Sunday, June 15, 2014

To my boy

On this Father’s Day, my oldest boy became a father. Of a boy of his own. It happened in the wee hours of the morning as if his son had decided to punctuate his own grand entrance with the exclamation point of significance that this day gives. My boy is a father. After giving birth to three wonderful sons, my world welcomes one more. And of course, today of all days, I am hoping that I have taught my son everything he needs to know as he becomes a parent himself.

I hope he knows to look for reasons to laugh more than reasons to anger. I hope he knows that time passes so quickly that even when you feel exhausted by the enormity of what you are living through, this too shall be gone in the blink of an eye and you will soon be marveling at what once was. I hope he knows to drink in every blessed moment of the adventure ahead of him, good and difficult because it will all become the fabric of a life that he will one day look back upon and smile. I hope he knows to smile with his face and heart and soul every time he sees his boy because it will lift his small spirit as he grows before us.

What I do know is that my son now knows that no matter how full your heart is with love, no matter how complete your life feels and full and happy, there is always room for more love.

And your heart wonders how you ever lived before that love came in to fill you up.

With all the love that fills my blessed heart.

For Chris and Lincoln.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I'm Ready

As I arrived home on a beautiful spring Saturday, on a much-adored Canadian long weekend, I decided to immerse myself in the totality of my alone-ness and have a bath. I poured my self-indulgent red wine, lit the candles, ran the water until it steamed, poured in the bath salts with lavender and skipped my usual step of adding enough bubble bath to make the tub overflowing with lather and luxury.

I lowered myself into the clear water dotted with the lavender that filled the bathroom with a scent equally intoxicating and relaxing. There was nowhere to hide. And it is in these moments, those of you who know me best, that my mind carries me to a place of curious observation.

In my 50 years I have crafted a consistent and hopefully stylish outward message of who I am. I am enveloped in my style, my mask, my costume that is specific to me and honed after years of succeeding and failing, loving and losing, winning and falling down. We all do that. Each mask is different but we all possess one. It was in the quiet of my bath, in the absence of every defense even against my own loudest-of-all judgment of myself that I saw myself clearly.

I saw my legs, still seeming long from where my eyes see but looking somehow different from the ones that have carried me so far. But they are the legs that guided me away from destruction, by self and others. They are the legs that stood by my children in hospital emergency rooms, as they lay broken and bruised and they did not falter. They are the legs that walked away when the time was right and will carry me forward to whatever awaits me.

I saw my hands, drops of water shimmering as they glided down my fingers, lingering, pondering the great fall. The wrinkles magically moved from the backs of my hands to the tips of my fingers, reminding me that all things, beautiful or not, are temporary. And so are we.

I saw my belly, now round and giving. The one I try so hard to hide and suppress when I put my mask on every day. And I felt thankful that I was blessed to carry and birth three beautiful, perfect people. Without them, my belly, in its wrinkled, rounded form would not be the same; nor would I. How sad would that be?

I sank deep in the warmth of the water. I took a sip of my wine. I took a deep breath of the lavender. And I was happy. Let the next great chapter begin. I’m ready.

If you have enjoyed my ramblings today, even just a little, please send out a thank you to Ernest Hemingway who provided the wonderful advice, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And just like that...

It's funny how in the blink of an eye, everything changes.

You may have noticed my absence from writing lately (or perhaps not). I could provide a few reasonable explanations...

1) I am back to working crazy hours

2) I only write when I'm experiencing anxiety (as previously noted by a dear friend of mine) and of late, that is not my life. Happily.

3) No reason. Just no reason to write (although I think true writers would argue there's always a reason to write).

But today? Today there is most certainly a reason to write.

Today, I am able to formally, publicly, loudly announce that I am going to be a grandmother.


The person who is still coming to terms with being the mother of three adult boys.

The person who is still deciding what she wants to do when she grows up.

The person who does NOT feel like she it turning 50 in two weeks.

But that is exactly what is happening. All of the above.

There seems to be a cosmic message coming my way... My eldest turning 30. Me turning 50. Becoming a grandmother (albeit not for another 7 months). And person after person asking me "how am I dealing with all of this?" "Am I panicked?" I should be panicked according to all contributors.

My thoughts thus far?

This is my opportunity to redefine what it means to be a 50 year old mother of three and grandmother of one. Just as I redefined (for me if no one else) what it meant to be a teenage mother or a female in a male dominated field. The way I see it, grandparents get all of the benefit without any of the cost. Baby fun without the sleepless nights. Spoiling without the entitled brat behavior. Giving drum kits without the endless pounding. Ha.

