Saturday, August 16, 2014

walking on broken glass

so last night, my all-time favourite drinking glass flew out of my hand and shattered all over the floor.    it was a 16 oz tumbler of happiness.  I use to have two, now I have none.

as I was cleaning up the shards and small pieces, I got to thinking about what a great mom I am.  ha!  let's be honest.  if you follow me on social media, you know that I'm probably not the person you want dishing out parenting advice.  there are many days when I feel like there isn't an adult in charge and that my 9 year old is the boss of all of us.

broken glass and parenting.

parenting really brings out the absolute best and worst in me.  my kids strip me bare and poke sticks at the most vulnerable parts.  and they don't do it because they hate me, but because I am a fallible human being, attempting to raise other fallible human beings.  most days, I do my best.  some days are quite awful.  I try.  oh, do I try.  but we wound each other.  with our words.  our inaction.  with our expectations.  our pleasing.  and quite often, I ask my sons to navigate around the broken, shattered glass laying all over the place.  my hurts.  my brokenness.  my poor self-image.  my disappointments.

as I was on my hands and knees picking up the big shards, I thought: these are the easy ones.  jagged, easy to see, easy to pick up with care, easy to discard.  but then came the rest.  the small pieces.  the ones that get stuck in the cracks of my floor.  the ones that wound deeply when they're not avoided.  as their mother, of course I am going to do everything possible to pick up, sweep, vacuum the heck out they don't literally cut their feet when they walk through the living room.  and it was at that point that I realized that I don't always do that with the metaphorical glass in my life.  I'm not always protecting my kids from all of the baggage I walked into motherhood with.

I often make them walk on my broken glass.

I don't like to jump on the trampoline with them because things jiggle.  I yell.  a lot.  I don't follow through with consequences.  I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty.  I compare myself.  I make them walk on my broken glass.

it would be unrealistic to believe that I will never wound them.  but I am going to pull out the broom and once again, begin the clean-up process.  take care of those broken pieces.  I've done a good job with the big ones, but those little pieces.  they cut deeply.  they leave lasting scars.  they need to be gently and thoroughly cleaned up.

because I know without a doubt that when I start to care for myself, it can only be good for those little human beings that call me mom.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


it's going down, I'm yelling timber
you better move, you better dance
let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

this song has been stuck in my head for weeks, along side all the other things that are having issues exiting my really full brain.  two weeks in, on summer vacation and finally I feel just a bit ready to have conversations with adults and not stumble all over my words.  that said, it's been WAY TOO LONG since I last blogged and I've missed it.  that said, since my business is all over the social media world, I'm pretty sure some of you get a ton of over kill from me.  and if you're not following me on instagram or twitter or the old book of faces, seriously, add me.  I like new friends!!

since my last blog post was from the beginning of May and it's now mid-July, I think this post is going to be a catch-up list.  ten weeks is a long time to be gone.  and thinking back on it, a lot has happened in that time.

1.  both hockey and soccer wrapped up.  HAHAHA!  yeah, in my wildest dreams!  apparently I have a second home at the rink and on the field.  I'm pretty sure we get a week off of all sports sometime really soon.  Ty's regular season wrapped up near the end of April, and then he did almost eight weeks of three on three and in there he played in a street hockey tournament.  right now he's in a once-a-week camp.  I'm pretty sure that we'll have a week off before tryouts start again.  soccer is almost the same, but we might actually get close to three weeks off between end of season play and tryouts for indoor.

2.  I bought a new car in June.  meet Barty.  he's a lovely new member of our family and I'm grateful that it all worked out the way we needed it to.  my old car was in some need of repair {pretty sure the entire cooling system needed an overhaul}, and after almost 8 years, I was kinda tired of shoving the hockey bag in my front seat and never trusting if it would overheat if I was stuck on the henday!  that said, he's a basic air {but there is heat...a bigger concern in this climate!}, nothing automatic about this bad boy.  all manual!  but I think I'm in love...

3.  we celebrated Ty's 9th birthday.  of course I had to birth a child in the middle of June.  poor kid has to compete with all the end-of-school-year stress and report cards and just generally, a cranky mother.  that said, we pulled of the easiest birthday party ever, and just had a bunch of kids hang out and play street hockey for a couple of hours.  Ty loved it and it was no work.  the best.  and most importantly, this one turned 9.  I don't want to speak too soon, because it's not even been a month, but we may have turned a bit of a corner with his attitude.  

