Sunday, August 28, 2011


I'm positively frozen with cold and damp, shivery and hunched inside a warm sweater, occasionally warming my hands on a cup of tea. The trailings of Irene hit today and the high winds and torrential rain reminded everyone of the approaching change of season. I woke up with the sweetest little monster in my bed, mouth open, snoring softly and leaving a faint trail of drool. She spent huge portions of the day being absolutely horrible, so I am trying to hold on to that image of her before she woke up when the day seemed endlessly joyous as she melted my heart with the way her cheek smooshed the pillow and made her upper lip into a perfect little bow.
We couldn't get out to the park, so we spent the morning watching a dvd, doing crafts, "cleaning" rooms, playing games and every time there was a moment of boredom, the girl was up in her brother's grill, teasing him, taking a toy, wrecking a carefully constructed lego creation, and just being a pain in the rear. She was sent to sit on her bed multiple times - I heard Ben screech my name so many times that after a while it lost all meaning. In the afternoon we headed out into the deluge to take Nomi to an open house for Irish dancing. Out we went, but not before the girl and I had a knock-down-drag-out about her choice of footwear that resulted in a time-out and us very nearly not going at all. But finally we left, sniffling and ill-tempered, and by the time we got out to the hall she had fallen asleep, presumably from the weather and emotional exhaustion. I could have joined her.
We went inside and got organized and some of the dancers were there and gave an exhibition and then the newbies got to go up and Bernadette taught them some basic reel steps and we watched all the kids stumbling and jumping and she didn't do bad at all. In the end she decided that she'd like to try it, so she's signed up until the end of the year. It means I have to leave work a bit early every Monday, but with any luck she'll like it and have an outlet for all that energy.
Then it was supper, baths, and more picking on the brother. Just before bed, I'd had it and when she failed to heed the final warning of punishment if she didn't stop, I told her that I would not be reading her a bedtime story. Suddenly there was an explosion of "I'm so sorry"s and "I won't do it again"s, complete with wailing and pitiful floor flopping. Ben stood there watching, the object of the teasing and abuse for most of the day. Then he said that he would read her a story, and found the only book he enjoys reading aloud, and took her into his room and read to her. Best. Big. Brother. Ever.
I sat in the living room listening to every word he read and crying at the unbelievably sweet gentle spirit that is my son. There is so much in him that I admire, he is extraordinary. His ability to love and forgive and make the world happier makes me try to be a better person every day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today."
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stayin' Alive

I have a longing tonight for something sweet, simple, and genuine, with a side of smiling eye crinkles and the knowledge that you would do anything to make me smile because you just love my smile that much. Serves me right for listening to The Bee Gees, they make me naively happy. I'm missing you and smiling wherever you are.....and that's no jive talkin'....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I want a day like that

I asked Ben what he did today at camp:

"We watched a movie, played running around and screaming, I ate my lunch, went swimming, and played zombie tag."

Stupid grown up job stuff......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Things in the night

My daughter crawled into bed with me last night in the wee hours. Coincidentally, I was awake because the neighbour was up on a ladder a few feet away from my bedroom window taping plastic over the empty hole where the bathroom window used to be. He took the window out to replace it during the day and didn't finish. The previous tape job he'd concocted had given out in the rain, and he was redoing it, waking me up with that annoying tape noise over and over, without any rhythm and with no idea of when he'd be done. Eventually I think he ran out of tape and stopped just before I started throwing things at his head.
So, just as he was done, Naomi appeared in my doorway and stumbled to the other side of the bed and crawled in. I was trying to convince her to go back to sleep in her bed, I end up with a foot in my ear more mornings than not, when her little sleepy sad voice whispered in the dark, "But I woke up and it felt lonely". Melt. This is how she suckers me in.
She made herself comfy and snuggled in and fell right back to sleep. Lucky. I was awake, brain whirring, analysing the sleeplessness and out of whack feelings.
This summer has been about emptiness for me. People in my life have been empty, which I've had to accept and move past. I've also found myself feeling an emptiness for some people who deserve love. Promises have been empty, my job has felt empty of anything meaningful (which is more a reflection on me than the actual job), my bank account seems emptier. Not having my cat around makes the house seem so much more empty when the kids aren't here, it's not as if she created havoc running around the house, but I miss her wandering in and out of rooms, sitting with me, waking me up in the morning with a purring furry face against mine as she tried to smell the inside of my nose. Suddenly the things I took for granted are gone and there's a selfish fear that I didn't appreciate them enough while they were present. But I cannot long for things from the past, they no longer exist.
It sounds like I've had a pretty stark summer, but I haven't. I've had a lot of fun with my children and my friends, we've been to the beach, exploring the city, discovering new restaurants, reading, meeting people, and laughing. My life is not tragic and I have people who love me, but emptiness has motivated me to perhaps make some choices that I should have avoided.
There are two ways to handle the emptiness. You can try to fill it with activities and things until you are distracted, which is effective but only fills it temporarily, requiring a constant parade of activities and things. Or you can step back and look at the emptiness for a while until you realise how wonderful it can be. In the design of just about anything, the best thing you can do sometimes is allow just a little more white space; it cleans and opens up a room, a page, a mind. And the most beautiful thing about emptiness is its endless potential for ways to fill it. This is what I'm going to try to focus on for the next little while and see where it takes me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Smile and back away slowly....

Having a tough hormonally imbalanced week which is leaving me incapable of coping with even the smallest of dips in the sidewalk at various points during the day. One minute, I'm perfectly normal and the next my brain short circuits and I am overcome with the urge to break into tears for no apparent reason. I'm trying to avoid all meaningful situations until this blows over, but I think that I should be wearing a sign warning people not to poke the bear, or offer her coffee, or try to make her feel better, and definitely don't lick her, oh no no no no no! In fact, unless you are willing to put up with the wrath of said bear, or hold her while she sobs because the oranges escaped all over the floor the minute she opened the fridge (why do they have to be so round????), it might be better to just send love towards her from a safety bunker.
For all of the pretty dresses, cute shoes, and the occasional man who knows enough to hold a door or offer you their coat, the occasional loss of anything resembling sanity really makes you rethink the whole, "being a girl is great" thing.....

Perfect moments

Picking up the kids last night after they'd been gone for a week and going out to draw and play on the sidewalk and hang with the neighbours.
It made a rotten day disappear....