Oh Wow..

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Tonight I left Brett home with pretty girl and bendaboo to work on the electrical in the house while I took spreeny to football. I came home late and tired, thinking about all things I still had to do to find that pretty girl had gotten Ben ready for bed and made all three lunches for school tomorrow.

And then she told me about the girl who had left school for a year and came back. This girl wasn’t very nice to R and she was really worried about her coming back. My heart was breaking for her the night before school, trying to find the right words to make her feel ok. Trying to make her feel safe and excited about going back to school.

Tonight pretty girl told me how she felt bad for this girl.

How she noticed she didn’t have anyone to talk to.

So she talked to her and sat with her.

She told me she wanted to give her another chance.

And then she hugged me and asked me if I was mad that she did that.

That she decided to forget that someone made her feel bad and do the right thing.

That she noticed someone was lonely and tried to fix that.

I hugged her tight and reassured her I wasn’t mad. I didn’t voice my fear that it wouldn’t work out. I always want her to try to do the right thing. Even if it’s a little scary. Even if no one else is doing it. Even if it might not last.

I want her to always feel empathy over anger.

I want her to care.

And tonight I realized that shining through the screaming, the tantrums, the door slamming and the crying that is a 10 year old girl….is a child with more heart and love than I could ever hope for.

And I’ve never been prouder.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to you

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Today is a very special birthday.

A day does not go by when I don’t feel grateful for having you in my life.

You are the most amazing woman I have ever met. You are strong, loving and brave.

For as long as I can remember you have been a constant in my life. There whenever I need you. And it seems the older I get the more I need you.

Your words of wisdom.  The way you back off when I don’t want advice, just to vent. The way my children light up when they see you and hearing Ben call you his best friend.

Watching you teach your daughters and grandchildren how to make lefse.

Your brown sugar in the old peanut butter container just like grandma Alice had.

Hot chocolate and marshmallows for the kids in the morning when we have sleeepovers.

Shopping, pedicures and wine.

Love.

So much love.

Happy 70th birthday to you Mom.

 

10….

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Over the past 10 years I have watched you strive to provide an amazing life for your family. I’ve watched you work late hours and spend hours on your phone.  I’ve watched you struggle with career choices trying to figure out what would be best for our family.

I’ve watched you still make time to play with your kids and make me feel loved.

I’ve watched you bathe babies, throw a football, wipe tears, blow dry your daughters hair, sit on little beds at bedtime and talk about life, pour wine late at night and cook amazing meals for two.

I’ve watched you love and care for this family for 10 years. I’ve watched you make me feel more and more loved every day.

I can’t wait for the day when I’m old and fat and wrinkled and can barely see.

I’ll hold your big crooked hand and we’ll sit and watch the sunset and you’ll tell me I’m beautiful.

And I’ll believe you.

Happy Anniversary.  I’m so glad I found you.

 

 

Breathe

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When I woke up this morning I assumed it would be a completely normal, busy day. I assumed it would end like every other day. Football, kids in bed, laundry, dishes, lunches.

Not for a second did I think that at 5.21 pm I would be standing in front of my daughter, clutching an Epi-Pen and promising her she wasn’t going to die after she inadvertently was served a dessert made with milk. I didn’t think I would be giving her Reactine and holding my breath, waiting to see if that would be all she needed, watching her red puffy lips intently in the hopes that the swelling would go down before I was forced to stab her in the thigh with a huge needle. I didn’t think I would be calling her dad and telling him to get in his truck and get to us asap. I didn’t think I would be looking into her trusting eyes, knowing she was waiting for me to make the right move to make her all better. Nor did I think I would find myself in the passenger seat of my car, staring at my daughter while my husband raced down the highway to the Stollery.

But I did do all those things tonight. In the blink of an eye my pretty girl went from giving her brother guidance on good school behaviour to being afraid for her life.

And now that I’ve showered, cried and tucked all my babies into bed, I am thankful.

Thankful that when my child looked at me with fear in her eyes and asked me if she was going to be ok, I could answer yes. I was holding her Epi-Pen in my hand, the phone was beside me in case I needed to call 911, her dad was on his way to her and I could answer yes, she was going to be ok. And the small what if that is always at the back of my mind in these moments was quickly and forcibly silenced.

Thankful for my mother who took my boys to football and then home to shower and go to bed. I didn’t even need to ask. If I’m a good mother it’s because I have a good mother.

Thankful for my dear husband who came the second I called because he would never let our children go through anything scary without him.

Thankful again and always for the Stollery. And for the new children’s emergency with clean large bathrooms where I sat on the floor and cried for exactly two minutes before pulling myself together again to go back to my child.

Thankful to my daughter, who really is the bravest person I know.

That Epi-Pen that I held clutched in my fist for what seemed like forever never did get used. In what was nothing short of a small miracle, the Reactine that I gave her worked and after being examined we were told we could go home.

And the smile that spread across pretty girls face in that moment, sitting on an ER bed wondering what was going to happen, lit up the entire room. And that was the very best part of my day.

 

 

 

I forgot I liked my kid.

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Sometimes parenting sucks.

It might suck because you have a newborn who won’t sleep and a toddler who hates the baby and tells you so by pooping all over the new big kid sheet set you bought to “celebrate” taking away the crib.

Maybe you have a preschooler who refuses to brush his teeth and your only options are holding him down and doing it by force or paying the dentist to berate you for your kids plaque and their high potential for cavities. Who really flosses their kids teeth anyway?

Or you have a pre-teen who hates you, loves you, hates you again.

But sometimes, it really sucks.

Because sometimes, you have to sit your kid down, look him in the eye and hear him tell you he believes he is a bad kid. Because this kid gets in more trouble than the other kids. Because you are hard on your kids because you know the world is hard and you want them to really be the best they can be. Because you don’t believe in “boys will be boys” or “kids will be kids”. You believe in “if you screwed up, you will be accountable and you will fix it”.

And then, with that admission, you realize you’ve been so busy trying to stop the crappy behaviour you’ve been forgetting there’s a really awesome kid in there too.

You concentrate so much on the negative you forget how amazing he is.

You see that in trying to get your kid to shine, you’re dulling who he really is.

And then you find yourself sitting down, trying to figure out how to let your kid be his funny, quirky self without managing to piss off every adult within 10 feet.

I’ll let you know when I find an answer…..

 

 

Happy Birthday to you

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Today you are 5.

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When did this happen? When did the baby become the boy?

Somewhere between diapers and dirt, you grew.

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I see the toddler you are leaving behind and the boy you are becoming.

The boy who will watch a movie and then spend hours acting it out.

The boy who still wraps his arms around my neck when I carry him to bed every night.

The boy who is counting down the days till he gets to go to kindergarten while I’m counting the minutes I have left before that day comes.

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The boy who loves life every day with a passion that is amazing.

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Don’t ever stop saying croc-a-dialer.

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And don’t ever stop making this face.

Don’t ever stop being you.

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Because you are spectacular.

Happy birthday to you Benjamin.