4.  right after school let out, I went to vegas for a couple of days.  I know that vegas isn't your typical relaxing vacation, but it was for me.  I slept a ton.  read a ton.  and just hung out.  it was lovely!  plus, there was a first-time-evah trip to in-n-out.  it was worth the 40ish year wait.

5.  and then I came home to chaos.  swim lessons.  groceries.  laundry.  kids fighting.  hot weather.  an even hotter house.  all the things I love about summer.  I celebrated my birthday and have had lunch and coffee with a whole lot of people I don't see between spring break and summer break.  summer break is good for my mental health!

6.  on friday we leave for BC.  I'm so excited to get away and that John has a couple of weeks off work.  we need this time away as a family and being stuck in the car for 13 hours or so, will totally do the trick!  eeekkk.  that said, once we get there, it'll be two weeks of sun, heat, pools, lakes and lots of wine.  yippie!

I think I'm going to stop there for this morning.  I started this a couple of cups of coffee ago.  apparently I need to leave to get my roots filled in, in about an hour!! 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

lonely no more

I sat last night in a dark movie theatre with nate and his buddy, and it took everything in me not to have a full-on ugly cry.  and not because the movie was sad.  okay, well it's sad when tris' mom dies.  but divergent hadn't really started yet.  we were only on the trailers!

I've been having a crisis in parenting as of late.  it's not been my usual "I feel guilty for not feeling everyone else's mom guilt", but something that's been resounding just a wee bit deeper.  I've talked about it a bit around these parts, but those of you that follow me on facebook know more of the in-depth trials of parenting my second born.  he gives me a run for my money.  although he is a lot like his mama, he sees the world in black and white with no shade of grey {I'd like to think I am okay with the grey spaces in my world, but perhaps my perspective is slightly skewed!}.  he cares about justice and sees in justice in his own world.  "that's not fair!" is a resounding theme song in his life.  he his hard to parent on so many levels, but because I know he has a feisty, DON'T TOUCH ME kind of approach to life, I don't really worry about him.  I worry that he won't make it to his 9th birthday with me as his mother, but I don't worry that he'll walk away with a stranger.

and then there's my first born.

I have joked for years that I am the queen or the president of the bad mom's club.  I have never done a first day of school with either kid.  I let them quit things, especially if it's something I don't like.  I swear.  I drink.  I let them play outside instead of doing homework.  I feed them mcdonalds.  I buy fruit loops.  a lot.  I cave to their wants.  I forget to remind them to brush their teeth.  I forget our bedtime routine.  I've driven half way to school, only to realize that one of them wasn't buckled into the car correctly.  we yell.  we fight and disagree with each other.  there are tears.  a lot of mine.  more of theirs.  I don't ever feel like I'm doing an excellent job at parenting.  so I'm normal.  I'm not saying all of this because I am trying to play the martyr or to feel bad about myself, it's just the straight up, bare truth.  I am a flawed human who is trying really hard at bringing up other flawed humans.

I've been having some serious regret as of late.  I'm not even sure if regret is the correct word.  worry maybe?  I worry that my bad parenting has started to outweigh the good.  that maybe I'm at the end of the impressionable years.  that at 10 years old, I am more than half way through my years of influence and perhaps I haven't taken my responsibilities as seriously as I should have.  that it's too late.  when I look at the amount of damage in the world and the things that kids have to face, I worry.  a lot.  I worry that I haven't prepared my boys for the onslaught of social media and sexuality that is in the big, bad world.   I've seen a lot of stuff.  I'm not sure that I've prepared them for the harsh reality that being a teenager is really going to be all about.

the finality of it all perhaps struck me in the last few weeks as my family has dealt with the sudden illness and death of my grandmother.  it was my kids first real exposure to death, at an age where  they'll remember.  then at work, I've been dealing with some pretty big kid issues.  cyber bullying with some grade 5s.  kids living away from their parents, trying to cope.  big stuff.

and then there's my first born.

nate will be 11 this summer.  we're heading into the super-special pre-teen years.  one more school year until jr high.  he's my sweet hearted, loyal, kind boy.  he still loves his mama, and is clueless about the world.  he likes playing pranks and teasing, but isn't great having others tease him.  he likes me to pray with him every night before bed.  he's not a perfect kid by any stretch, but I like him.  he's fun to hang out with and we are able to have some great talks.

