I stumbled across this blog post today and it said everything that I think and feel in my heart about raising a girl in a Christian environment. Really… There’s nothing left for me to say. So I’m not going to say anything other than YOU SHOULD READ THIS: One Thing Your Daughter Doesn’t Need You To Say.
(The follow-up – 12 Things Your Daughter Needs You To Say - is pretty good too.)
I think I’ll be bookmarking these and reading them often.
Every group’s got an Unfriendly Mom. Maybe she’s shy. Maybe she’s preoccupied. Maybe she’s exhausted. Maybe she’s a bitch. WHO’S TO SAY, really. It hardly even matters. The point is that wherever you gather a few moms in the same place, you’re guaranteed to get one of these.
Last week, I GOT OURS TO BE FRIENDLY TO ME.
And she’s been friendly every day since.
And this victory comes after almost an entire year of daily friendliness on my part – of the almost-over-the-top kill-her-with-kindness variety (my specialty). And don’t underestimate the effort I put in… It makes me completely insane when someone doesn’t like me, so I was not going to give up on this easily.
Please allow me to bask in the glory of this little turn of events, just for a few more days.
“See, Lindsay? IT ALL WORKS OUT.”
This line has been spoken – irritatingly – by one of my less optimistic friends about a hundred times this month. It’s hilarious, actually. It’s like we’ve somehow (temporarily) reversed roles and he’s suddenly the one telling me how awesome it’s all going to be.
The most irritating part of it all is that HE IS ABSOLUTELY 100% RIGHT.
Every time I wonder where next month’s freelance work will be coming from, the emails show up in my inbox and I’m all booked up.
Every time I wonder how I’ll deal with the latest childcare shortage in our family, someone’s schedule opens up and there’s ALWAYS someone here to love on B.
Every time I wonder how I’ll make it through another health challenge, the answers – and the strength – come. And I do.
It all works out.
When will I FINALLY internalize that lesson? It would save so much stress + drama.
Well, I survived the day I’ve been dreading all winter: the first day of spring when warm weather clothes were totally unavoidable.
Today was 26 or 27 degrees with a bright sunny sky and a minimal breeze. I should have been excited about that. Instead, I almost cried. I am definitely dealing with a flare this week – and solo parenting to boot – and so my anxiety issues started to spiral and I felt too fat to appear in public. But apparently, that’s not an excuse to keep your kid home from school. So I put on this bright + colourful sundress, slid on some flip flops, and walked out the door.
And I lived to tell the tale.
Someday, I will have a day that doesn’t feel like a beginning-to-end struggle to survive. Then eventually, there will be a couple of those days strung together. And maybe those days in a row will turn into weeks in a row – and then months in a row – and I’ll be able to LIVE again. And then I’m going to throw some *extra* energy into getting myself down to a healthy weight again instead of this thing I’m doing now where I do my best but it mostly feels like I’m treading water and getting some of it up my nose. This little miracle I’ve just described will probably not happen this summer. But I can’t hide inside and miss everything. I WON’T hide inside and miss everything.
And THAT is why super adorable maxi dresses exist.
Today has been full of the smallest, most random – but totally awesome – blessings, and I felt like they really needed to be celebrated here.
I was really stressed out about today. Geoff is working (again) and yesterday didn’t go very well. I had a morning full of medical to-do’s to take care of and a pile of freelance work to deal with.
My first blessing came in the form of Briony’s best friend’s mom who not only offered to have Briony over for a playdate this afternoon but actually volunteered to take her straight from school.
I went straight from school to my doctor’s appointment – via Starbucks, of course, where the baristas were cheerful and chatty (in a good way) – and from there, it was down to the dungeon for bloodwork. The dungeon is one of my least favourite places in the world because it’s always crowded and the lab techs there are truly terrible at drawing blood. It’s always a long wait, always painful, and always results in prolonged bleeding and a lovely new bruise on my arm. Needless to say, I took my number and then my seat without a lot of sunshine in my heart. The only available seat was next to an older lady who was muttering under her breath about how long she’d been waiting and how awful this place was. GREAT. I waited beside her for a few minutes, and every once in a while she’d make a comment to me about how grumpy she was. I was still 7 or 8 numbers away from being called in for my bloodwork when she was called in for her EKG. At that moment, she realized that they’d screwed up the numbers – they had originally told her that she needed to take a number, but the numbers were for bloodwork and not EKGs – so she quietly slipped me her number and told me to have a nice day. My new number was the very next one to be called. And the lab tech (someone new) administered the most painless and pleasant blood test of my life.
