That one thing each day

by , on
February 28, 2014

Growing up I was not a fan of skating. It was hard and scary and my ankles and feet hurt. When I was about 10 I got a pair of moulded skates and it was an instant difference. Then my older sister switched from figure skates to hockey skates and I followed suit.

My feelings about skating changed after that. I went willingly sometimes. Even outside where it was cold and there were no boards to hang onto.

When the kid was born I had the brilliant idea to take her out on the canal at Winterlude in her stroller. In fact Joe had never been to Winterlude either. I put on my new skates, I looked out at the ice and it dawned on me that I hadn’t actually been on skates for more than a decade.

And I immediately felt like I was going to die.

Last year we took the kid out to an open skate and again, I was totally unsure on my feet, scared, not comfortable.

One of the reasons we put the kid in skating lessons when she was 2 was because I was never a good skater. I could move forwards, make turns, but I could never go backwards or stop or stand up by myself if I happened to fall down. I wanted her to have comfort on skates.

Today the kid’s school went skating. She went out twice because Joe (was) volunteered (by me) to help out. In the morning I watched them from the stands and was in awe of how much she keeps improving. We went out for breakfast and she declared that she didn’t want to go back for the afternoon, but we told her that Daddy and I both had to be there. She maintained she didn’t want to skate again. I suggested that maybe I would get my skates out.

By the time it was time to go I had been roped in and she was going back out.

I don’t know if I was more scared of hurting myself or embarrassing myself, but I did it anyway. I went out wobbly and by the end of the hour I was feeling much more comfortable, though not entirely stable. I took a few breaks because my feet were hurting, but I kept going back out. I did it. And I’m proud of me.

She's faster than me too

She’s faster than me too

Bobsled, luge, speed skating…

by , on
February 27, 2014

I am a proud Canadian who falls into a lot of the stereotypes we face as a nation. Hockey is certainly one of those. I raced back from school drop off to switch from the radio to TV broadcast of the women’s gold medal game and I woke up early on a Sunday with my family to watch the men’s.

When school was cancelled because of predicted freezing rain I was okay with that because it meant I wouldn’t have to miss any of the men’s semi-final.

I’ve written before about how hockey changed my life. Seriously, changed the path of my life.

There are a lot of sports I like watching, and live sporting event are always a fantastic time, but hockey is the be all end all in this house.

But…

While watching the gold medal game and feeling that community pride I love so much when it comes to team Canada hockey, I saw people talking about having goaltender Carey Price carry the flag at the closing ceremonies, though the flag bearers had already been announced as our two-woman bobsled team who had one gold and displayed wonderful team dynamic.

This pisses me off.

Yes, we as a nation are hockey fanatics. A majority of us are, anyway. Across the country streets were empty and pubs were full.

But the wonderful thing about the Olympics is that is can take our minds off just hockey and show us all the other amazing athletes in sports we never really get to see. I was all for anyone other than a men’s hockey player carrying that flag.

These men get celebrated most of any of these athletes. They are certainly skilled, but sometimes they need to take a backseat.

One year more

by , on
February 26, 2014

It’s just after midnight here which mean I am now 33. There’s something I like about 33, something that feels good about it. The repetition or because it’s nice and symmetrical. I don’t know.

I kicked off my birthday with the premiere of this season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, because it’s awesome. In seven seasons of this show I have learned so much about being a woman.

I’m reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which I can already tell is going to teach me a few things about myself.

Something about 33 feels like changing.

While I’m 33 my daughter will start full time school, Joe and I will be celebrating 10 years since we met, which seems almost impossible at the same time that it seems like such a sort time.

My business is growing, I’m taking on challenges, I’m pushing myself to do things differently – turn off the TV and read more, get back to doing things I love. I’m challenging myself physically. If 2014 is going to be the Year of the Boughners like Joe promised, then 33 is it.

I come to 33 determined that my life won’t be same old, same old, because it simply can’t be.