last night, I realized that perhaps all my misplaced fear is just that.  misplaced.  if I am, at 10, seeing a glimpse of what kind of man he'll become, then the good is outweighing the bad.  one of his best friends is a boy from korea.  watching the two boys interact reminds me of nate's good heart.  his friend talks in broken english, so nate just joined right in.  but nate never makes him feel bad because of his lack of language.  we realized when we got to the theatre that it was andy's very first movie theatre experience in canada, and only his second ever.  so we did the whole big thing with him...sodas, popcorn, candy.  and we had a ton of fun.  as we sat in that theatre, waiting for the movie to start, I started thinking of how grateful I am.  that letting my boys eat mcdonalds when I'm having a tough week at school isn't really having a huge affect on their character.  that when we fight loudly, that we also laugh loudly and demonstrate forgiveness.  that nate's ability to care for others who could be on the outside, has not been negated by my lack of showing up for the first day of school.  that staying up late on a friday night to go to a movie is about relationship building and moment making and not about bedtimes.

maybe what occurred to me even more so, is that I am so grateful that we've had almost 11 years of parenting.  that those years have been loud, happy, angry, frustrating, loving, boring, exciting and really the hardest 11 years of my life.  but I wouldn't trade it for anything, because in spite of my short comings, my kids do reflect all the good.  all the forgiveness.  all the kindness.  all the mercy.  all the passion.  and maybe most importantly, all the grace.  all the things I could possibly hope for from the young men I've been called to raise.

I know that I am blessed.  but this weekend, I've been reminded of how perfection is not a requirement of parenting.  but grace for my own imperfections, is completely required.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

go on

so I took a little trip to boston last week.  I was there for a conference, but totally fell in love with the city.  LOVE.  so some people are ocean/beach people.  I'm an urban person.  cities fascinate me.  the people.  the buildings.  the vibe.  the culture.  they renew my soul.  well turns out, boston is the perfect place for that.  when people say it's a walking city, they're totally correct.  I logged some serious kilometres on my feet.  that and a couple of hundred of pictures on the good camera and I was in heaven!

{okay, so I'm NOT that into american history, but this is cool.  ben franklin is also buried in this cemetery.}

{the old state house.  I really love the contrast between the old and the new.}

{ahhhhh.  and all the irish pubs.  I went to one, but not this one...wish I had!}

{I wish I remember the name of this church.  it's off boylston, in the alphabets.  it may be old south church.  or trinity church.  it's OLD.  1600s, I think.}

{I walked most of the freedom trail...this is the sight of the boston massacre.  I know very little about this time in history; time for some research!!}

{and then we took a ride on the T to fenway.  I don't love baseball, but I sure love the feel of this place.  we were a bit late to go for a tour, so we sat and had dinner with the green monster in sight.}

{our hotel was in east boston, so on our last day we took a cold, cold, windy walk to the harbour and the view of the city was breathtaking and grey.  but beautiful.}

there are a lot of times when people ask me how I do it.  I know what they mean by that question.  how do I work full time, parent full time-ish, have a husband that works 5 nights a week, maintain a bit of a friendship with a couple of peeps, do a couple of other things and generally be happy?  I get the question a lot.  I have a couple of answers though.  first, parenting is a two person gig in my house.  when I'm not around, john isn't just babysitting.  and it's the same when he's not around.  is our current reality perfect?  heck no.  but I can leave the house or leave the country and not worry about my kids.  well, especially now that they're old enough to feed themselves!!!  second, I work hard and play hard and when I take a break, I break at a full stop.  I try to carve out a couple of weekends a month where the kids go to grandma's for a night and I can literally sit on my ass, drink wine and watch tv.  third, I am married to a pretty amazing guy who understands all of this about me.  he gets that I need to pull a full stop every once in a while and he totally supports my need to reboot.  

and maybe most importantly, I really love my life.  I love my job.  love my kids.  love my life.  I am so incredibly blessed and have no reason to complain.  perfection is not what I'm striving for.  messy.  loud.  fierce.  passionate.  spontaneous.  but never perfect.  I am grateful.  for all of it.  especially the mess.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

there is love

sometimes just a line in a song says it all.  for me.  for the people taking the courage today to reach out.  for you, my friend.
don't let the sadness grow
you're beautiful don't, know you know?
it's easy to dive into doubt
but harder to climb back out

and the last line rings incredibly true today:
let joy be the theme of your song.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

gone, gone, gone

I've not had a great couple of weeks.  auto pilot is the name of my game right now.  asleep.  sleep.  lethargic.  cranky.  the absolute antithesis of how I like to live.  there are many contributing factors that are not really excuses, but I've let them become excuses.  mom of two very active boys.  both boys in high level sports.  wife to a man who works shift work.  full time teacher/administrator in a fairly demanding work environment.  busy is my reality and I've let it become my excuse.  my excuse for opting out of my life.  couple this with my desire to please and it's a recipe for emotional disaster.

it's been almost four years since the summer of my crazy.  and I feel the symptoms yet again.  disconnecting.  mood swings.  exhaustion.  auto pilot.

and it's lent.  historically I've given something up for the 40 days leading up to easter, but this year, in light of my head not being in the game, I've decided to shake it up just a bit.

