A Mothers Plea

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I write because I have to, it is a force within me I can not ignore. I write because it is therapeutic and I find solace that maybe just one other human being will relate to my words. Writing makes me feel not alone in this sometimes very large scary world in which we live.

I am strong and independent and positive beyond the norm, I can find the silver lining in almost any dark stormy cloud, but I am only human.

It’s easy to turn a negative into a positive when it comes to life in general. I have taught myself to rise above the negative and consciously choose happiness where I find a brighter side.

~Love, I have faith that I will find love one day and share moments in time with a man who  fills my hearts with peace.

~Health, I will get through anything this life sends my way. Jill Brzezinski-Conley showed me how grace and love along with support got her to a place of rest in the most beautiful heart warming way.

~Politics, I have faith in the human race to choose wisely, making this world a safer place to thrive for all humanity.

I have faith in all outside sources, but nothing can break the heart or debilitate a Mother like the worry for her child.

I write today from a Mothers heart which feels the pain of even the slightest unsettledness of her child. Being a Mother has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I knew from a very young age that one of my main purposes in life was to be a Mom. Another is to give love and acceptance to those who cross my path.

When your kids are young you focus on their safety and wellbeing. You are responsible for their survival. I was fortunate and I am grateful to have been at home with mine for over 10 years. It wasn’t a sacrifice, it was a choice. I chose to leave my career and do my best to raise two human beings who would make a difference in the world. The moment I heard their heart beat, I loved them more than everything else. My heart expanded more than I could have ever imagined. I was to be a Mom. That alone was a gift. They were mine to guide and protect with my life, along side their Dad.

Kids grow and unfold, becoming their own person. They stretch their wings in different ways, some soar and some crash to the ground. Sometimes we can relate, and there are times we don’t understand, but we try, we listen, we learn, and we give them love and support. It’s natural that they cause us grief from time to time. Just as we caused or still cause our parents many sleepless nights.

But when does your heart stop hurting when they start to walk down a path you know is not what you taught. When does your heart stop hurting when you try to guide them but they don’t want to listen. When does your heart have the courage and faith to let go so they can walk on their own. How does a Mom let go when she knows the world is big and scary and not everyone survives.

When do you close your eyes and trust they will be just fine…

My Plea to my kids…

Please remember I love you with every once of my being.

Please remember each night wherever you lay your head that I am thinking of you and hoping you are safe and warm with a belly full of food, and your beautiful creative mind is at peace.

Please remember that I am always here in a time of need and that no problem is too big for me to handle. You are never alone.

Please remember that when you think you can’t, I KNOW you can. I know you better than you know you and yes, yes you certainly can.

Please remember you are worthy of love from someone out of this world special, because you are amazing!

Please know that you are my favourite part of life, so do all you can to not take that away from me. This world would not be the same without you in it. This world can be cruel and unkind but it can also be the most beautiful amazing experience you have ever had.

Please know that even when you think you are too deep to see the sun from the place you have fallen, that it is there, waiting for you to raise your chin up and see the light in all it’s natural glory. The sun will shine upon your face just as the shadow will fall behind you.

Please know that together we can do anything your heart desires, because I believe in you, because I know you.

Please know that you ARE love. You are the source of love and the reason for my love.

Please know I will not let you go unprepared to face the world, I will always be here no matter where you walk, no matter when you fall. I will be there when you pick yourself up and I will help brush you off and we will walk again towards the sun.

Please know that my heart aches for you, I have been you, and seen the things you see, felt the pains your heart feels and have overcome them just as you will.

Please know that just as the sun sets, the moon rises, as the rain falls, the flowers grow…

Please know…

now go clean your room~

Mom xo

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Home

HOme

Do you ever feel you are so far away from Home, yet you are sitting on the edge of your own bed? You reflect of what once was and what now is. Connecting all the physical dots is easy, if you sit peacefully, the memories wash over you. Go deeper and allow your feelings to float to the surface. The comfort you once had, the knowing where you were, will all bring you back Home.

Life can be so busy, taking us far away from Home, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Life is unpredictable and can change in an instant, making us yearn for that feeling of being Home.

As a child I had that deep tummy home sick feeling that would wash over me like a wave when I tried to sleep over night at a friends house. I always ended up calling my Mom to come bring me Home. Maybe it was her calm voice that I missed so much. She always made everything feel better no matter what I was going through. Still to this day, her voice calms me and brings me back Home. The moment I say hello, she instinctively hears me and makes it right.

This feeling wouldn’t go away until I surrendered to it. Laying in my own bed knowing I was safe and loved put me at peace.

It is a struggle at times being a parent trying to offer the same sense of peace to your kids. You wonder if they even notice what you do daily to make them feel as you did growing up, the feeling of being safe and warm at Home. No matter what troubles your kids go through, give them a Home they know they can be at peace in.

What I have learned over the years is that Home comes from within. It is a combination of what you once had and where you are in this moment. It is in the sound of a familiar voice, in a smile on a face, in the touch of a hand you know so well, in an embrace from long ago. Home is the love we hold in our hearts for those we know so well and those we have yet to welcome in…our Home.

Home is in the Heart.

Home is love…

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Finding Lyrical Beauty in…Life

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IMG_0066Okay seriously? Really? Can we just move forward and be done with all the lessons in life for just a little while! I need a breather here! I am pretty sure my Karmic debt was paid in full at the age of 27! I think I’ve been mistaken for someone else who looks or acts like me from an alternate reality. Ummm HELLO I don’t live in reality, I live on my cloud where no one can reach me!

Just when I think there is a possibility of my life becoming somewhat normal, it changes! I adjust to my job and it changes. I think I have my house sold and it changes. My love life…ya, no, not gonna go there 😉 I will plead the fifth on that one forever! Throw in taxes and year ends and kids and a dog who literally jumps the fence, eats the fence or digs to China daily! Stress, ya a full plate of stress sprinkled with stress and add a dollop of stress! I’m feeling worn out and barely hanging on by a thread, and I wake up with Eczema on both eye lids! COME ON!!! I work in cosmetics for cry-in-out-loud and can’t look 100!!

I am all for learning lessons in life but I’d really like it better if they would come one at a time with a little space in between!

^ above is what I wrote pre-Wednesday May 7th.

