Archive | May 2012

it’s old school – scrapes and all

the smell of summer before the sun comes up makes me nostalgic. i love the subtle smell that greets me as i slide open the patio door. the sun is still sleepy but the promise of summer makes my toes tingle.  there are hundreds of memories that tumble free as i inhale that sweet cool air…

mostly i remember carefree days where kids tumbles from house to house unencumbered….no mothers trailing them. i remember jumping on my bike and cruising up and down the streets for hours…we moved in a pack, bikes abandoned at the tops of driveways as we made our way through the neighbourhood from house to house. there were no requisite snack times or water bottles strapped to our bikes and sunscreen was ‘saved’ for days at the beach. we flew down streets, wind whipping our hair (helmets hadn’t arrived) legs pumping, lungs full of air as we yelled out to each other plans for the next stop.

i yearn for those moments for my son and his friends, and fear they may not be able to find the freedom in the childhood of today.  good mamma’s make sure their kids are prepped (boy scouts ain’t got nothing on some of the moms i know) first aid kits, sunscreen, snacks, water, sun hats, change of clothes …you name it they’ve got it. i’m not quite there, i am somewhere in the half-light…i’ve got some band aids and polysporin and usually some water…but sometimes we run out.

last evening we slid into my childhood for a few hours. my son ran into his good friend at the schoolyard where they were surreptitiously both on bikes. my little guy was trying out his ‘big bike’ (pedal bike) that actually is quite big….and he was determined to ride it on his own…despite him just mastering the small pedal bike last week.  i had the smaller bike in the car and asked if he wanted to switch it up. i got a pretty emphatic “NO.” so i let him have at it, and saluted his determination and stubbornness (kinda got it from me…well the stubbornness). so there is my son whipping after his buddy, dropping of curbs and making his way down steeper hills than i would have liked. i smiled, it was the way of kids

First Pedal Bike – 3 rides to master

Big Bike – working on it

after watching him (sort of hawk-like) i just chilled and let him be. i saw them out of the corner of my eye making their way around the schoolyard/park and heard them yelling at each other . they were figuring out where to go next.  a little piece of my heart fell into place, and i felt they were free–moms and rules were forgotten.

i laughed and turned to my buddies mom and talked to her about ‘pulling’ my son out of the his ‘bike lessons.’ a few months back my husband and i had enrolled him in a bike lesson so he would master the pedal bike–mainly because he wanted to ride with his older friends. note–“pedal bike”–cause he has already mastered the run bike (actually two of them-we had to upgrade). kamikaze doesn’t even cover it. we  kind of hemmed and hawed because we thought he would already be riding by the time the lessons arrived–but they fill up fast…and there you have it. lessons fill up fast. but really, when did bike riding become a “lesson?”  well,  i think right about the time kids were no longer able to run and roam free in their neighbourhood, and parents were struggling to find that time to teach their kids to bike–why not consider lessons? i’m not knocking lessons or the reasons parents put their kids their, as a parent i know we are all just doing our best, but last night i had a moment. i remember rolling with the training wheels and the big orange flag…and having fun. one look at the boys, and you could feel the sparkle in their eyes… these kids were having fun and were free.  i liked it, a lot.

Old school training wheels

and then i heard it, the unmistakable wail of my child–and as he cried out for me, i thought, as different as things are today, they are still  much the same.  as i ran up to him and untangled him from the bike–a move every mom has done at least once in her life,  i scooped him up and hugged him tight. i checked his face, no blood…i relaxed..i was pretty sure the knee and elbows would be scraped (yes, no pads) but that is the price of learning to ride. after a minute or so, i checked him out and sure enough the tell tale scrape, gravelled and grey with the promise of blood was stamped across his knee. this would have been an unprepared moment of mine, so i used the tried and true technique to clean him up.  saliva and my whole hand across the knee for 30 seconds while we talked about falling down and getting up again.  a couple of minutes later, he high-fived me and was back on his bike– a little bit bloody but full of an energy and confidence that kids keep bottled inside for moments like these. i think we are skipping those lessons–we are going to go old school.

as the sun dipped we headed into his buddies house for some food–we had passed real dinner time and the kids were waning. later that night as i tucked him into bed and he drifted off to sleep i too drifted. i remember the falls, scrapes and scratches that really are the badges of my childhood–although most have faded i have a few good reminders that line my skin. those white lines that ‘mar’ me are reminders to:

Learn to bike badge!!

always pick yourself up when you fall
with a little practice you can get where you want to go
friends are awesome
wind in your hair is the ultimate sense of freedom
getting dirty is part of the fun
scrapes heal, and you learn to something from each one

ok summer (and life) we’re ready…

stoke the embers

a few weeks ago i was deliberating where i was in this life. i kept asking myself “what is going to light my fire?”

like most of us, i contemplated my path …i waffled, wondered and wavered. conversations rewound themselves and replayed. amidst the questions and qualms i found myself taking a step back. i gave myself permission to take things day by day, moment by moment.

what was going to light my fire? and at the precipice of this chasm, when i was wading into a sea of doubt, i realized my fire was lit. the burning embers were smouldering, not dying out, not gone, but burning steadily waiting to be fanned.

the deliberations and the examinations are part of the journey.  the thoughts zinging in my head are contemplative, explorative and suggest the tides of change are coming. i’m embracing this time–this is not tumultuous instead  it’s a ‘shake-up.’

right now i am stoking the embers.  i am sure the fire is coming.

have you ever faltered before you’ve flown?