I am ridiculously introspective.  I don't live in my head, but I have a fairly good grasp on how I think, why I think and reflective on the choices I make.  there are pros and cons to having my brain.  I am absolutely my own worst enemy.  and I have a tape in my head that tells me daily that I am a failure.  that I'm a procrastinator.  that I'm lazy.  that I'm fat.  that I'm not worthy.  just to name a few.

in the last few weeks, I've been giving that voice in my head far too much air time.  I am starting to sabotage myself and believe the lies I tell myself.  well, I see it.  I effin' see it.  so, for lent this year, I'm giving up those messages.  I am going to refuse to listen to them.  I am going to SHUT THEM DOWN and give them the finger.  I am going to replace them with messages that are more true:  I am worthy.  I am enough.  I am grateful.  I am beautiful {just the way I am}.  and in this, I am going to practice moderation.  I am going to not let work consume me.  I am not going to let my kids schedule consume me.  I am not going to diet, just fuel my body.  I am going to drink in moderation.  I am going to live my life awake.  not self medicating with food and alcohol.  not wallowing in self pity.  just living my life awake.  in the moment.

I'm going to wish that I just gave up chocolate, aren't I?  and on that note, I wish I could give up marking grade 7 book reports.  but alas, I can't.  sigh,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

home sweet home

it's been almost two months since I last blogged.  well, that's not entirely true.  I have some posts loitering in my drafts section!  I feel like I've lost my writing mojo.  and I'm paying the emotional price for it.  writing is my way of dealing with my world.  when I don't write, I don't process well.  when I don't process well, things start spiralling.  and when things are spinning, I don't write.  see the problem?  I think that the issue in my world is the noise.  "busy" can be a huge excuse, but busy and noisy in combination becomes stifling.    

I don't even feel like I have anything important to say.  which is kinda bull shit, I suppose.  maybe I need to just ease into things with a list.  I like lists.

1.  what the heck happened to february??  this is where busy takes over my world.  hockey.  soccer.  work.  home.  I love watching my kids play their games, but the schedule has been a tad busy for the last few weeks!  we're on the tail end.  hockey playoffs are in two weeks; soccer provincials are at the end of march.  

2.  parenting the 8 year old has been enormously challenging as of late.  I love how he reflects my own insecurities and takes unintentional advantage of my emotional chaos.  my favourite was when he said that HIS dad deserved a nicer wife.  ha!  he is my mirror.  I hate that.  sigh.

3.  some shout out to the beatles.  just 'cause.  have you been playing along with #funshirtfriday ?  WHY THE HECK NOT!!  pull out that beatles t-shirt and have some fun on friday.

4.  my one word necklace showed up.  I love it.  go check out Lisa's blog.  her stuff rocks.

5.  the lego movie.  need I say more?  everything IS awesome!

6.  Ty has been obsessed with learning how to play the piano as of late.  he's been learning how to play chords.  he's figuring out that every scale has chords that complement each other and how they work together to create a song.  o when the saints.  house of the rising sun.  swing low, sweet chariot.  good tunes.  he makes me smile.

7.  and then there was more hockey.  this is why I show up.  that smile.  that love of the game.

8.  then there were the olympics.  I'm in withdrawal.  we did a lot of cheering at school!  I love my country and love hearing our anthem when the flag rises!

9.  this was my book list in January.  I got distracted by the divergent series; I read all three books in two weeks flat!  then I got distracted by a stack of professional reading.  so my stack just sits, with the book on top revolving!  I miss just sitting and getting lost in a good mystery.

10.  we got a new bed in January.  it's more of a new-to-us bed, but I now understand why people don't want to get out of bed in the morning.  I'm sure new bedding helped, but "comfy-cozy" are the words the kids use!  and both of them can climb in and I don't even notice.  LOVE THAT!

11.  I feel like a list is a bit of a cop out, but it is what it is, right?  just because I'm not exposing all my deepest, darkest thoughts, it doesn't devalue the ordinary.  the ordinary isn't what's making the noise in my life, but it, coupled with the noise is creating a contained bomb that is dying to explode.  containment or disarming perhaps, is currently the name of my game.