May 7th @ 8:30 am…

The morning was beautiful. The sun was shinning and both my kids got up on time for school and we were out the door before we needed to be. <—- that rarely happens! I dropped my gorgeous daughter off to school and watched her little butt walk up the side of the school as she chatted with her girlfriend. She was smiling and happy! My son sat in the back of my jeep also smiling and happy. We chatted on our way to his school. He is such a handsome young man, his eyes melt me every time he grins at me. I dropped him off on time and put my donations in the clothing bin finally, I never seem to have that extra moment to do so.

I proceeded to drive back home going the long way while I listened to Emimen sing Cinderella Man…I had never actually listened to the words of this particular Eminem song before.

(Excerpt I heard as I drove to the stop sign)

Cinderella Man ~ Eminem…

“Yeah,
You know, technically, I’m not even really supposed to be here right now,
So fuck it, might as well make the most of it.

(Amen!)
Yeah, haha
(Amen!)
Feels good,
(Amen!)
Whooo,
(Amen!)
Guess I’m lucky,
(Amen!)
Some of us don’t get a second chance.
(Amen!)
But I ain’t blowing this one.
(Amen!)
Naw man, haha
(Amen!)
Shit I feel like I can do anything now”

The last thought that entered my mind before coming to a stop was this…

~ As I smiled to myself…”Everything always works out, I should be grateful to be here too, I am healthy, I have a precious family, a great circle of friends. I am really very lucky.”

I needed to hear those words.

And then…

I looked left and it was clear to turn right. I pulled out into my lane and just as I started to accelerate, a car was driving right at me in my lane. He had pulled out into my lane to pass a lawn mowing tractor and was committed to passing at full speed. I saw the young mans face as he swerved between my front end and the tractors front end. He barely made the pass without hitting me head on. It was all a blur and felt like it happened in slow motion. I drove a few meters forward feeling numb as I saw my girlfriend running toward me. She witnessed the whole thing looking at me with wide eyes as she realized it was me.

“you know, technically, I’m not even really supposed to be here right now, So fuck it, might as well make the most of it”

I kissed my peace sign fingers and gave thanks to both my angels for watching over me.

I am grateful for all the lessons life is trying to teach me. I am grateful to be here to have lessons to learn.

Perspective!

“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

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Live in the Clouds with Me!

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Photo on 2011-07-27 at 19.27 #2Whenever my kids are home from school for a break, whether it be summer, spring or winter, I always feel a connection to my past. I remember the same breaks as a little girl and it brings me back to a time when life seemed so basic and simple. I have so many fond memories of my childhood. I remember spending days lying in the grass looking up to the cloud filled sky, drifting off. It was a form of meditation searching for images in the cloud formations. Galloping horses would appear and be swept away moments later by the wind creating yet another image. Life is like that sometimes, changing with the wind, showing us there is always something new when the wind blows.

Star gazing was the same for me as a little girl. I would sleep outside on the back deck and stare into the night sky wondering what was out there for me to explore. I would wish upon a star and get a jolt of excitement when one would shoot across the sky in the blink of an eye! I liked to believe it was the Universe sending me a message.

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I am an Aquarian and I have been told I live in the clouds by more than one person, it is true. I don’t know if it’s a way of connection to my childhood or my imagination that gets set free when I get lost in the clouds, but I like the feeling I get when I stare into the sky, let go and just be.

We don’t take time anymore unless its a holiday to just sit and look at what nature has for us to enjoy. Unless there is nothing else to do we don’t stop and see the beauty that surrounds us each day. We are blessed with so much, our only fault is not finding the time to see and appreciate it. This year take time to see what nature creates in the simplicity of a cloud. You may want to move there with me.

This is one reason I live in the clouds…come join me 😉

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I am Grateful ~

Christmas feels different to me this year. I am on my own and for the first time, in a very long time, I feel relaxed. It feels uncomplicated, and I like it. I have so much love in my life and for that I am grateful. I have a very colourful circle of friends and an amazing family.

I have wrapped the Jing Tinglers, Flu Floopers, Tar Tinkers, Who Hoovers, Far Ginkers, Trum Tupers, Slu Slumkers, Blum Bloopers, Who Wompers and Zu Zitter Carzays! I am ready for Santa! I am also ready to pack on a couple of pounds eating shortbread and sipping Bailey’s coffees. Felize Navidad!!

I am embracing those who have stepped into my life in an unconventional way with acceptance and love. My circle is expanding this year and that’s exciting. I am teaching my kids to be open, aware and accept what the Universe brings forth. Life challenges us with change, allowing us to grow and unfold as human beings. It’s how you deal with change that matters.

I have so much to be grateful for…

I have two incredible kids who I adore and LOVE spending time with. I am fortunate to have two amazing parents who are still in love after 60 years together. I am grateful for the unconditional friendship and bond I have with my kids Dad. My girlfriends make me feel blessed, supported and never alone! I love my man-friends who continue to make me smile and keep me somewhat grounded on my path to never say never land…and last but not least my furry friend who is the sweetest, most loveable, kind, crazy companion I could ever ask for…even when she pee’s in the basement and shreds her bed 😉

The spirit of Christmas is about giving, so please don’t forget to share what you are grateful for with those who are less fortunate this holiday season and all year round!

“Sooooo Santa I have nothing on my list this year, and it’s not because I think I am on your naughty list it’s because I have everything I need. Believing in the magic is what I will pass on to my kids this year!

My Christmas wish is pretty simple…a day filled with lots of love, ear to ear (((((smiles))))), twinkling eyes, warm long hugs, lingering kisses, spirits that soar to the moon and back, breathtaking aromas, full bodied wine that makes one giggle, a full tummy, a content heart, conversations that fill the room with chatter, happiness, joy and no dishes to clean up!” 

Take a moment to remind yourself what you are grateful for!

Svaha ~

 

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Pink Shirt Day ~

Bullying must stop! Every seven seconds a child is bullied in Canada, unfortunately a great number of these kids end up taking their own lives to escape the pain they feel every second of every day. I can’t imagine having a child who feels so bad about themselves that they wish to end their life because of words so strong and hurtful they feel powerless against them.

We need to give our kids love and encouragement and be aware of what is going on around them. No child should ever be made to feel like their life is not worth living. We need to help educate our kids and make them aware that they may not be the only person making another child feel bad about themselves, and it could be their words that make the difference between life and death. Choose to encourage not to discourage!

