Fireworks

I'm feeling a little misty-eyed lately over my ratbag children. It's the season of fireworks and where I'm living we've already had four nights of them, and another one tonight. It's Natal Day weekend in Nova Scotia, an event celebrated with even more enthusiasm than Canada Day. This surprised me the first year I was…

Serpent’s teeth and the brilliance of Shakespeare

I hated reading Shakespeare as I grew up. The language seemed difficult, the concepts dry and old. I was, of course, ignorant. And a philistine. Now I know better, and am continually gobsmacked by what Shakespeare was able to contain in his works. I wonder who I was when I was younger - so sure…

When love goes awry…

“And you know what? To protect my kids, I’d lie, too. I’d lie on a stack of Bibles.” Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/02/11/130211fa_fact_keefe#ixzz2K2jZqwHp This story is about a woman who murdered all of her colleagues, supposedly over tenure at a university. And about the "accident" years earlier, where she shot her brother, killing him. It's a fascinating story,…

Mental Health Days

Before I went back to work, when I was spending my days playing with my kids and doing seemingly endless piles of laundry and arbitrating fights and driving people all over the place, every once and awhile, I'd see that we were getting stressed to the max with school and other commitments. So I'd give…

Mothers and daughters and mothers and daughters on and on and on

So here comes another Mother's Day, and with it the maelstrom of feelings that are associated with this Hallmarky "holiday". I have a hate-hate relationship with Mother's Day. When I was a kid, it was a day when I would try to connect with my mother, unsuccessfully. I always did something minimal for Mother's Day…

Big brown…

Big brown bear, blue bull, beautiful baboon, blowing bubbles biking backwards... (The Berenstain's B Book) Jan Berenstain is no more - she passed away today. I don't know of any author who had more of an influence on my kids when wee little. We used to say all the words to the B Book when…

Praising the dog

Way back in being-a-parent-to-three young kids land, I went to a lot of parenting classes. We won't say what it was about those three young kids that led me to parenting classes, but let it suffice that there were at least two occasions where I put them out of the car on the side of…

Positive self-messaging helps! Who’d have thought that?

Okay, it's November 21 and I am way behind in my Nanowrimo word count and I have yet to meet my goal of finishing my novel and etc, so I have a lot of work to do. Of course, being a writer, this leads to crashes of depression about my choice to pursue this course,…

Messages of fear

I've been watching the growth and development of my daughter from afar, of necessity because she still avoids me for some unknown reason. At one point, when we were still talking, she told me that "all my messages were ones of fear".  This always struck me as unfair. I have always walked openly into the…

“She’s her mother, but I birthed her…”

One day, while sitting in a greasy spoon somewhere, I was treated to this shouted explanation of a child's presence.  The child in question sat between two huge-bosomed women in tight T-shirts.  Their greasy dirty-blonde hair matched their greasy skin.  The child, a smallish, grey-coloured girl, looked unsurprised by this comment. It took me a…