After that, I made quick stops at Staples and Dollarama – again, everyone I encountered was SO NICE – and then I ran in at Costco for flowers for Briony’s student teacher who’s finished today. Consider this a little public service announcement: Costco is INSANE today. I found the flowers quickly, and you know it’s a bad sign when your best bet is to stand in a line that includes someone with (literally) one hundred items in their cart. That person started unloading things onto the conveyor belt and then paused, looked behind her, and invited me to cut her in line.
See what I mean? Tiny, random blessings. Nothing earth shattering or life altering, but these little pieces of sunshine need to be celebrated. They fill you right up and then that sunshine can spill out on others through your own tiny, random blessings. It’s a kind of everyday magic – and I’m so happy a little bit of that came my way today.
I spent some time this week researching our upcoming *secret* Disney trip. Specifically, I’ve been looking at all the different ways parents have surprised their kids when announcing the trip. (I think it will be incorporated in our family present opening at Christmas. Like a big box full of helium balloons. And a message inside. Or something like that… We’re still discussing options, and I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to wait until Christmas to tell her!)
I’ve been crying about it a lot. In fact, I cry every time I think about it.
This is one of those quintessential Parenting Moments that everyone dreams about having. And I’m going to get to have it. Because even though this disease has robbed me of a lot (and it has), it hasn’t taken away THIS.
And THIS? THIS is AWESOME.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
- Khalil Gibran
I’ve been trying extra hard to focus on this lately – especially after all the hatred and ignorance and just pure ridiculousness that’s been spamming all my social media feeds these past few months. Some of it has been Bill 18 related. Some has been related to a certain MSNBC promo that got really, really taken out of context. Some has just been the regular drivel. All of it has been a little bit upsetting to me.
This poem brings me to tears more often than not.
When you do it right, parenting is the opposite of selfish. When you do it right, parenting means teaching a child to think for themselves – even if those thoughts might end up being different than yours. When you do it right, parenting is the biggest risk in the world. But with a little luck and a whole lot of work, the payoff of raising a confident and self-actualized grown-up child? I believe that payoff is immeasurable.
I want to send that kind of person into the world when Chapter One of our job as parents is done. And I pray every day that we’re doing it right.
Today, we were out and about and we ended up needing to use a public washroom. B was washing her hands and when the automated paper towel dispenser rolled out a portion for her to use, she gave it a little curtsy and said, ‘Thank you, robot!’
This kid cracks me up on a daily basis, and I’m sure the people outside the washroom door were wondering why we were giggling so much in there…
We’ve been hitting far too many milestones around here lately. Granted, some of them probably could have happened a while ago… But what can I say? We’re talking about my BABY here, and I wasn’t about to rush her through anything. We also believe in giving her some control and listening to her about when she thinks she’s ready – not in every area, but certainly in these.
In the last couple of weeks, she’s decided that she’s done with her high chair, her little potty, and her toddler bed. And so, in the last couple of weeks, each one of these things has left our home or been put away. It’s crazy. In one fell swoop, it feels like there’s a KID living here with us instead of a baby or a toddler.
In that same time frame, she’s started dressing herself 100% in the mornings (and getting ready for bed on her own). And she’s getting in and out of the car + her carseat too. These are WONDERFUL developments, because I’m going days at a time without having to lift her at all and I can only hope that this is going to have a positive impact on my health.
Some days, I watch her doing her whole independent thing and want to shout from the rooftops, ‘WE MADE IT!!’ Of course, there is always sad mixed in – it would have been amazing to get the chance to do this all over again with a new little person – but this is our family. And it’s looking like this family is officially out of the baby stage. Forever.
A sneak peek at Briony’s big girl bed…
For the record, it is BEYOND difficult to find pretty bedding for little girls that isn’t branded within an inch of its life (or just plain ugly and / or gag worthy). I looked forEVER to find this – and we couldn’t be happier with it!
Hey! Guess what.
I’m going to be teaching a seminar at UWinnipeg at the end of May. Cool, right? I’ve been reading and re-reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly (a lot) lately, because I’m getting to the HOLY COW WHY ON EARTH DID I SAY I WOULD DO THIS stage. But I’m also very, very excited.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to be a better online writer (websites, blogs, social media, etc), I hope you’ll register. I’ll share the link as soon as it’s available!