500 students, teachers, parents stand up against bullying in Richmond at Aberdeen Center Mall.

This video was an assignment a young girl made for school which is also very powerful.

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Raising a Teenager…

First things first, Mom and Dad, I love and appreciate everything you ever did for me growing up! You Rocked as parents! I loved hanging out with you. Our house always felt safe. Having kids of my own entering their teens I understand how important it is for them to feel like they have a place where they can be themselves. I love being the house where kids gather and hang out.

Teenagers are naturally programmed to push the boundaries to get their own independence. One day parents are hilarious and the next day our behavior is embarrassing and frowned upon. That’s a hard transition to make as a parent. Words out of the mouths of babes are cute, out of the mouths of teenagers can sometimes sting.

Surging hormones, cry-laugh-bitch all within 3 minutes of each other sums up the unpredictable life of a teen. Remember how up and down your emotions were during puberty? My only hope is that I don’t go through peri-menopause at the same time my daughter goes through puberty or she’ll be going to the moon with Alice!

I was a great kid growing up, until my Mom wouldn’t let my older boyfriend (wild bill) who had a beard, study in my room with the door closed. Okay I find humour in that now, was it really that obvious! What-EVER! She turned into the opposition that day but fortunately it only lasted a short time, at least that’s my recollection. My Mom just let me ride the hormone wave until I was done while she maintained her loving support with my Dad at her side incase she needed the big guns for back-up. (she did, it worked) Thanks Mom! I learned a thing or two about respect in a very short time. (ya never call your Mom the B-word…doesn’t turn out in your favour…ever!)

When you’re a teen you can’t imagine your parents doing anything remotely close to sex so you assume you can pull the wool over their eyes! If your reading this Jordan, if your boyfriend has a beard, he won’t even be entering the front door let alone your pig sty you call a room! Fortunately for me my Mom was smart, understanding and stood her ground keeping me headed in the right direction. I can now appreciate how hard it was for her to deal with a girl-tween.

I have a 13 year old son who is way too charming and handsome for his own good and a 10 going on 16 year old girl who is starting to strike fear into us with how beautiful she is inside and out. Thank god she has a hilarious sense of humour! Her brother is going to have his work cut out for him in high school. The fun has just begun! I’m definitely up for the challenge and also have a great support system in place. Hugely important!

I liked my parents so I spent lots of time with them. They were cool parents that were always there for me no matter what. My Mom was generous, loving and very open and my Dad was encouraging and hilarious so were laughing all the time. We still do. I was never able to lie to my Mom, maybe because I didn’t need to. She was completely tuned into what I was up, and still is. She can tell by the sound of my voice what’s going on in my life. Honestly I always feel better after hearing her advice. I don’t always take it but I still like to hear it.

I recently had ‘the’ talk with my son on the way to a party about being aware and safe. I had the same talk my Dad had with me. He simply told me I was his only daughter who he loved and trusted and couldn’t imagine life without me. He always wanted me to be safe. I told my son how important it is to always have a clear mind. It’s when your mind is clouded that things can go terribly wrong. Teaching your kids to make conscious smart choices is so important, to be a leader not a follower. Its tough raising kids when they’re little but nothing prepares you for when they start to spread their wings to fly on their own, bitter sweet for sure. Telling your kids that you trust them right before they go out is like buying insurance, no kid really wants to disappoint their parents. Say it even if you don’t! 🙂 All kids make mistakes, the key is to be there for them when they do and support them, don’t say I told you so!

Kids need their parents when they are little to survive, but I think when they start to naturally push us away is when they need us more, even if it’s sitting together in silence. Just knowing your there if they reach out is sometimes all they need.

 

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My Kids Survived Another Summer…barely!


Have you ever thought of putting your kids on Craigslist? This summer I actually sat down and wrote an ad…just for fun *wink.

“Two kids free to ANY family. Both need constant stimulation. A horse and NLL lacrosse star within arms reach would be a huge plus. Neither can quite finish any task for some unknown reason…but close. Constant supervision is mandatory. Attitude adjustments are required regularly. Money tree in back yard would eliminate the tedious whining. One sleeps till noon, the other is at your side the second your eyes open. Can only be in the same room together for 3 min max until the little one says “Jessssseeee donnnnn’t” and the big one says “wooooooow” and then all hell breaks loose. Taxi and maid service would be handy. They come with a dog they don’t walk that’s out of control…but really cute and loves to dig” (and then I realized I was dating! ) “I thought you had kids?” “Ya (insert long pause here) I did…” Not sure how that might play out!

My girlfriend Carri offered to have her daughter join the ad suggesting we give the two girls to the same family since blended families seem to be so popular (her daughter is 1/2 Filipino which = super cute)…then both my kids walked in my office and said “Mom, you’re the best Mom on the planet” and I loved them once again more than life itself. Their intuition is right on track! Moms just want love and affection and 10 minutes in the bathroom without hearing mom, mom, mom, mom through the door.

Anyone with kids the same age will totally relate. Parents of younger kids, all I can say is don’t judge, karma’s a bitch!

My daughter’s umbilical cord reattached to my womb over the summer. It happens when we spend lots of time together. I am NOT complaining. I remember getting the same feelings about my Mom as the summer came to an end. I couldn’t live without her throughout the year let alone after spending all day and night with her for 2 months. I got homesick at the thought of her being in another room. I can relate to my daughter very well.

I am taking every single hug and kiss I can get knowing that these moment are fleeting. My sons has a couple of years on his sister so he is at the age of loving his freedom…ahhh freedom remember that. He is awfully love-able for 13 so I can’t complain. I take every lingering boy hug I can get. I try not to make a big deal of it so it last longer. If I don’t move maybe he will forget I’m hanging on for dear life! He has his hormonal teenager moments like the rest of them that don’t go unnoticed but I have learned not to take them personally. He simply needs to flash that irresistible smile and I melt. Moms and their boys…sigh. 🙂

Being a Mom has been one of the best experiences I have ever had hands down. I’ve learned over the years to let go and allow my kids to grow. They have learned to be independent which has given them both confidence. My job now, it to just be there for moral support and teach them by example. (that is definitely questionable at times but hey, at least I’m honest!) I don’t mind telling you though it’s a bitter sweet time for me. I love spending time with my kids, they are incredible little human beings but I too have a life I need to reacquaint myself with in-order to be a great Mom!

Happy September Everyone! Enjoy each moment making memories with your little humans!

