Today I celebrate the 27th birthday of my only daughter, born on a day much like today; softly snowing and feeling like the beginning of winter.
And today I want to reflect on a few of the ways my life has been
changed by this momentous event.
I know many lovely people who have never had children. They are kind, compassionate, generous, giving, forgiving, etc. And I marvel that they can
be that way even though they have never had the benefit of being taught the
way I have been by parenting, and seeing the many ways I was not all of those things. I probably had way more to learn than they did.
Something about the all-consuming responsibility that comes with parenting, the sleepless nights, the sickness, the worry about never getting it right, the worry about something terrible happening to my children, the worry about everything….
What is required of you is staggering, but you do it because you are hopelessly in love. You are bonded to this tiny, helpless, dependent being and you rise to the...
There’s a saying that’s been going around for quite a long while. it has been credited to the Buddha, Socrates, and even Thumper from the Disney movie Bambi had version of it - If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
It’s been around a long time, because it’s one of those sayings that stands the test of time. And, it’s one of those sayings that is a lot easier said than done.
Recently I was discussing my recent hair cut with a co-worker and the various reactions to it (my parents definitively think my hair has seen better days.) I was telling her that at a recent gathering a woman asked me if my husband “just died” when he saw my hair. She then went on to inform me that men love long hair. (Breaking news.) My co-worker told me about the experiences she has had with people remarking on her weight - one example was when she was in line at Starbucks ordering a small (that’s tall in Starbucks speak) frappuccino. Right behind her a father told his child that they didn’t or...
Labour day weekend marks the official end of summer for me. In Edmonton, it starts to feel
like fall is in the air some time after the middle of August. This year it seemed like Fall came
earlier than ever.
I heard somewhere recently that it’s a good idea to buy school supplies at the end of summer, even when school is a distant memory - I mean, wasn’t that the best part of starting a new school year? That, and the new clothes. September is in my top 3 favourite months, along with May and December. Something about the quality of the light, and the air. And, hopefully, some last, beautiful, warm days that start out cold and end cold, But that middle part - glorious! Fall is new beginnings, pumpkin spice everything, soup, apples, comfort food, walks in the ravine to see what the beavers are up to, getting organized for the more productive time until next summer comes again, with it’s Festivals and party like nature.
Every once in a while I re-read this poem my son wrote to honour my parents at their 80th birthday party. Every time I read it it is with new eyes. Today I am thinking about the word legacy, and what that means. My parents are aging and I am facing my own aging and what it means - "To whom much is given, much is required." My parents have given so much to me, to my children, to others. Watching them, appreciating the many sacrifices they made for us, I am inspired by the legacy they are leaving.
Brene Brown has said that the research has shown that who we are as people has far more influence on our children than any of our parenting methods. So I had it wrong all those years of trying to be the perfect parent. Of failing to be the perfect parent, actually. And I have learned far more from my parents than from anything they have tried to teach me, just by watching them.
Some of the seeds that were planted years ago when my mom dragged me along to the Nursing Homes to sing to people, when...