Friday, May 27, 2005

Love Nest

Over the past week, my family and I have been able to view nature at it's most wondrous. A pair of robins have decided to build their nest under the eaves of our front verandah, and we are fortunate enough to have front row seats.

I first noticed something was going on when I discovered a robin perched on the beams under the roof of our verandah. He was later joined by his mate. Throughout the day, I noticed that they made several trips from the eaves to get mud, straw and twigs. (Robins can actually make up to 180 trips a day when building their nest!) We all speculated on whether or not they were actually going to build a nest there, until one afternoon we peeked out the window and saw a very defined, very sturdy looking nest snuggled in the space in our eaves. Looks like our new neighbours are settling in quite nicely, and are getting ready for the arrival of their babies.

Inside the house, things are much the same. I make about 180 trips a day to the soccer field, the grocery store, the school, the doctor, the pharmacy, and various other places I need to be. There are days when I feel like my house is all askew, and I need to put things in order again.

Probably the best feeling though, is the one at the end of the day. You know the one...after the ball games and soccer practices, after all the kids are in bed, the toys are away, the kitchen is clean, and the laundry is caught up (almost). That's the time when Levi and I collapse on the sofa, rest our heads on one another and talk. Sometimes it's about the kids. Sometimes it's about the wedding. Other times it's about bills, our future together, or simply how our day was. Whatever it is we talk about, we both feel appreciative of everything that the other has done for our family.

Life with three young kids isn't always easy for a young couple, but we're making it work. Respect and appreciation is the mud that holds our little "love nest" together. It's softened with the warmth and comfort of hugs and kisses, and strengthened by love.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thoughts about Thirty

It's finally happened... I've turned thirty. Does that seem old to you? The "30th Birthday" is a day that some people approach with a feeling of dread and apprehension, but I am ok with it.

I think this is an age where a lot of people like to reflect on their lives so far and measure their actual accomplishments to the dreams and hopes that they had for themselves when they were, say, twenty or so.
When I was 20, I had always thought that by age 30, I would have a wonderful husband, a bunch of great kids, a good paying job, a house and car of my own, and a dog. You know, that happily ever after you hear so much about. And then life happened...

There were certainly some large stumbling blocks along the way. Life didn't work out for me in the smooth, uncomplicated way that I had hoped it would. I've slowly learned to make adjustments, deal with and accept whatever life sent me. Somehow, through all the stormy seas and grey days, I have arrived at Thirty not far from where I had expected to be. I am starting my own business in two weeks. I am marrying my best friend in four months. I have three beautiful children, a great home, and even my car and dog are pretty ok. The waters are calmer. The sky holds the promise of sunny days ahead. I am happy to be here, at Thirty, where I finally feel safe and comfortable in my own life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thicker Than Water?

We've all heard the expression "Blood is thicker than water." So what do you do when the blood is so thin that even water seems thicker? In my case, nothing. Try not to say anything, for fear of setting off a barrel full of ammunition. That is, until today.

With this post, I'm sure to piss off at least half of my family, but I am prepared to deal with it. After all, I am taking something "private" and making it public. Everything I say here, I mean with no disrespect. My intention is not to be hurtful, as I'm sure I have unknowingly offended them at times. I will not name names, nor will I try to humiliate or hit below the belt.

Some dinners with my family are less than a treat for me. There are often negative remarks made about someone, rude tasteless jokes told at another's expense, and often complete disregard for another's feelings.
But how far is too far? And when you speak up to draw the boundaries, should you expect to get your feelings dismissed, or worse... more of the same for being "too sensitive?"

On Sunday, I was basically snubbed by one sibling. I was informed by another that, because I wouldn't allow my kids to eat foods that they were allergic to, I was "psychotic." I instantly got defensive and tried to explain that I'm not going to give them food that's going to fill them up so much that they're puking all night. My explanation about the allergies was impatiently shushed by another. My past relationships were brought up in the hurtful form of a joke that I had "frequent flyer miles" at the Wedding Place. This was done in front of my future husband, who was also made to feel uncomfortable by this.

I was grateful when another of my siblings, who had remained silent throught all this, tried to alleviate some tension. This was done by voicing an understanding about the food allergies, and shrugging about the relationship thing by saying "We're all going to hell anyways, so we might as well enjoy life."

I came away from dinner that night feeling badly about myself, questioning my parenting, and my place in the family. I wondered if I had said anything to anyone that might have been taken the wrong way.
I felt that I was treated unfairly, and that some pretty low shots were taken.

It's unfortunate that misunderstandings and hurt feelings have to happen within a family of adults. What's even more unfortunate is that many of us will just add these misgivings to our pile of ammunition, ready to use at the next family gathering.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Everyone who has ever had a child will share with you the joys and the frustration of raising a child. Many stories are humerous, some are heartbreaking, while others are simply so honest and real that they seem like your own.

The thoughts I share with you had their beginnings eleven years ago, with the birth of my son, Terran. With his arrival, I became what I always wanted to be - a mother. Nothing could have prepared me for the intensity of my own emotions, and never would I have imagined that such a small child could teach his mother so much. It was my first born son who taught me about sacrifice, devotion, and about a love greater than anything I've ever known.

When he was a baby, I would bury my face in his hair and breathe in the newborn smell of him. When he was a toddler, we were each other's best friend. I lived for his huge hugs and how he would press his cheek against mine and exclaim, "Snuddle cheeks!" My heart ached on his first day of school, when I felt as if I was losing a part of myself. I cried all that day.
I cried again, only this time tears of joy, when he rode his bike for the first time.

The traces of the baby he was have long since disappeared, and his need for my hugs and cuddles have been replaced by video games and playing with friends. By the moon glow at night, though, he is still my baby, and I make silent wishes for his happiness. He is my sensitive, loving child, perhaps the most like me. His spirit is easily crushed if I speak sharply to him. Beautiful music touches his soul. He enjoys the peace he finds in solitude. He is smarter than he knows. He has taught me how to be a mother. He has forgiven me when I made mistakes, and has loved me unconditionally.

I wish for my children all the things a mother wants for her child. I wish them radiant health, and a life full of love and happiness. I want to thank them for loving me as I am, and for accepting me even when I am my very worst self. Being their mother is a wonderful gift, and that is all I need.