 

 

 

 

 

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Parenting ~

Parenting is an ongoing struggle. Being a single parent is a challenge most of us wouldn’t want to face! The stereotypical single Mom is one who just gets by, has two kids, rents an apartment and gets some sort of social assistance. It’s the hardest job on the planet in my eyes. Holding it all together, while teaching your kids about life and love. There’s a reason why no one tells you the truth about how incredibly hard it is to be a parent. But it’s not because they want you to experience the same difficulties as they have, it’s because at the end of the day, it’s still worth it…no matter what you have to go through! Human beings are miracles created on earth, it’s a gift to become a parent. And to have a family is a blessing!

Not many women choose to be a single Mom, but it happens! Moms who do find themselves raising their children on their own need to remember that although they can’t give their child their entire wish list, they can give love and children would trade everything for love!

Single Dads have the same challenges, but they aren’t programmed like women are for being the care-giver, which in my opinion is even more difficult. Single Dads definitely have their work cut out for them.

Family today is anything but traditional, in most cases. What we need to remember is that our children are blank canvases, it is up to us to teach them by example. Be who you want them to respect and love. Show them acceptance and love of others. Let them see your compassion and empathy for other human beings. Teach them to give more than they take. Have the integrity they will strive for as they live and learn. Show your kids that anything is possible when the truth and honesty is present. Allow them to make mistakes and teach them that its what we do after we pick ourselves back up that matter, not what knocked us down. And most of all let them see you being true to yourself!

What I think is the most important element of family is love. When you have love you have it all. As long as your child feels loved, they will learn to give love. Kids naturally live authentically, and we as parents can learn a lot from these incredible little human beings. As parents it’s our responsibility to live truthfully and show them that whatever comes their way they have love and support from both their parents regardless of the structure of their family unit.

I can’t imagine my life without my kids, still to this day they’re the best thing I’ve ever done. You may not always be married to your husband or wife forever but your kids will always be your kids and you will always be their Mom or Dad. Being a parent, is forever and a blessing. Be the parent you want your kids to be!

I think what ever you choose, marriage, kids, or not, it’s YOUR choice to make. That’s the greatest part of life…choice!

We make choices every single day that are based on our thoughts, ‘thoughts become things…choose the good ones’ (Notes from the Universe).

Svaha ~

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Coaching and Sports!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACQUIE!! XOXO

Coaching has a huge influence on a child’s ability to excel. Good coaching can make or break your child’s experience in sports or any other extracurricular activity they partake in. You don’t really appreciate a good coach until you experience a questionable one. A coach can either send a child to the next level with the tools to move up or they have the ability to coach a child’s natural instinct right out of them.

I appreciate anyone who has taken on the task of coaching kids, it can be a challenge! A coach has to get to know your child in a short amount of time, assess them using their instinct to figure out where they fit best into the team, and at what level they should be playing. Every parent deep down just wants their child to be challenged and given the same opportunity to develop as the rest of the team. Having a great group of kids and parents is the ideal for development and fun in sports! With positive encouragement they will excel in leaps and bounds!

The coaches philosophy is what’s important, I would rather have my child coached by someone with integrity whom I would like to also spend time with than someone who only strives to win! A great coach not only teaches the skill of the sport, but shows by example what it is to be a good winner and loser. We all learn from mistakes, we don’t gain as much from winning as we do from losing. Losing teaches us how we can improve next time and has a way of humbling our egos. Winning definitely feels better and is the pay off for hard work. But sometimes even with lots of hard work we still don’t win. That’s what I love about watching sports, at play off time, it can be anyones game.

I’ve always told both my kids that there will always be someone who is better than you and someone who isn’t, what’s important is being the best you can be for yourself. Set goals and strive to reach them. Reaching goals goes hand in hand with making compromises in other areas of your life, no junk food, missing the school dance, hours of practise and most important, discipline. There is always someone else doing more than you are willing to do!

In all sports rivalries arise, and everything changes. It becomes Good vs Evil. When it’s about the other team losing and not about winning, you have to step back and think why you want to win, not why you want them to lose! If it’s because you want to kick their sorry asses because their coach got under your skin or you can’t stand to look at the gloating parents any longer, that’s wrong! lol Although it’s an enticing gamble, if you do win it feels just that much sweeter when you beat a team who doesn’t play fair. Good should prevail over Evil, right?

Sometimes teams who don’t play fair win too, that’s a part of life, it’s how you react to this is what makes you who you are and shows a great deal about your character. Do you continue to play your game, clean and fair with integrity or lower yourself to their game? Anyone who has played sports themselves or have kids in sports knows teams such as these with reputation for unfair play or parents who turn into monsters while the game is on! We all get caught up in the moment from time to time. I am not proud to say I have rung my cow bell in the direction of some opposing parents to rub in a goal, I am only human. This happens when passion for sport turns into obsession of winning at all costs! Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that IT’S A GAME! No one wants to lose to their nemesis, nothing sucks more, it feels better when defeat is to a team you feel is worthy of winning, one you would be proud to lose against. If you both played fair and hard and can appreciate the other teams skill, that is what it’s all about!

My son Jesse’s Lacrosse team won the Gold Metal in a tournament we attended in Calgary which was sweetened by him scoring the winning goal from a great pass from team mate Ryan A! They played hard as a team and won as a team, no one person was responsible for the win, they did it together and came out on top! Hard work, great coaching, supportive parents and the stars were aligned just perfectly! It doesn’t get much better than that!

We were ranked 2nd in our division entering into the Provincials last week but this time we came out 4th in the Province. What made me most proud of our boys was that when they came out of the dressing room they still smiled. They had their moment of disappointment, they talked about the game in the dressing room, and then moved on. I’m sure each and every one of them, coaches included, played over and over in their minds what they as an individual could have done better, that’s expected with any loss. It doesn’t change the outcome but it’s a great way to process the experience in order to move forward. Someone had to lose and we showed good sportsmanship by being proud of what we achieved this season. We held our heads high and were proud to be in the Provincials of Canada’s National Sport, Lacrosse!

Thank you Rob Bosa for your generosity, Rob Martel for your passion, Terry Stead for conditioning the boys and Tom Johnson for giving back to the younger generation, you made a real impression on all the boys!

