Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucas!

The little guy turned 7 last weekend, so we celebrated this weekend with a wild and crazy birthday party of glow bowling, cake and pinata. Amazingly, we survived. Last year I swore I would never do another large boys' birthday, but I found myself in the same predicament all of a sudden with 15 kids RSVPing yes for the party. Yikes.

Unfortunately the morning had gone poorly at Lucas' soccer game. Lucas received a hard ball to the face in goal and he couldn't turn himself around to get past it - which ended in frustration for all. We consequently started our birthday proceedings grumpy The result of which was my telling him that his Spongebob pinata would get no arms as a result. Lol. Regardless, I thought the results of the previous evenings late-night crafting was fairly decent.

The saving grace for the party and my sanity (besides the weather) was Rob. He deftly undertook the job of entertaining the kids with a game of "Robert Says" to whittle away the time until the glorious moment up pick-up. He was my hero!

All in all, the party was a success with very few injuries, entertained kids, and a happy birthday boy.

But... could someone please remind me to make it smaller next year!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A lot to be thankful for

What a cliche!

However it has been a hell of a year and yet there still resonates in me a deeply grounded understanding that life is giving and good and that all that is, simply is. Sigh....

I feel that it was about this time last year that life went to pot for me. But now that I look back on the fall of 2010, I realize that I had heaped way too much onto my plate. I was working full time at school plus had taken on a part-time contract facilitating workshops in high schools for a research project. I had organized and hosted a huge 70th birthday for my beloved mom. We had committed to a confused rescued three-month old puppy. Mia's part time participation preschool hours were sucking up my free time with duty days and evening meetings. Lucas had just been diagnosed and we were only starting our journey to understanding how we could help him be more successful. I was playing hockey, Mia dancing, Lucas swimming and playing soccer and Rob busily working away at a pretty new job.

It was a lot.


And so, I put my head under the sand, dug deep and began to breathe.

Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe...

That's all I've done all year since, really.

I've hardly seen friends. We've not had a lot of adventures. We quit a lot of activities and we busied ourselves instead with fortifying foundations of health and well being.

And that's ok. :)

So here we are a year later on Thanksgiving weekend. Lucas has just turned 7 and is finding himself more every day. The puppy is one. Mia is successfully settled in kindergarten. Rob is well-established in his job. I'm working a little less and learning to balance a little better.

My head, dare I say, is coming out from under the sand and we are getting there..

And as I emerge and see things that make me smile again.

Like a weekend that went well.
All of it.

Very few disasters, tears or upsets.
Goals of laundry, marking and exercise were met.
Cookies were made. Dogs were walked. Friends were played with. Phone calls made.
We slept in.

Breathing feels nice now. Not hard.

A journey never ends of course. And I write this with the knowledge that things get better after they get worse. And that's ok.

People surprise me.
Like my students. One class of young 'uns liked a new novel so much that they decided to buy it with their own money and study it together.
Ummm... really?
And the other class.
The ones who frustrate me daily because I just can't get into the swing of the split level I'm teaching.
They all want to take my class again. They like me. Really? I thought I was doing a crappy job.
And the grade ten class in the summer that raised $300 bucks for Red Cross African famine relief when I suggested quietly that a donation would mean more than us eating cookies on our last day.


There is always sadness and disappointment.
October has seen a death in the family. And breast cancer.


My world is good.
People envelope me in their warmth.
And with that I can emerge a little less scarred.

And for that...

I am thankful.