High School Dance

Max is at his first high school dance tonight. I guess the school assumes that by holding the dance on a Wednesday night it will cut down on the partying.

Hmmmmm…

I must say that I felt a little pang as I watched him leave the house tonight. High school dances were always so much fun!

How did I get to be 46-years-old with a kid in grade 10?

I mean, really!?! 🙂

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My Hero

I have a bit of a Wonder Woman complex.

I can do it all.

Wonder WomanAnd not only can I do it all, I can do it better, faster, safer, more effectively and more efficiently than anyone else can.

And, for heaven’s sake, do not offer Wonder Woman any help…she simply does not need it!

This afternoon, I discovered that my adorable youngest son, Zachary, does not share my propensity for ‘heroic’ self-reliance.

Zachary coaches young skaters every Monday evening. Simon gently informed Zach this morning that, unfortunately, neither of us would be able to get him to the arena this afternoon so he would have to take a pass. When Zach got him from school, however, he was bound and bent that he was going to get himself to the arena.

And it took him less than ten minutes to make it happen.

Zach found the phone number he needed from our neighbour (who happens to be the convenor of his hockey league), called a mom that he barely knows (whose son is also a coach), and politely asked for a ride to the arena. Fifteen minutes later he was picked up and on his way with nary a backward glance.

Kid SuperheroWhere does this child come from?

Extraordinary!

As the car pulled away with a happy Zach in the back seat, I realized that I was absolutely mortified. I was so uncomfortable with Zachary asking a parent (that I have met only once) for help, it was all I could do to resist dragging myself off the couch to go fetch him from the arena myself.

Seriously, I would rather compromise my own health than ask for a relative stranger for a favour.

Oh dear, some Radical personal work required, I think.

It seems that this truly heroic ten-year-old has some invaluable lessons to teach me! 🙂

Man Cave

Caveman_remotecontrol_cIt is Saturday afternoon.

Max is out with some buddies and the other two are here with a friend of Michael’s. At the moment, the three boys are in the Man Cave playing a video game.

From the sounds of it they are having an absolute blast. The cheers, the shouts, and the trash-talking is so loud I can hardly hear myself think.

Thank goodness for the man cave! 🙂

Passion

Max is out skateboarding. That is his passion.

Zachary is at the hockey arena for select team tryouts. That is his passion.

PassionI am writing. That is my passion.

Passion…that feeling of compete and utter purpose and joy and delight.

Michael has not yet discovered his passion. Today I took him to a karate studio for a tour and a lesson and, for the first time, I saw a glimmer of passion. He kicked, he punched, he blocked. And the look on his face made my heart sing.

If there is one thing I want to do with my kids, it is to help them explore and discover their own unique brand of passion. I want them to go through life knowing that feeling of deep and thrilling purpose.

I want their hearts to sing.

Today is an extraordinary day because Michael caught a glimmer and I could feel his heart take flight! 🙂Follow Your Passion

To Make or Not to Make?

how-to-style-a-bed-bedsThat is the question!

And the answer is decidedly ambiguous. In our family we are in two separate camps. And there is very little grey area in the middle.

I make our bed every single morning. I actually love the process of making the bed. The fluffing of the pillows, the smoothing of the sheets, the order out of chaos of the fluffy duvet.

On an early work morning I often leave the house before our bed is vacated. Making it is one of the first things I do when I get home. I will even make the bed moments before climbing into it at night just for the feeling of it. There is something about climbing into last night’s bed that just doesn’t appeal to me.

And this week, as I have been down with pneumonia, I have not missed one single morning.

My husband is on the other side of this bed-making equation. Simon likes an unmade bed. He actually prefers that the bed is not made. He likes to climb into bed at night with the pillows already smushed and the duvet in wild disarray. As far as Simon is concerned, the work to get comfy has already been done and he can just drift into happy slumber.

Thankfully, Simon has conceded to my preference and has turned the care of our bed over to me.

Phew!

Unmade BedBut that’s not where my bed-making stops. I make Michael and Zachary’s beds too.

But, truly, it is not what you think!