The friendships these boy’s have made through Lacrosse will follow them into adulthood and give them memories they will look back on often. And last but not least… “there’s always next year”, right Brock! lol 🙂 I already miss your emails Laurie! xo

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I Can Do It All, Achoo!

I am perfectly capable of taking care of the kids, house, dog, business, yard, etc etc etc and the list goes on! Blah blah blah! My days are crazy busy but I love it! I Can Do It All!

I don’t know how many women feel the same as I do but I am guessing there are plenty! I basically go from one thing to another trying really hard to balance every aspect of my life. I like my house in order and I am extremely organized. I will admit I have relaxed over the years because my life is full! The problem is, I continue to take on more which has made it a necessity to prioritize my daily activities, so it can be hard. As it is now, when we need milk, I grocery shop, when crap from the kitchen floor starts to stick to my feet, I mop, when we need clothes, I do a wash, when I smell, I shower, okay that’s a joke, personal hygiene is high on my list! Can anyone relate?

Here comes the bad news. When we take on everything because we have my attitude, I am capable so therefore I will, somethings gotta give. In my case it’s my body. When the balance goes out we need to make change. You have probably figured out by now that I love exercise, but with being so busy I’ve been cutting corners, doing the bare minimum. It eventually catches up with you, believe me I know. But at least I’m aware of it, so that’s the first step!

I tried Yoga to help with stretching, slow myself down a bit, but I couldn’t even lift my arms over my head I have such pain in both my shoulders.(calcific tendinitis) And if that’s not painful enough my  IT band hurts 24/7. Basically I hurt from my hip to my knee on the outer side of my leg! (iliotibial band) I feel like I should be going to see a Geriatric doctor not a Massage therapist. Kels I know, basically I need you to live with me! And the icing on the cake (mmm wish I had cake) I had a sore throat and head cold which has put me even further behind my goal of being ripped by May! Uncle! I Give, whatever it is you say when you throw in the towel!

I am on the road to restoring balance in my body by finally taking the time out of my busy day to see a massage therapy. What a relief! It wasn’t quite like the massage you get as a gift, it was painful. You know your in pain whenyou let a complete stranger dig her elbow into your oiled bare buttocks and thighs with the lights on! Hallelujah! All I can say is THANK GOD it was a woman!

Lesson learned, if we continue to be so busy that we ignore our bodies own cry out for help it has no choice but to put on the breaks and force us to stop doing so much! So maybe I can’t do it all, or shouldn’t do it all.

This quote makes me feel like all my aches and pains are worth it!

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!'”
— Hunter S. Thompson

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“You know what!”

Our family has quite a few ‘sayings’ that make me laugh each time I hear them. My son has his favorite when someone is questioning him. It got the title of my post because it’s said the most by all of us. “You know what!” You have to have a look of displeasure on your face and really say it with conviction for it to work.

I have been surfing around other blogs lately just to see what’s going on in the blogosphere and I could totally relate to Tony Anders (‘Artisan Of The Human Spirit’) post ‘Stand up? Nope, sit down‘. I know many of you with kids approaching the wonderful years of ‘teenageism’ will be able to relate. It’s basically about how our kids perceive us as they are growing up. As a parent it feels like one day our kids are looking to us for every laugh they have waiting to let out, and the very next moment they are embarrassed by the same shtick that once got a riotous reaction! And to that I say,“You know what!” I’m not buyin it. My Dad was always able to make me laugh, I think he is still one of the funniest guys out there. Jeez I never even considered that maybe I am just not as funny as my Dad. Na, that can’t be possible. Regardless, I can’t relate when my kids look at me ‘questionably’ when I say something funny! It just makes me want to rebel even more. Ya I know, real mature.

My kids recently told me I was not allowed to sing in the car, my hand gestures are apparently over the top! (the back windows are blacked out for cry in out loud) It’s not like anyone can even see them. I know I am not the best singer but I’M NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO LIP SYNC!! “You know what!” As I told Tony in a comment I gave my kids a ‘what-for’ (you gotta love Urban dictionary) about me being who I am and loving life and that I was comfortable expressing myself as I do. They could either embrace me for all I am and enjoy the show within the confines of my Jeep with the blacked out windows, OR, tune into You-tube to see me in my own Numa Numa video for the world and all their friends to see. I’m singing in the car! Thank you very much I’ll be here til Thursday! I have retained the Paddle of Power! Now that I think of it I did do a You-tube video that shows my maturity and they laughed. (check out my bio page if you want to see how mature I really am)

Another way we get a real laugh around our house is if someone teases a member of the family because they, lets say stutter or do something stupid, (yes, we draw attention to it) the rule is you can’t tease the person back who gets you first, that’s called second man in and if you try it backfires and you become the laughing stock of the family! Skills my kids will use FOREVER, no therapy needed so far for either kid might I add. The only time your not allowed to tease someone in our family is if they are sensitive and announce “The Red Light Is On” we all respect that. I can see after reading this that we have a quirky family, but we don’t go without laughter in our house, it’s not allowed!

I will leave you with one more game that was brought home by Scott,“last one to laugh”, if you’re the last one to laugh at something it shows that you took the longest time to ‘get it’ so now the focus is on you, and we all laugh at that. It’s really funny to see everyone realize that two people are laughing and you need to laugh really quick to not be dubbed ‘last one to laugh’, which makes it even funnier. It really is all about the LOL in my world as you can see. Oh the games we play behind closed doors.

Enjoy your day everyone and just make sure you LAUGH!

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Conditioning & Learned Behaviour~

TracyA learned behavior is a behavior that was observed by an individual that they find to be beneficial to them in some way.  We have all been taught these learned behaviors by our parents, teachers, pastors, councillors or anyone of any influence in our lives.  There’s a motivating factor behind it.  A reward perhaps.  The learned behavior is a conditioned response to a stimuli through either voluntary or involuntary intent.  It is some type of action or reflex that you learn. For example tying your shoes, tantrums and interrupting a conversation is a learned behavior.  Innate behaviors on the other hand, such as babies sucking their thumbs or crying is something we are born with.

We have developed automatic response to different situations, sometimes reacting because of the way we are conditioned to react.  Not all learned behaviors are negative, but I do think we need to start trusting our own instinctual or innate behaviors a little more.

I think we need to shed some of our conditioning in order to live our most authentic lives.

