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Archive for April, 2017


This is the world that Shawn and I built, and there is no place I’d rather live. It’s a long weekend.  For a decent portion of the world, it’s easter weekend, but, since we don’t subscribe to christian or catholic belief systems, for us, it’s just bonus family time.  And it’s been wonderful.  I’ve texted with both of my older children who no longer live at home, I’ve talked to one of my sisters and my sisters in law, but it’s what we’ve shared together that really makes me proud of the family we have built. 

I love that we still do so many things as a family.   Grocery shopping,  clean up the yard, laugh, cook, clean, watch movies in a snuggled heap in the basement.  Even shave the dogs fur, we did in a cluster in the bathroom. A hilarious chore in which Kermit the dog shed his fur and we all began to wear it.  He now, by the way,  resembles a baby goat and is pouncing around the house like a crazed maniac as if the new lightness of weight is literally lifting him off the floor with each step.  

I love that my middle daughter spent time yesterday helping me lay out fabric and cut a pattern for a dress.  She wants me to teach her how to use the sewing machine, and I love that.   

Earlier this week I teased my husband on Facebook that he should buy my ballet shoes (I’ve always wanted them) and today he ordered them.  He gets my desire for things like this and he humours me because he loves me.  

Friday we had a very serious talk with our girls about sex.  They are 17 and nearly 19 and we run a fairly open household where no subject is forbidden.  In this case, it was about how important communication is, how important it is to have a healthy relationship with your own body and not to feel shame as a first response to sexual health.  I grew up in a strict household that taught abstinence before all else, and I spent many years filled with shame about my body.   It’s not what I want for our children.  Thankfully we’ve been blessed with kids who are excellent self-advocators.  Kids who know their worth, and conversations like the one we had Friday make me prouder than ever of what we’ve taught them.  

Fridays talk during the day led to a talk Friday night.  A girl at school with my two youngest was being cyber bullied by some boys.  A couple of those boys, while not doing much of the actual bullying, we’re a part of the group chat and were contributing by way of “yeah” and “lol” comments.  My youngest stood up to them.  He called them out on their behaviour and spoke up.  It’s takes a strong person to stand up to bullies and a stronger one to stand up to his friends, but again, the kinds of people we’ve raised our kids to be, and Shawn and I watched as our boy behaved as a man.  

We’ve had such moments of pride this weekend and almost all of them revolved around our children and the people they’ve become, and are still becoming.  

Yesterday afternoon as Shawn and I sat on our front porch in the sunshine, we shared more than one look across the porch.  We are so lucky, we often tell one another.  So lucky.  It hasn’t always been easy, in fact sometimes it’s been downright painful and difficult,  but all the pain and “hard” is worth it in the long run.  Because this is the land we live in, the world we created, and I love every bit of it.  

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I’m a busy, working mom.  I have a full time job, I have several home projects on the go, I read all the time, I knit, I write and I enjoy cooking and baking from scratch.  I’m also a woman of the modern world so I usually have my phone on me and yes, I’m on it likely far more than is healthy. I get it.  But I do love my phone.

So its not unusual to find me using my phone while doing something else.  I prop it up against my lunch bag in the kitchen in the morning while eating cereal before work so I can watch videos.  I get on video chat with my daughter in Ontario while I’m cooking.  I have been known to occasionally “live tweet” an episode or two of survivor and yes, like many people, I take my phone to the bathroom.

No, I’m not worried about dropping it into the toilet.  I’m over forty and I’ve had five babies   These thighs are no joke.  Phone on the toilet is not so bad, as multitasking goes, right? But what if you add a third element? Because I do.

I brush my teeth on the toilet a lot. And I’ve been known to brush my teeth in the toilet *while also* being on my phone.

Which isn’t so bad…until you read something funny, with a mouthful of toothpaste foam, and accidentally sputter-laugh, which shoots a healthy amount of white Colgate and saliva into your exposed panties/jeans.

I mean, I don’t mind being minty fresh.  I just didn’t ever picture the minty fresh breath smell to come from my vagina.  And of course this happened to me after lunch so I still had a good portion of my day to get through.  Do you know how difficult it is to use public bathroom grade paper towel to scrub foam from your jeans?  It’s not easy, my friends.  The towel couldn’t handle the vigour I needed and started to disintegrate.  So I got more towel and tried blotting.

