a picnic table in the sun, for the shade was a bit chilly.  I watch the boys savour each bite of caramel and inwardly shrug at the fact that that is probably all they will eat.  But they bite into the apple and as they do Adrian says, "Thank you Mummy." His pale yet vibrant beautiful blue eyes squint at me across the picnic table and he smiles a sweet smile.

"Oh honey.  You're so welcome.  Thank you for being so appreciative.  That means a lot to me."

When you wonder if you're doing okay as a parent and that happens, you know that yes, yes I just might be doing alright.

And when he slllowwllly and dramatically falls off the picnic table bench to get away from a bee that has taken an obsessive liking to his caramel apple and you all break up into unrelenting giggles, you think once again...

These are the moments to treasure.

They are the only moments that matter.


"I liked the Haunted Forest the best!"

"My favourite was the Haunted Forest too!"

They are belted back into the truck hours after farm fun with another treat in hand chattering excitedly about their day.  The late afternoon sun dapples through the trees that line the driveway as we make our way toward the main road.

"I had sooo much fun with you guys today."

"Me too!"  "Me too!"

I press the round button on the console to play some music.  The CD of choice was Blue Rodeo's Greatest Hits.

As I drive I hear the boys little voices sing along, "You don't know what it's you don't know what it's li-ike...."

A sudden tingle pinches my nose and tears spring to my eyes as the next words make their way through the speakers...

"to love love somebody...the way I lo-ve you..."

I watch them in the rear view mirror, happy faces, hands clutching cookies, thinking that, no, they don't know what it's like to love them like I do.

Not yet anyway.

Cornstalk love

Hay bale tag

Ahhhh...the Haunted Forest was suuuuper spoooooky.
Not for them though.  Brave little guys.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Peaks, Hills and Valleys

The sun beat down warm against my back, the sky was the bright blue only known in September skies and the air was already beginning to cool.  I was hanging laundry on the line as my sons' playing, chattering and laughing voices floated into my ears from inside the house.

I breathed a sigh of relief with a thought of finally.  Finally they are getting along but with also a tense knowing that it probably wouldn't last long.

As I hung up the next shirt, my son's school uniform shirt next to my husband's extra large sized t-shirt, I paused.  I stopped and stood back and stared slightly mesmerized but also with small shiver in my heart.  I stared at the immense size difference with wonder that someday my boys would be that size too.  With that thought came a future filled with visits of impossible unknowables and pictures of my future flashed before my eyes in varying choose your own adventure outcomes.  Except do I get a choice at the ending?  No, not really.  For though every life has a story we don't usually have the luxury of choosing the outcome of it.

As I stared at those t-shirts of the males in my life waving under the September sky my thoughts went like this...

Would they look forward to coming home after leaving for university?  Would they greet me with big, charming white smiles that reached their eyes and envelope me in their warm, strong arms?  Would they say, "Mom, I'm starving!  I need to have that awesome pasta you make (or those burritos, jerk chicken or fish tacos?)"  Would they send me flowers on my birthday or just because?  Would they joke and kid and make fun of my quirks in a loving, accepting way?  Would we have good conversations?  Would they talk to me, really talk to me about what's going on in their lives?  Would we enjoy each other's company? Or.


Would they resent me because of things I hollered out of frustration or anger in a past argument or arguments?  Would they roll their eyes behind my back because I did, said, acted in a way that annoyed them?  Would they avoid visiting me because perhaps I'm too meddling?  Would they rarely call (or text or email?) because we had nothing much to say?

Would they ever know how very much I love them and would do anything to assist in making them into the wonderful young men I know they will become? Will they look back on these years that I literally poured my blood, sweat and tears into and be thankful and laugh humbly at all the grief they gave me?   Because I know there's much, much, MUCH more of that to come. They're only 3 and 5 years old but it seems to only get more difficult, more demanding, more exhausting in ways I never knew were possible.  Would I be the same kind of Mother I am to them now or will life experiences, riffs and personality conflicts create a gap to big for a bridge to be built?  And what kind of Mother am I now to them?  How will they remember me at this point in their lives?  Would they remember the fun we had, the day trips, the parks, tickle torture, cheering them on from the sidelines, always, the silly songs I sing, the piggy back rides and rocket rides and playing street hockey and basketball and teaching them how to throw a football and hit a baseball?

Will they remember?  All of that and more to come?  I know I will.  I know I will.  It's the best part of being a parent.  

My eldest began Senior Kindergarten and my littlest begins Junior Kindergarten next week.  I'm rather unsentimental about it all at this moment which is unusual for me.  Maybe in part because I feel the last few months of summer, though there were wonderful moments, most of the time it felt like I was trudging through mud, yelling like a crazed lunatic.  Perhaps it will hit me next week when I see my youngest decked out in his too big for him uniform and backpack that seems to be the same size as his entire body.  Probably.  I hope so.  Perhaps I am just going through the familiar valley of Motherhood, simply being physically and emotionally drained and feeling under appreciated.

The saving grace with parenthood is that with the valleys there are always the peaks to look forward to.  Unfortunately to get to those peaks, you gotta climb the's hoping yours aren't feeling so steep.