We are conditioned to get married at a certain age.  Not everyone wants to, or should get married.  In many countries marriage is still arranged.  I think it’s hard finding a partner you could spend the rest of your life with, imagine for a moment your parents picking who you will be with FOREVER!   Maybe marriage is not meant to last forever.  We are also conditioned to believe the end of a marriage is a failure, when in fact it can be the best decision for both people.   I admire those who don’t conform to what society makes them believe is their path because of a preconceived timeline.

Although procreation is an innate behaviour, it doesn’t mean we have to.  We are conditioned to believe we are meant to have children after marriage.  It is the question every newly married couple gets asked days after they exchanged vows.  If we can accept the marriage without the child, then we should be able to accept the child without the marriage.  Women are often frowned upon when they consider having a child out of wedlock.  We are conditioned to believe you need two parents and although I do think it is much easier and more balanced for the children, it’s not necessarily the norm anymore.  Not all couples want children and go through a huge struggle to explain why they choose not to.  Just as some women/men choose not to marry.  I think those who choose what is best for them see through learned behavior and are living truthfully.  When you love someone “unconditionally” it means without conditions.  There is nothing better or more pure.

Age also has conditions we need to shed.  I don’t even ask how old someone is because I think age should not be a measuring stick or way of slotting someone.  Kelsey was the first to teach me that lesson, she was way beyond her years when she was 8 years old.  Age doesn’t no matter.  I have a lot to learn from much younger wiser souls while I am here on earth.  I am open to all they have to teach me.  Older doesn’t always mean wiser, as we are conditioned to believe.  It all really depends on the individuals life experience.

Kids don’t even need to leave the comfort of their own homes to learn their behaviors.  Television is full of them.  Pretty scary when as an adult you are completely aware of what’s out there.  Don’t get me wrong there are lots of great television shows out there that are a positive expression of life, you just have to look for them.  Kids are watching the drama portrayed in shows and what they get out of it is how they think they should react to a situation themselves.  They start to shut off their own instinct of what feels right and by doing this they become conditioned.  They have successfully learned their behavior.  They have tuned out their innate behaviours they were born with.

We need to shed our conditioning and start trusting our own instincts of how to react to situations that arise.  A positive, open mind and good moral fiber will help us make difficult choices in our path ahead.  Trust your instincts not your conditioning!  Follow your heart and keep a clean conscience and your on the right path to shedding some of the unnecessary conditioning we are all faced with each day.

Tracy signiture

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Have You Ever Hauled Off and Spanked Your Child?

Whether you did or didn’t ~ what did you learn from the experience?

post pic 4-1Jacquie loses all vestiges of her humanity and wallops the living daylights out of …this topic ~

A photo released to the press a while ago sparked pseudo-outrage when it showed a very angry nanny grabbing the arm of one of the cherubic Gosselin sextuplets.  ‘How dare she abuse those angels!‘ the headlines screamed.  What?  Have we all gone so mad to think that a grown up has no right to discipline a misbehaving child?!  It got me to thinking about the many times I needed to discipline one of my kids and, thank heavens, I’m so glad I didn’t have cameras following me around back then.

I used to call Emilie, my firstborn, my practice child.  When I had her I had no idea how to deal with a kid, especially one as stubborn and determined as she was.  I’m not really happy to report that I did fall back on the swift swat on the behind on a few occasions when she was young.  It did the trick, sent an immediate message and got results.  By the time my other two kids came along I was a lot calmer as a parent and knew what I was doing to a much greater degree, and so spanks didn’t seem the best way to deal with behavior issues anymore.  A look, or the tone of my voice and consistency in my behavior worked far better.   I can’t really remember if I’ve ever even given my youngest, Samantha, a spank, though she may have a better memory than me in this regard.

If I were to do things all over again I probably wouldn’t be able to say I’d never resort to physical punishment again. Well, let me clarify… I never did the “wait til your daddy gets home” trip.  If I saw an infraction that needed immediate remediation I took care of it myself.   I always felt that a small wallop on the butt was more about sending a message of disapproval than about administering pain (at least they way I handled it) but I’m sure there were a few times the kids felt it!  I probably had good reasons, but thinking back I do wish I could have managed without ever laying a hand on the kids…in a perfect world, right?

I know they haven’t been scarred by getting a few timely, well-deserved whacks in their childhood.  I do feel sorry for the parents nowadays trying to raise kids, fearful of  having child protective services crash in and take them away if they so much as grab an arm in public.   One of my husband’s favourite stories is of how his mother would chase him around the house with a section of Hot Wheels track.  I shudder just to think of that 3 foot long strip of flexible plastic whipping the 10 year old backside of my dear, gentle Gavin.  We also get a good laugh out of the image, too.  The experience obviously didn’t maim him for life and he’s a pretty stable guy considering…  : )

Let me end by saying that I DO NOT abide by anything that comes close to feeling like child abuse!  That’s a totally different topic, though I imagine some of you out there will counter by saying something like ‘what’s the difference?’  Fair enough.  I’m speaking as one reasonable adult to the next.   You’ll have to trust me when I say I do know the difference and I think most rational adults do, too.  This is just about my experiences as a parent.

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie pulls back her arm, releases and lands a big one right on target~

I was spanked occasionally as a child.  It never felt like a big deal to me because I always knew I had it coming and because it was never extreme.  I’d been warned, but I had to cross the line every now and again to test the strength of that line.  It’s something kids have been doing since the beginning of time.  Unfortunately these days I think parents are confused about what is “best”.  There are so many opinions out there.

I parented much like my parents parented me.  I spanked occasionally if the line was crossed.  However, I felt it was very important to take time out to allow my own anger to be taken out of the equation.  I don’t believe it is right to spank when you are still angry.  You are supposed to be teaching a lesson not taking out your own anger on the child.

One of the biggest lessons I learned parenting was that being consistent always produced the best results with my son.  It may not always be easy to follow through on the punishment but if you are consistent and do what you said you would do/not do/take away/etc then eventually they believe you the first time.

I have a really hard time watching young children out there acting out of control and disrespectful to their parents and to other adults.  I cringe when the parents of these kids softly beg their children to behave.  Who’s in control?  I worry it’s because they are afraid, as Jaquie said, that protective services will accuse them of abuse and so they do nothing.  And the child learns pretty quick that they have the upper hand.  On the other hand I certainly don’t want to witness parents whacking their children angrily and going too far.  I just don’t think the extremes of either of these scenarios works.

