Dear Sophia and Tristan*,
Earlier tonight, I told you that tomorrow you are not getting any video games and I’m sticking to my decision. Actually, I’m extending that to all screen time. Tomorrow you are not getting any time on the iPhone, iPad, laptop, X-Box or even staring at the blank TV screen.
I’ll accept you looking through the window screen if you want to see outside. That’s it.
I’ll explain why.
First, let me tell you what I’m not doing:
I am not “punishing” you because I‘m upset. Although I am upset. I feel taken advantage of and disrespected…
I couldn’t stop the tears.
Both my kids were sleeping. At age 8 and age 10 mid-day naps are a rarity. At that moment, napping was a necessity.
I would’ve napped myself, had I not had that second coffee.
I glare at my phone.
I shut off the screen and shove it into the back pocket of my jeans. Not today, now now, I tell myself.
Seven minutes later I find myself re-reading that short text which sets my teeth on edge.
His message is in response to a child-scheduling request I’d made. I thought I’d been very polite and straightforward.
He coulda just answered no. Or that won’t work for me. Or how about this instead.
Instead, his 57-word response had me feeling unseen, misunderstood, and devalued as a parent.
I would like to think my conundrum is…
A mother-daughter duo gets up. They have a song to share.
It is the last night of family camp. We have feasted on freshly-made pizza, we have toasted to the joys of the week, we have eaten ice cream. It is time for the talent show.
The almost eleven-year-old girl leans her head back on her mother’s shoulder. This way they can both quietly sing their home-made lullaby into the mic.
I know this song.
This is the kind of song that grows in loving families. I learned about it from having children.
We create these songs when our children…
She will need to differentiate herself from me in ways that I probably can’t even imagine yet.
He has already started to casually wiggle his hand out of mine in that last half-block before school.
So for the moment, I’m going to cherish that she wants us to wear the same colour of lip gloss, both leave our hair out “loose and crazy”, and put on our matching dresses.
At present, there is no better use of my time than thoughtfully reflecting on variant #472 of the question: “Who would win: Harry Potter or Percy Jackson? Hephaestus or Dumbledore?”
“Love you, Mama!” my daughter says as she wraps her little arms around my waist and squeezes with all her might.
“Love you too, Chicken,” I respond dropping down to my knees. “Can I see your little face for a moment?”
We both reach up to move the mop of damp curls off her forehead. I cup her heart-shaped face with both of my hands and she cups my hands with hers. I lean over to look straight into her eyes.
“You mean the world to me,” I whisper. I kiss her forehead. She smells like lavender bubble bath.
Over the past few years, my children (now seven and nine) and I have become adept at long-haul roadtrips. Our annual vacation has us driving over 2500 km from Montreal to Tatamagouche (Nova Scotia) and back.
Our first year, I (naively) thought we could book it across three provinces with just a short night’s sleep along the way. All three of us crumbled with exhaustion. My usually robust sense of adventure went MIA pretty quick.
As a solo parent (and obviously the only driver), I’ve had to be strategic about where to put my energy and what to let go…
Do you know what I respond when people ask me how my children like their school?
“They love it,” I answer truthfully.
“And, the curriculum?”
“And, the teachers?”
“Kind and empathetic,” I respond.
“What about the social aspect?” they’ll dig further.
“Amazing!” I’ll say.
“After school activities?”
“Rich and varied,” I’ll assure them.
If they dig a little deeper — perhaps they are inquiring for their own future kindergartners — I’ll admit that I wish there was more green space. More trees and grass would be nice. Did you know William Shatner went there? I rack my…
I’ve been vaguely following the Serena Williams catsuit debacle from afar — rolling my eyes at the evident sexist, racist, ageist, and beauty standard crap in this situation. Tonight, I learned that her catsuit is a compression suit: she is wearing it to prevent blood clots.
I had thrombophlebitis (blood clots) with both my pregnancies and was at serious risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (bigger blood clots), which can cause a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs), which damages the lungs and can cause death. …
Learning to parent whole-hearted children in a complex world. I don’t have any answers, just a whole lot of questions.