This grandma (and to be clear, the official "grandma" name is, as of yet, undetermined) will be all love, fun and relaxation but she will also be the grandma in heels, a cocktail in hand and passport not far from reach. Her lessons will include the perfect macaroni and cheese as well as how to maximize your god-given assets (whatever they may be) and how to see all the important stuff in the Louvre without having to walk all those endless halls of exhibits. There will be no cardigans, knitting or reading glasses with the chain on them so you don't lose them. There is no reason to comply with stereotypes at this stage of life, in my humble opinion.

Baby, we're both in for a fun ride!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What the Dongle Is That?

I recognized a while ago that I really don't watch a lot of tv; certainly not enough to justify my monthly cable bill. In fact the only thing that has kept me from calculating the estimated cost per hour of view time is how depressing the result would be. So when Netflix was recently recommended to me (and well after my youngest extolled its virtues based solely on his upcoming party for the release of Arrested Development) I decided to jump in and sign up to see what all the fuss is about.

Here's the thing... I don't have an XBox or Playstation or whatever other "device" they recommend to stream the feed through. But wait a moment... I'm sure I've seen the Netflix logo on my tv before, but from where? Turns out, my BluRay player shows that it's capable of playing Netflix (or so I think). So over I scroll, highlight the Netflix logo and wait in breathless anticipation. Only to be dissuaded by this message:

Install WiFi Dongle to continue.

I beg your pardon!?

Google, would you mind explaining what a wifi dongle is? And Google, as always, did right by me. Turns out a wifi dongle is an antennae. That's it. Which begs the question, who names this stuff? And why not just call it what it is?

I think the IT super-brains who create all the new toys that we can't live without like to name things by a name that means nothing to us just to further impose their superiority upon us. Yes. We love your product. No. I can't explain what a dongle is but if you say I need it, I KNOW I do. I should buy a few.

But wait again... I have a bin full of cables and plugs and spare accessories from IT purchases over the years. A big bin. A really big bin. A really big bin that I thought I was going to throw my back out lifting. A really big bin with heaps of tangled cables and wires, five old cell phones and yes, a wifi dongle! Who's the gal? I am.

Anyway, dongle installed and Netflix linked. I'm tired. I'll watch something tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I do

Two former colleagues were married this weekend. Two more women declaring publicly their faith not only in their chosen partners but also in the institution of marriage.

In the face of growing statistics regarding the percentage of failed marriages and the attached string of broken hearts, they have faith that they will be happy. Ever after. Or maybe they have faith in being together with their partner is better being alone. I could agree with that one. Alone is certainly not for everyone (and I think I have stated many times here that I really don't think it's for me either but life carries on, right?).

But as I scrolled through the ongoing Facebook stream of wedding day photographs with smiles and loving looks and palpable support and love from those witnessing the declaration of vows, it seems like such a good thing to believe in.

Faith. It is a wonderful thing. Faith in love is the best thing of all. It's enough to make my cynical heart believe as well.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Adding Up

I seem to be fixated on numbers of late. Maybe because my job is increasingly numbers-focused. Maybe because I'm turning 50 soon (now there's a number for ya). Maybe there's no explaining it at all.

But whatever the reason, I think more and more of the sums of what I have made of this life. Today's number topic? Birthdays.

I was talking with my oldest son's partner earlier as she and I were making plans for "The Boy's" upcoming birthday.

Note to Christopher: Quit snooping to find out details! Geez!!

I made an off-handed comment about the number of birthdays I have been given the delight of celebrating because of my boys. Adding them up, 30 for the oldest (counting the one coming right around the corner), 24 for the middle and 22 for the youngest. That's 76 birthdays.


McDonald-Land Birthdays. Chucky Cheese Birthdays. Airport Birthdays. Bowling Birthdays. Sleep-over Birthdays. Superhero Birthdays. And more Superhero Birthdays.

That's a lot of parties and cake and presents and loud kids. And it's a lot of love. Throughout all, the smiles remain exactly the same.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Faster than you think...

I've written about karma before. I absolutely believe in the concept and have faith in its existence. I had a great conversation with friends over the weekend about karma.

We all have people who either are still in our lives or who have exited that we are less than fond of. Come on, admit it... You know you do. I know I do. But whatever my feelings about them, present or past, I always have faith that the universe will take care of everyone with the respect and love they have earned. Call it kismet. Call it fate. Call it whatever you want but I have absolute certainty that it's true.

So when the conversation turned this weekend to what happens to people who have been unkind or even cruel, of course I invoked the "karma works" provision.

What I didn't think of then and what has occurred to me since is that karma has already done its thing. If two people part, whether they be life partners, family, friends, colleagues, coworkers or whatever, after one has been heartless to the other, pay attention. From my experience, one person, the individual who has been unkind, remains in that place of darkness that allowed them to treat another individual in this way. And the other, the person who felt the sting of words or actions, now being free is also free to feel true happiness. Oh sure, once in a while one person will have to deal with the other but they are now inherently separate. Positive from negative.

Isn't that karma in its most simple application? Karma works faster than you think. And thank all goodness for that.