Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 25th

Yesterday was my birthday. One of my friends sent me this wish: "I hope your day has at least five moments that feel like 'ah, yes, this is right'." I got the wish just before I started with my day. It was perfect timing. It rested on my brain the entire day. And here is my list of 5 ah yes, this is right moments:
  1. A few moments of cuddly giggly time with my son in the morning while
  2. my husband went downstairs to peel all the potatoes for lunch to get them started.
  3. Singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs in my mom's church. I know you'll get that one, Wendy. I love my church but I'll be honest there is just NOTHING like 4 part harmony that you'll find in a Mennonite church.
  4. My positively wonderful sister-in-law passing me a quilt that she had knitted specially for me. That she knitted for me over the past few months while she prayed for my children. I have wanted a homemade knitted quilt for probably about 25 years. I now have one. I'm the luckiest.
  5. Opening a gift from my mom (we had to do second hand or homemade) to see a tiny pair of mittens that my great-grandmother knit for me when I was a wee babe. I could have cried.
  6. Bonus: Going off to see a late movie with one of my favorite brothers, my favorite sister and my bestest mom.

It was a happy day. Some things suck about having my birthday on Christmas Day but oh so very few. I get to be with people I love on my birthday and that's a good thing.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 21st

This day always makes me think of my dad and smile.

I have a very vivid memory of being home on this day once many years ago hearing dad as he headed out the door to do morning chores: "I'm going to go kick that ox right in the a**."

First off, he was being witty which wasn't rare for him (referring to the equinox) but what was rare was the curse word. That's probably why I remember it so vividly. Probably not even viewed as a curse word nowadays but it certainly was to him as were "darn" and "heck" and various other words. He was a man who believed in speaking your mind more succinctly and eloquently and not just falling in to exclamations. I even remember times when he would look at me sharply when I said "shoot". He thought they were unnecessary and cheap.

But, I digress. Back to that ox. It's winter soltice. The shortest day of the year. From here on out, each day there is a little more sunlight. Winters were hard on my father. He was not a man who was up at the crack of dawn. And so having evenings get dark oh so early in the winter played heavily on his emotions and moods. It made it hard to live with him during some of those dark, cold winter days. (Keep in mind he was also a farmer so he was outside at times when most of us would just cuddle under our throw blanket and switch the channel on the remote.) And so the glimmer of hope that today offered him made this one day of winter a little less painful than most.

I feel like I should drink a toast to him today or something. But, since he was a teetotaler that might not be so appropriate. Perhaps a cup of instant coffee instead?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Would that I had this attitude

Jack, pulls out the bathroom scale this morning, steps on it and when he sees the number, proudly shouts out, arms lifted high in the air: "I win! I win!".

Friday, December 10, 2010


It is hard being Abby these days. And a lot of times it’s hard being Abby’s mom. But, this isn’t about me, at least not for right now.

My little girl used to be confident and brave and outgoing and charming. And then she started kindergarten. And I feel like I could just stop typing right there because just typing that sentence alone makes me want to cry. Some days it feels like we threw her to the wolves. She has become shy and timid and so very, very scared of nearly everything pretty much overnight.

She is scared of:
  • Santa*
  • Sharks
  • Going to the second storey by herself
  • Performing at her winter concert
  • Movies
  • Any sporting event where someone might fall and get hurt
  • The Survivor challenges in case someone gets hurt
And that’s just the list that I thought of spur of the moment.

And she is trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs and who her friends are. I attended a birthday party with her last week and watching her there among all those girls broke my heart. She was a periphery friend at best. She is not the coolest kid there. She is not even the second or third coolest kid there. No little girls are running over to her to beg her to play with them. It’s not that I want her to be the coolest kid. I really, really don’t. That requires a bit of overconfidence and a bit of a sense of bossiness or show-offness that I don’t want to see in my daughter. But, I know that friendships are an important part of going to school.

She has two girls** that she refers to as her best friends and I can tell you quite honestly that these girls wouldn’t even mention Abby as one of their friends let alone their best friends. (ie. One of these girls has a birthday party this weekend with oodles of little friends and Abby did not receive an invite.) She is trying to emulate these girls because she worships them. And so we are receiving attitude and whining and head-tilting eye-rolling as a result which adds to the “it’s hard being Abby” as she then receives discipline at home.

I know that it’s just kindergarten and I know that this too shall pass and next year could be completely different. But, it’s hard. It’s hard to watch and it’s hard to be her. And I am determined to send God with her to kindergarten every day and I am determined to make her home one of safety and love (in amongst the discipline).

I just find myself wanting to shout from the rooftops (and to myself): “PLEASE, world, be kind to her; it’s hard being Abby these days!”

* To the point that we had to help her write a letter to Santa begging him not to come to our house at Christmas. Although, in all fairness with this one, the idea of an old fat strange man coming to my house uninvited in the middle of the night to eat our food and drink our milk seems a little frightening to me too.

** They have long blonde hair. And that is a big part of the reason (she told me) that Abby picked them to be her best friends. So, our girl, with the stunningly beautiful dark brown hair is also apparently envious of blonde.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Yup, that's about right

It's Christmas so it stands to figure that both our fridge would crap out and the heater on our car would be kaput. Seems about right.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Love is...

a 72 year-old woman climbing up a ladder so that she can sleep in the top bunk with her extremely excited youngest granddaughter.