I really can only speak about my own experience both as the child who had a spanking or two or three in her life and as the parent who had to deliver them occasionally.  Neither was enjoyable but the lessons were learned.

TracyTracy reaches out to touch someone…without any guilt what so ever~

Yes I’ve spanked my kids!   At least once or twice for sure, never hard, or in public because they didn’t need to be.  Kids only need one at an age when they can remember it and then your golden for about 5 years after that. (kidding)  There comes a day when your kids look at you when you have steam coming out of your ears, like you have steam coming out of your ears, you fumble your words and they mock you and laugh and then that form of discipline comes to an abrupt end.  I still remember the day my Mom came down the hall threatening ‘the white handled hairbrush’ to both my brother Chris and I, she just looked silly, we both looked at her like “Really? Are you serious?“  I think we might have been 12 !  If we had joined forces we surely could have taken her!  We laughed because she just couldn’t pull it off, her smiling eyes gave it away, we all started to laugh.

There have been times when I have wanted to reprimand other peoples kids because they were completely and utterly out of control.  Either the parents have given up or don’t want to be judged in a public venue, understandable, but a cop out as far as I am concerned!  TUNING YOUR KIDS OUT DOESN’T WORK FOR ANYONE BUT YOU! Do something that shows your the adult and they are not in control, please!  Keep in mind that the one person in the entire Universe who doesn’t believe in spanking or punishment will be the one standing next to you ready to call family services.  Take one for the team!  I think there should be a rule that if you tune your kids out in public it is left up to the next closest adult in proximity to be allowed to wallop the little creature!

to spank I remember waiting until my Dad came home once and only once, I was horrified.  I started to cry even before he entered my room.  Poor Dad, I think it’s unfair to make Dad deal with something after the fact because you couldn’t at the time.  I had the BEST childhood any kid could ever ask for.  My Mom and Dad were the best in the entire world, they were caring, loving, patient parents that I couldn’t have imagined living without.  Unconditional love surrounded us and I felt safe, warm and loved everyday by both of them.

The way I chose to discipline both my kids when they were young was to take away some of their favourite things.  I also used the “naughty chair” but was always amazed that my son would sit in it willingly.  It used to crack me up.  I only remember really being upset once, I took every toy out of my sons room until his behaviour changed.  I have a thread of guilt left about that. or not to spank

Finding the right discipline is hard, I didn’t believe my kids should ‘fear me’.  I felt like the time out was more for me than them.  When you do feel like your going to lose it, leave the room and take a time out for yourself to put everything in perspective, hard I know when your child has just sharpied the carpet, it does work.  On the flip side I don’t believe in letting kids run your household, they need boundaries and look for them…forever!!!

Now that my kids are older, when they bug one another I put them to bed 15 minutes earlier each time they do.  It only takes one night of them hitting the sack at 6:30 pm and they think twice the next time.  It makes for a quiet night for you and your partner, win win!

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If you were to be remembered for one thing, what would you like it to be?

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie who?~

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia, quoted in Words from the Wise: Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said

When I pass on some time after my 102nd birthday, I’m pretty sure there will be some family members who may still remember me…probably.  Does it really matter though?  I mean, once you are gone so is your ego and that is the part of you that so wants to be remembered.  Eventually the memories fade and you will be forgotten, unless you are a major character in  world history, in which case it will just take a little longer for the memories to fade.

But while I am still around and before every memory of me has evaporated, my ego and I would love to be remembered for being kind.  I will admit right here, right now, that I have probably not always  been completely kind in every situation.  If any of you out there recall any of those memories, please forget them right now.  They must be old memories anyway.  Let’m go!  I want to live up to the quote at the top of this page from this point on.  Being known and remembered for your kindness towards others sounds like a perfect goal and one I’m aiming for.

Post Insert JacquieJacquie~

I’ve thought about this quite a lot and all I can come up with is that I hope my family and friends remember me as being a generous person.  Generous with my time,  money and material possessions.  Generous with my compliments and generous with my laughter.  It’s my way of showing people that I care about them, that I trust them and that I like them.  I’m not stingy, except maybe when you try to go for my potato chips.  I’m a pretty good tipper, too.  Maybe just being remembered as being nice is okay, too.  Nice is never a rousing endorsement, it’s usually a milquetoast adjective, but in this case I’m fine with it.

I’d find it much easier to write about what I hope I’m NOT remembered for.  Then I could be a bit funnier and dazzle with the shock and awe of the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned.   Truthfully, I’m not concerned about being remembered after I’m gone because I just don’t think I’m that important in the grand scheme of things.   I trust people will remember me for the right reasons and if they don’t then there’s nothing I can do about it.  I’m working on creating the best life I can live now, and I trust the rest will fall into place.

When my friends look at my photos on facebook (assuming it’s still around in 60 years) I hope they’ll be leaving comments like  “This old broad sure liked to have fun!”.

I would love it if,  when I pass on, my kids and grandkids want to ransack my art studio and perhaps even fight over a few pieces.  That would be so validating to me as an artist!  ; )

TracyTracy will be remembered for ~

I want to be remembered for living life as a good example (most of the time) for my kids~ Let me explain.  If I keep fit and show my children that it is part of my regular routine to run and take care of the body, hopefully they will as well.  If I show by example that eating  healthy is a part of my lifestyle they will too.  If I work hard and show them it pays off then they will naturally work hard as well.  They will see by example how I treat those around me.  “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

I am not saying that I am always a good example!  After all, I am human and to err is human.  I have done things in my life that should perhaps not be followed, but I also teach not to judge so there is a realistic balance in our lives.

I wish to be remembered for is how I approach my relationships.  I hope that living by example in my relationships will show my kids that just because everyone else isn’t doing it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  I want to show them that having the courage to be honest in a relationship will lead you to where you are meant to be.

Being a minority is okay and can be a healthy challenge.

I want to show my kids by example that no matter what life sends your way it is a lesson worth learning that can be turned into a positive experience by letting go of stereotyping, expectations and obligations.  There is always an exception to every rule!

What do you want to be remembered for ?

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Peer Pressure

peer pressureSchools Back and with that comes Peer Pressure!  When I think about the youth of the world I can’t help but think of those two words.

I was at a local track meet before summer and was inspired watching the athletes compete.  The look on their faces when they approached the finish line was what I enjoyed the most.  Such determination in each one of them.  All their hard work and discipline paid off.