“your bootiful…”

i’m sipping my wine on the couch this evening,  while my 3.5 year old is savouring Monster Math. out of the blue he says “your bootiful mamma.” those 3 words broke my heart wide open. i hope he still feels that way when he’s 25. but right now, in this moment i’ll cherish those words.

today on this mothers day, the sun shone bright, very bright and i saw a few more laugh lines. lines which i have to admit aren’t going anywhere so i’ve decided they kinda suck. those lines don’t make me feel beautiful but those three words did. i guess that is the beauty of children they keep you humble, and they teach you–maybe a little more than you teach them.

revelling in the sweetness and surety of his compliment i though of all the amazing mothers i know. women who are a kaleidoscope of todays motherhood–a blend of old and new. they are the ones who tuck there kids in, put band aids on their scrapes, hold them tight until they need to let them go all while encouraging, inspiring and igniting the fire in their children, that same fire that burns within them.

these are the mammas who are working full-time but are still picking their kids up every day at 3:30, they are taking culinary classes and running marathons, returning the mat leave subsidy because they were dipping their toes in their profession whilst on their  leave. they are the ones buying businesses and revamping them while cruising in their convertible–carseats safely strapped in the back …and then there are the throwbacks. those who skip out on their career to hang with their kids. they worked out where they want to be and decided to bench themselves for a while. they hung up their high heels and Prada to just be.

today i saw a myriad of mothers…the sassy and sweet grandmothers, the lululemon ponytailed moms patrolling the playground, the the scores of expectant moms revelling in what was to come and one of my favourites the fashion fierce mamma shepherding superman off the playground in her Gucci heels.  for all the differences there was a lot of the sameness–mammas are amazing, they are powerful and the pride they have in their children is immeasurable.

whether we’ve taken on the role of mamma, are trying to take it on, or sagely decided to take a pass…we can take a moment to respect the role of motherhood. mothers should be treasured everyday, but in case they are not, let’s take moment to thank the mother or mothers who’ve gotten us where we are today.

to all the mamma’s i know, remember you are beautiful.

Surfboards, sand and a parrot

This weekend I was on Tofino time. It is kind of like island time…there is sun, sand, and a lot of surfing. Bedtimes disappear and cocktail hour is always early.

It is as west coast as it gets, next stop Japan…so it’s best to avoid the riptides. It’s throw back to simpler times…cell service is spotty but you really don’t care.  Phones are tucked away and turned off. People are just hanging out, staring at wide open waves and watching the wetsuits rise and ride a wave, even if only for the briefest of  moments.

Strangers tune into each other and talk. Children make fast friends. A stretch of sand as far as the eye can see, captivates young, small, tall and old…and every now and then when you are just chilling out on the beach with the sand and the surfers you might even meet a parrot.  It’s Tofino time..and believe me it is  a magical place.

Is there a place where you can just let your hair down and chill?

kreative or klever?

writing thoughts, stories, feelings and words can be considered courageous and maybe a little brave, or perhaps the anonymity of sharing is what allows the inner narcissist to come tumbling to the surface?

but  the other day i was gifted  with a little sparkle in my days. apparently he words that i impress on these pages made someone laugh and she nominated me for a “kreative blogger award.” Thank you Aimee of the Burned Hand–oh the name sounds a bit dangerous…but it is heartfelt, much like Aimee’s writing which is optimistic, honest and earnest.

so i made her laugh and got something special for my efforts–an award with elusive origins but admirable nonetheless. the rules…

  1. You must thank the person who gave you the award.
  2. You must list ten facts about yourself.
  3. You must tag other bloggers to nominate them for the award and let them know you that you’ve nominated them.

the thank you and paying it forward part is pretty straightforward, but the 10 facts, well i think that is just a clever way to get people to spill. maybe it should be the Klever award?

so here are 10 things about me:

1. i savour my first sip of coffee every morning…
2. i love shoes
3. i’m not funny, but i am happy to have others laugh at my escapades
4. i love the smell of fresh rain
5. i talk a lot
6.  i love being outside doing something
7.  i took up mountain biking, but like going up rather than down…this is an anomaly believe me
8.  sometimes when i am driving i don’t believe i am here–in my head i am still 17 driving my VW
9.  i ♥ my family — thank goodness they put up with me…although my sister just moved cross country and out of country?
10.  i’m glad i am here…it’s different than i thought but that is the fun of it all

so who inspires me, or makes me smile?  well these ladies do.  (yes, ladies you rock)
100things100days – a minimalist in the making but who is crawling out of the clutter
pithypants – funny, funny
observing ourselves observing – inspiring!
andrealeber – yoga on and off the mat –i like it

so to my fellow bloggers, keep sharing and inspiring. i appreciate the reads and comments.