Let’s do this thing.

A 24/7 gig

by , on
February 25, 2014

I am a mother. For good or ill, it does define me. Mother isn’t all that I am, but it’s a 24/7 gig. I am all the mother my child has, and neither her life nor mine will be the same for it.

– T.F. Charlton

I am still reading through the essays in The Good Mother Myth and I have recognized myself in a lot of the book, but by far the piece of writing that has touched me most was the one above. It was written by a black woman whose essay was about raising a bi-racial daughter in a world that made assumptions about her and her family.

She talked about things I have never faced, will never face, but we had this one shared thing, and in that I could follow her story through her love for her daughter.

One of the amazing things about reading blogs, reading essays like these, connecting with other mothers, other women, other feminists, is the stories they tell that take me right out of my comfort zone, out of my white, middle class privilege, and remind me there are things I can’t take for granted. And things I should not take for granted.

Motherhood does define me, it has changed who I am and it has provided me with an undeniable connection to other women despite all the differences.

And then she was four

by , on
February 24, 2014

The other night Joe was working late, I got the kid through bedtime and then went downstairs to get on my treadmill and watch Downton Abbey. After my hour was up I walked up to the kitchen and kept listening to my headphones while I cleaned up.

I don’t know how long she had been trying to get my attention, but I know that when I finished in the kitchen and started walking up to our bedroom she was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. She needed a bandaid for some minor injury or another, probably imagined. Another excuse to get out of bed and delay sleep a bit more.

The funny thing is as I looked up at her and saw her standing there waiting for me, the mommy she had been looking for or calling out to, it too a minute to register. I stared up at this little girl and remembered that she’s mine. I have a daughter, she’s ever-growing, she looks to me for all her needs.

I keep looking into her face and trying to figure out why she looks different again. Her features are changing, she’s taller, she talking at a constant clip about all different things. She’s gotten sillier, which I wasn’t sure was actually possible.

She has skills. I remember taking her into the pool for our first baby and me class, I remember sending her out on the ice with Daddy for the first time. Now she can do it all on her own, and better all the time.

It’s impossible than I am the mother of this child. I had a little baby.

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I told my best friend that I still feel like a babysitter sometimes, like I’m 16 and have been put in charge for a few hours.

How can she possibly really be mine?

 

Games over

by , on
February 23, 2014

The Olympics are over again. The kid was disappointed to hear it as bedtime tonight, but then she realized that meant that Kids CBC will be back tomorrow morning and cheered right up.

This was her first real winter Olympics experience, given that she was just a little over a month old when Vancouver hosted. We turned it on every morning, we watched all kinds of different sports. She was fascinated by a lot of them, and she’s been putting on figure skating shows since the games started. One night she cried at bedtime because she couldn’t stay up to watch more sports.

This morning we watched the men win hockey gold, in a game that was not quite as enthralling as the women’s gold medal game.

There are a few things I hope she takes away from these Olympics:

  • Sports are a wonderful part of a life, and certainly part of a well-rounded life
  • You can take pride in working hard and doing your absolute best, no matter what result the rest of the world sees
  • Women are strong and powerful and can be great athletes on the highest levels
  • We are privileged to be Canadian, and we should be proud of any athlete that wears the maple leaf on their heart

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On Breasts

by , on
February 20, 2014

A well-fitted bra is a great thing. I have spoken to a lot of other women about this and it is generally agreed that when a bra fits and is comfortable you feel better about yourself. It can make a real difference in your confidence.

I have had fitting in the past. I have had bras that I truly loved. Lately I have been struggling with my current bras – strap slippage, underwires cutting into me, nasty bulging. And then I came across this blog post. The post include this video:

A new way to measure yourself.

It seemed strange, but I decided to give it a try and write it down. I just sort of left it at that until one day when the bra I was wearing was so uncomfortable and shifting around so much that I was ready to burn the thing. That day I spent my afternoon bra shopping. I tried on the size that the video measurements gave me and give or take a couple of inches on the band it fit just like she said it should.

