Monday, 31 March 2014

The perfect snowman

Taunting us with the odd sunny or mild day, buds appearing on the trees and even crocuses peeking their tips through the snow, Spring has been reluctant to show us her full beauty this year. I am not alone in feeling that winter has been long. I’m simply done. I have been for about a month now.

I did however, feel a certain sadness last week as the temperatures rose above zero and the snow began to melt. Sadness that I had missed out on truly experiencing winter with my daughter.

I had three goals this winter: take her skating, go snow shoeing, and build a snow man during an afternoon of rolling around in the snow. None of those things happened for one reason or another. It was too windy... it was too icy... the temperatures were too low... it was too icy...  or on the days we had great snow and/or weather I had to work or was in the grip of seasonal depression... also, did I mention it was icy? So we spent our winter days doing music classes, making art and going for drives to the locks to watch the water smash through the snow and ice. While all of that was marvellous, and she got to go skating a couple times this year (I just wasn’t there to see it), I didn’t make it out on snowshoes and the snowman just didn’t happen for one reason or another.

So, this weekend when it was apparent that Spring was being a little shy again, and we had 6 inches of snow dumped on us I was surprised to find myself thrilled. Walking outside Sunday morning in the mild air with all this PERFECT snow fort, snowman, snowball making snow I knew that I would finally get to have my winter day with my snow angel. It was perfect – snowball fights (I think we have a future softball player), snow  sculptures and yes, a snowman (a wee creepy thanks to the help of Papa (who I think secretly just wanted to get it over with and made “balls” of snow quickly). 

We held onto each other and rolled across the lawn, clumps of snow sticking to the yarn of our scarves and mittens. We poured maple syrup into clean snow and ate our failed attempt at toffee. It was joyous and the first time I think I’ve truly just let my walls down to let my inner child play since the fall.

How are you making out with our latest dumping of snow?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Top 3 things a toddler can say to make you melt

Can I hold you Mama?

This morning my daughter crawled on my lap and asked, "Can I hold you Mama?" I promptly wrapped my arms around her and nuzzled my face in her neck as she did the same to me.

Then she started rocking. Back and forth ever so slowly. When I stopped she looked at me and asked, "Keep rocking Mama?" So I did. And then she started to sing.

"Rockabye Mama...."

"Penelly keep singing?" she asked unsure of herself. Through choked off tears I replied with a nod. 

I wish I could remember what she sang exactly. It was something along the lines of, "Rockabye Mama in the tree top... wind blows... rocks... down... and all... rainbows... cradle." Which was hilarious and sweet - but then she started making up words like we do with her when we sing her goodnight. She started singing all these things we've said over the past couple months and I sat in awe of how much she truly is absorbing form us.  

Then she asked to go brush her teeth. 


Thursday, 2 January 2014


“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 

--Neil Gaiman

Hear that Mamas? Papas? Parents to be? This quote sparks so much emotion, determination and motivation in me, and on many different levels. It is the epitome of inspiration: a mistake. Think of all the remarkable things you have done in your life after you've made a mistake. Now imagine if we put that determination to doing amazing things after making a mistake with our children rather than beat ourselves up; rather than live in the shadow of this fear that we'll do it again. OF COURSE we're going to do it again. Hopefully not the same mistakes, but mistakes all the same. 

So, what if we applied Gaiman's quote to parenting in 2014. Are we going to make mistakes? I sure as hell hope so! Why? because they help us grow as people and as parents. They are the fuel that will help us to become the guide and mentor we aspire to be, and to provide for our children one day. I say let's make them with childhood wonder, take a lesson from every single one of them and experience what comes from the mistakes.

Happy New Year my Lovelies.