My panties were soaked from trying to rinse out the paste-spit. They smelled like winter fresh whitening paste, fresh, sharp and slightly chemically. My jeans had a weird wet and pasty white splotch on them with tiny pills of shitty quality paper towel clinging to them.

So I did what any normal woman over forty would do.  I zipped up. And I owned that shit.   I mean, it’s funny.  And if you can’t laugh at yourself and your goo-spotted jeans, well then my friend, you’re taking life too seriously.

I still brush my teeth and pee and stalk Facebook on my phone.  But now, I keep my head turned to the side.  And that, my friends, is a life lesson learned.

 

 

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I realized this is the second post in a row about death but, it seems to be in the forefront of recent thoughts and, it’s my blog so I’ll talk about what I want.  

Tonight my middle daughter and I finally got around to watching last weeks Greys Anatomy and *spoilers ahead* we talked about death. 

Couple of items of note if this is your first time here.  I literally watched my dog Katie pass away a little over a week ago, as I stood by her head and stroked and held her as she died.  And in 2014 I watched my husbands face turn grey and his eyes fix and dilate when his heart stopped. I saw that moment. It’s burned into my mind as almost no other memory I have is.  

So, I don’t like dead eyes in shows or movies.  I turn from the screen and don’t turn back until the scene is over.  

But, like a good little masochist, I’m a Greys fan.  And, if you are too, you know that Maggie’s mother died.  

Shonda loooovessss death. She doesn’t care. Random death, shootings, drownings, fires, plane crashes, wires cut, she swims in it.  Especially emotional death. If it will reduce her devoted swarms of gluttons of heartbreak to sobbing messes, she delights in it.  So she killed a mother. Again. Beautifully. 

Mid episode my daughter Ash and I were cracking jokes about my eventual death/funeral. She promised me pink and navy Swarovski crystals.  Ahhh I said. You know me.  And you’ll make a big dramatic show of wailing whilst covered in a black face veil? I asked her. Don’t worry mom, she came back. I got you. Imma go full on RuPaul drag show up in your funeral.  Wailing AND a death drop. I know what you need.  We laughed. She gets me.  She threatened to play bad 80’s music.  I countered with good 90’s music. Freedom by George Michael.  Of course.  And bloodletting by concrete blonde.  (Because she refused to play Adele).  

While it’s good, even healthy to laugh about death and joke about funerals, the show of course sobered up in a hurry and so did we.  Maggie’s mother died and we literally looked at each other the second we knew it was happening and didn’t laugh anymore. I had to look away from the dead eyes shot and she knew why.  She quietly said that she knew what I wanted (cremation) but not her dad.  I answered her quietly and went back to letting some large, fat tears fall from my face.  

Death is the one great equalizer. We’re literally all going to do it.  I will. She will.  My husband will.  Our other kids will.  You will.  It can’t be escaped.  Shonda sure knows it.  But if death is the ultimate cure for life, love is the symptom that makes it most acute.  It is simultaneously the balm that heals the wound and the blade that creates it.  

Maybe that’s why it’s so important that we laughed before we cried.  Because laughter is the medicine that makes death bearable. At least in some small measures.  

I’m afraid of my husbands heart giving away again.  I can’t shake that fear since September 19th 2014.  But, when one day those eyes do change again, the moments I spent laughing with him will be the ones I’ll cherish the most.  

And one day I will die.  Hopefully a very long time from now.  And while my children will, no doubt, be paralyzed by grief, Aislinn will remember a silly conversation about RuPaul on the couch.  Kathryn will remember my face lighting up at her in her prom dress in the kitchen.  Keisha will remember car trips and singing loudly on (and off) key. Shawn Michael will remember baking bread together in the kitchen. Liam will remember driving me to the theatre while I stood up out of the sunroof.  

And if I go first, I hope Shawn  remembers it all.  

Life isn’t always easy and it sure as hell isnt always fair.  But sometimes it’s unbelievable funny.  And full of crazy love.  

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