I started making their beds because I just like the look of a tidy bed. And, bed-making, for whatever reason, is just not high on my list of parenting agendas that I feel a need to push. Believe me, I have lots of other ones to make up for my laid-back-bed-making expectations.

Michael and Zachary love stuffed animals. And, between them, they own at least two hundred (and that’s after a serious pare-down before our last move sixteen months ago). And although they own lots of them, they have their absolute favourites that have earned the privilege of not just sharing shelf space but sharing bed space as well. It is these favourites that have turned my bed-making into a delight rather than a compulsion.

After smoothing the sheets, fluffing the pillows and pulling up the duvet just-so, I arrange their stuffies. And I don’t just throw them in a big pile, I take time and effort to make them look like a happy gang of pals just hanging out on the bed ready to welcome the kids back into their rooms whenever that may be. And, I vary the arrangement from morning to morning so that the kids are surprised.

photo-3 copy 2This practice started when we moved into this house just over a year ago and has become a delightful little morning ritual. It has also become yet another way for me to say; ‘you matter to me and I love you.’ I don’t need them to thank me or even to notice the effort I put into their beds because it just makes me so happy.

Turns out that the kids have noticed. Michael particularly.

A few months ago when I had back-to-back workshop days in Toronto, I stayed in town at my brother’s house for the night. When I returned home just before bedtime on the second day, Michael was up in his room.

When I walked in to greet him with big hugs and kisses, Michael told me how homesick he had been for me. And when I asked him why, he told me that his unmade bed had made him feel lonely and my absence that much more pronounced. He went on to tell me that when he walks into his room after I have worked my magic, he feels like I have left him a wonderful love note on his bed. And that he gets a warm feeling and knows that mommy has been there and has spread her love just for him.

Oh boy! Talk about a heart-melter!

Needless to say, the bed-making continues and fills me with delight, love, warmth and playful fun.

And…if you are wondering why I have not mentioned Max in my maternal bed-making, it’s because he lives on the third floor in ‘scary teen land‘ and I only venture up there if I absolutely have to!  Gotta show Max my love in other ways!

And what brings this topic into the fore today, you may ask? With all this time stretched out on the couch in healing mode, I have had the opportunity to get sucked into Facebook with no guilt. This piece caught my eye this morning so I just had to share…enjoy! xo 🙂By91WTjIgAEXKsY.jpg-large

Sunday Omelette

Hot Water BottleI am stretched out on the living room couch with my hot water bottle, a cozy blanket and my book. Simon returned home a little while ago from his jaunt into the woods at the Royal Botanical Gardens with Michael, Zachary and two friends. They had a blast feeding chipmunks and chickadees and were full of stories and smiles as they bundled through the front door.

These is a real nip in the air today so when the kids got home they were both chilly and hungry. Michael and his friend Jacob were the first to raid the kitchen for a snack. Their choice was to open a pack of rice crackers to accompany their hummus and a couple of Macintosh apples. They rushed through their food and were finished just in time to answer the door to three giggly 12-year-old girls. Omlette

Zachary and his friend, Briar, are a little more discerning in their choice of snack. For them, it is a fresh Sunday afternoon omelette.

Their first stop was my wallet to collect the needed resources for the visit to our butcher on the corner. They arrived home a little while ago with black forest ham, country style ham, a red pepper and two massive smiles.

I am now listening to the omelette preparation currently underway in the kitchen. At the moment they are weighing the pros and cons of the various spices they are considering for their gourmet creation (including, I might add, whether Pink Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt is their preference).

And, truly, I’m not sure I have ever heard anything more adorable!

All I can say is…if gourmet omelettes is their snack of choice at ten years of age, what the heck will they be making after a night of partying in university?

Lobster bisque? 😉

Lobster Bisque

Hockey Mom

Canadian HockeySimon is out of town at the moment so I am hockey mom tonight.

As we get ready to leave for the rink, it occurs to me that there is something kind of weird about hockey in September.

Four seasons in a cold arena…isn’t it extraordinary how much Canada loves its hockey?!?