The fact is that bra sizes don’t make any sense. When I started looking around at all the regular stores I found band sizes that went up to a 52, but cup sizes stopped at a DD or DDD. That just doesn’t make any sense. Breasts are made of fat. Chances are if you have a women that fits a 52 band she’s not going to be a DD. You can’t just keep increasing the band size and not the cup size, it doesn’t work.

We’re being taught that anything over a D-cup is HUGE! MASSIVE! RIDICULOUS! But that’s just not true.

I also have to remind myself that every bra fits differently and trying on is the only way to know.

Call of the wild

by , on
February 17, 2014

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My great-grandfather must have been a man who appreciated the arts. He taught his three sons an appreciation. My grandfather and his two brothers each had their talents – my grandfather sketches, his middle brother used to design and make jewellery and his youngest brother was a photographer with his own dark room.

When I was a child my grandfather encouraged my drawing and started teaching me how to sketch. I vividly remember sitting on the rocks and dock at Peggy’s Cove sketching the scenes around us, with him overseeing. I loved drawing and art and I love my grandfather, so the two things together, with the feeling that I was making him proud, remains a favourite memory.

I don’t remember when I stopped sketching and drawing and painting. I took and enjoyed art class in Grade 9. At some point I just had other things to do. I remember taking a sketchbook to the part in my later teenage years, and I know I did some drawing during my first year of college.

These days it’s something that I know I want to do, that I think about often, that I wish I could get better at, but actually finding the time, the inspiration and the nerve is another issue.

On my weekly list of things to get down ‘draw’ is always an item, and consistently not getting checked off.

Near our house there is an old barn. I drive by it often, almost daily. Every time I see the sun shining behind it I feel the same intense desire to draw it. To create a sketch and take the time to examine this old barn, the light behind it, the trees around it. There’s something I just love about it.

Finally the other day I stopped across the street and took a picture. I’ll have to get more or better pictures, or maybe take a walk up and sit across the street and take it all in.

I have the desire, I have my subject, I have the equipment, now I just have to do it.

 

Two hearts

by , on
February 16, 2014

Shortly after the baby girl was born I shocked myself by bursting into tears just looking at her. The love (and hormones) totally overwhelmed me. I was crying because I could not believe how much love this little person.

I thought that feeling would settle in. I thought I would get used to the amount of love I now carry around for this little person.

Sitting at dinner this weekend, she was talking away about a number of different things, laughing and chatting and I felt it all over again. My eyes filled with tears and I could not believe how much love there is in me for her.

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She just keeps growing, she keeps amazing me with all the things she’s learning to do. She dresses herself, she’s doing her own hair. She swims underwater. She skates by herself. She makes things, she makes up stories. She’s never-ending.

I thought that I would get used to her, but she’s ever-changing and she keeps sweeping me off my feet.

All the pretty things

by , on
February 15, 2014

My daughter is showing signs of becoming something I was totally unprepared for.

I think she’s going to be a crafter.

She looks at scraps and sees things she can make.

Exhibit A:

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That came out of a baseball cap. It was keeping the shape. She picked it up and told me she sees a piano.

Every paper, every box, every toilet paper tube she wants to make a craft. The best I can do is go to Pinterest and look up something someone else has made. My kid? She’ll just get out her glue and scissors, tape, markers, maybe some stickers and just make something, anything.

She’s made racetracks and cars. She’s made dresses for some dolls out of play dough.

She drew a thunderstorm.

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She asked to make a stop motion movie because she saw one once. I watch her with fascination. I can’t remember if I was like that when I was her age, I was more about taking things apart than putting them together.

I write, I draw, but I don’t put pieces together. I tried scrapbooking once and hated it.

I hope she keeps seeing things with this creativity as she grows.

 

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