I have now reached that point when this baby could come as early as next week or not for another month or so. Throughout this pregnancy I have been telling people that I expect her to come late, and many resources I’ve been looking at tell you that first babies usually come late. Add to that the fact that they changed our due date back and forth from December 21 to 29 and landed back on the 21st, and it only makes sense to expect that she will, in fact, come some time after the 21st.
But like anything in pregnancy, everyone seems to have a story about the woman that they know who had her first baby two weeks before her due date. Add to that that lately I’ve been getting an inkling that she is going to come early – even though I have no reason to think that, and my instincts were proven wrong about the sex of the baby. It may just be that I have always been a very impatient person (in fact, if you mention to my mother that I lack some patience, she will start laughing at the understatement) and I just assume that my daughter will get that trait.
I am also the type of person that starts preparing for things really early. When I moved to Belleville for I started packing in June and left in September. So when I started gathering all the things for my hospital bag this weekend, it drove me crazy that there are a whole whack of things on the list that I want to pack now in case I go into labour next week, but I can’t pack now because I will need these things in the next four weeks, if that’s how long it takes.
I hate – HATE – not having any clear idea of when this might happen. I’m not even going to start on the whole idea that once labour does start you still really have no idea how long it will be until you meet your baby.
So, for the next little while, I’m going to be living in a certain amount of discomfort. Both bodily discomfort and mental discomfort. And I’m going to be trying to be as prepared as I can possibly be. And to keep my frustration levels as low as possible.
Today is the day we honour our veterans, particularly those who died fighting for the freedom of those in countries far away. Remembrance Day has always been an emotional one for me, watching the veterans growing older every year, watching grown men with tears in their eyes as they remember those they knew and what they saw. Their sacrifices are important and I always wanted them to know that I could never really understand, but I will try to honour them and live my life in a way that pays tribute to what they did for us.
This year, a couple of days before Remembrance Day, I happened to be on Facebook and noticed that one of the people I am connected with there had posted a picture of the peace symbol with the note ‘This is my poppy.’ There were comments on the post from like-minded people who seemed to suggest that wearing a red poppy and taking part in Remembrance Day ceremonies glorifies war somehow.
It made me angry.
Remembrance Day has nothing to do with glorifying war. If anything, it reminds us that war kills in the thousands, generations can be lost, and memories of war are never forgotten. These men that we honour on this day are the very people who can tell us all of the reasons not to glorify war and THEY are what this day is about.
We all hope for peace, just like they did, but they put their lives at risk trying to achieve it.
When I was a teenager and I started watching hockey I was a real home team fan – I wore my jersey every game day, I knew all the players’ stats and I cheered for them and against whoever was against them, including the ref. I was one of those fans that would yell at the ref for any call he made against my team just because my team could do no wrong.
When I started covering sports, I had to separate myself from the action. I didn’t actively participate in the game as I always had before, I didn’t cheer goals or boo calls – a fundamental change for me, and a hard one to make. When I quit journalism I went half-way back: I cheer loudly and proudly but if the ref calls my team offside and I saw that player come across the line before the puck, I’m not going to be the call. (Please note, none of this is true when Team Canada is playing, but that’s a whole other level of hockey).
This tempered fandom has translated into other parts of my life.
The current federal government does a lot of things I disagree with, but I temper my disapproval (and occasional rage) with credit where credit is due.
Yesterday the House of Commons held an emergency debate on the H1N1 vaccine roll-out. It seems Ottawa is not the only city where we are experiencing confusion, long lines and people jumping the queue. The feds are blaming the provinces and the company that’s manufacturing the vaccine, the provinces are blaming the feds. Nobody is blaming the municipalities yet, which seems odd to me since most of the actual clinics were organized municipally (which is why my anger lies with the City of Ottawa, though I never would have guessed that the day we went would turn out to be the smoothest day of the first week of clinics).
I didn’t watch the debate last night, and I haven’t seen much news coverage of it yet this morning, but I did happen to be on Twitter while it was going on, and I one message in particular caught me attention. Someone I follow said that all the federal leaders were in the House for the debate, except “of course” Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The tone implying that Harper was somehow skipping school.
This little dig – implying that the PM had skipped out on an important debate – was offside.
While both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have had occasion to miss days in the House, and specifically Question Period, for questionable reasons, it was ridiculous to suggest that last night the Prime Minister was being irresponsible and skipping out on his duties. Anyone who watched the news yesterday knew that the Prince of Wales, our future head-of-state, and his wife were landing in St. John’s, Newfoundland yesterday afternoon at just about the time that the emergency debate was being approved.
It could be argued that the Prime Minister’s duty was to be in Ottawa at the Commons, and that he could have easily sent the Governor General to meet Charles and Camilla, as is generally her duty, but it cannot be argued that once in St. John’s at the welcoming ceremony Harper would have had time to make it back to Ottawa for the emergency debate that started only three hours after it was schedule, nor that he could have smoothly slipped away from the pomp and ceremony in St. John’s to try.
And you can be sure that he would have faced criticism for abandoning the royals and leaving them with only Danny Williams to greet them.
It’s fair to expect more from our political leaders, it’s fair to demand more, but it’s offside asking them to be two places at once.