During the track meet a group of 50-60 kids from the local high school walked across the field like they owned it while events were taking place. They headed for center field like it was their arena they were denied.  As they passed by all the parents, we heard them saying how excited they were to have come to watch a fight.  The mob quickly circled around a couple of guys who were about to be center stage when the principal and another teacher quickly diffused the situation.  Kudos’ to both of them for taking charge of such an enormous group of kids.  Unfortunately sometimes there is not always an adult near by to stop this kind of potential life changing mistake.  Young guys get all fired up and can’t control their hormones, they get lost in the moment, and because of peer pressure they lose complete control.

Some kids just haven’t got the confidence to make choices that will prevent the pressure from getting the better of them.  This lack of confidence can lead them into a compromising situation that they are not equipped to deal with, which could potentially change their life.

I think peer pressure is the underlying reason for most altercations between young guys or boys.  I believe fighting should be for one purpose and one purpose only, self defense.  My Dad trained for years in Kyokushin Karate (full contact karate), Scott achieved his Black belt through discipline and hard work and Bonnie and I trained in kickboxing together for several years, so I have a long history of being around controlled sparring.  Confidence is a very empowering feeling.  At some point in your life you may need to fight, it’s important to know how to protect yourself, but fighting today is not what it used to be.  The fight you participate in today may be the end of your life two weeks later because of retaliation.

Why has it become acceptable to stand by and watch?  If no one watched, the behavior would simply not happen.  My Dad gave me advice as a teen that always stayed with me, even today.  “If you are ever somewhere you don’t want to be, or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, leave!” It’s basically another way to use your voice. Walking away makes a statement too.

I think as parents we need to take some responsibility in the actions of our kids.  We need to know where are kids are and who they spend time with.  They need to know that they matter and that they can talk to us about absolutely anything.  Communication is key in keeping our kids safe and out of harms way.  Sometimes we let our kids down when they really need us.  We are there for them throughout elementary school but just drop them at the doors of high school and assume they don’t need us anymore, when in fact they need us even more.  We need to be there for our kids especially when they are trying to find their place in life.

If you would like more information on how to deal with peer pressure visit the link below.

Dealing with Peer PressureTracy

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Relive One Day!

Okay ladies if you could Relive One Day all over again what day would you pick and why?

TTracy Relives the Past~

While running last Saturday August 15th 2009 which is my son Jesse’s birthday I couldn’t help but reflect back on that day eleven years ago.  Jesse was my first child, who gave me the gift of being a Mom.  While I relived that day in my mind as I ran I wished that I could go back to it and do it all over again.

Eleven very memorable years have past since that day and it still brings tears to my eyes thinking of becoming a Mom for the first time.  On that day my life as I once knew it changed.  My heart stretched bigger than I could have ever imagined.  I felt everything more intensely.  My maternal instincts all came alive on that day.

I remember Bonnie once told me after the birth of her son James that if she was told she had to eliminate everyone on this planet to save his life she would do it in a mother’s heart beat.  I disagreed and said “I would save my husband, my soul mate, you can always have another child.”  On August 15 1998 everyone on the planet was fair game if I was ever faced with that dilemma.  Yes even my soul mate, gone, every single one of you!

The magnitude of emotion that pours through your soul is indescribable.  You can’t believe this little human being came from you and your partner, you created them !  They grew inside of you for 10 months and every moment is surreal, from finding out you were pregnant to feeling your babies first flutter, to the grand finale of holding your precious little baby.  I felt overwhelming love.  It was hard to believe you could love something so small, so much, instantly.  When you touch for the very first time the connection is pure magic.  It’s falling in loves in it’s purest form.  Bliss.  I can tell you without a doubt that being a Mother has been the best thing I have EVER done.  Every day I have the pleasure of spending time with my kids is a blessing I am forever thankful for.  So ladies what day would you like to relive again?   Birth of Jesse

jacquie janzen yeeJacquie~

Great photo, Tracy!   Isn’t it funny how our minds work?  When I read the question I understood it to mean what day would you like to ‘do over’ as in erase from memory with a clean slate and get it right this time kinda thing.  Ha! Like I could pick just one!

I’d have to say I’d love a retake of the day I competed for Miss Teen Vancouver back when I was 15.  My sister had invited several our friends to be in the audience and so the pressure was on to do well.  During the interview portion I remember the other girls getting great questions like ‘Which famous character from a novel do you admire most?’ (Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice) or ‘Should Phys Ed still be taught in high schools?” (yes)

My question was about women’s lib.  Now, I knew nothing about women’s lib, being only 15, and so my answer upset some feminists in the audience and apparently I got some boos from their direction.  Yowza!  I think I said something  about how I felt men and women were made differently for a reason and so each were better suited for specific jobs.  It had to do with how our brains processed info differently.  Yeah, I know…painful!   For years I would cringe whenever I thought of that day, and the way my friends were buckled over with laughter at my faux pas (they did take me out for a sundae at White Spot afterwards to soothe my jangly nerves).

I have a much broader grasp on the topic now and could handle that question so much better if given the chance, but I still think men and women deal with issues differently and bring unique talents to the table based on gender.   I just needed a more PC way to say it when I was 15!

Vive La Difference!

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie Looks Back~

First off, I just have to say ~  “I LOVE that photo Tracy!”  The joy on your face is so uplifting.  A perfect moment caught by the camera forever.

When I first thought about the subject for this post I had a few wonderful memories pop into my head.  Some of the “firsts” would be worth reliving (some not).  I thought I might write about a carefree day in my childhood, a time before I knew any disappointment or sadness.

Instead I’m thinking back to the day that James was born.  It wasn’t the same for me as it was for Tracy.  I didn’t feel an instant connection like she did.  I felt odd, like I didn’t know who the strange little person was who lay so near me in his little hospital crib.   I really didn’t.  Everyone around me expected me to just know how to handle him and what he wanted whenever he squeaked.  I didn’t have a clue.  Those maternal instincts did not rush in the moment I laid eyes on him.  It happened slowly for me.  I gradually began to love every ounce of the demanding little stranger, but not instantly.  I did feel a strong need to protect the little gaffer.  Knowing him and loving him the way I do now does make me want to go back and relive that day.   To really understand the gift of sharing the very first day of life with my precious son.

And then I’d like to relive each and every day with him after that too.  Because now that he has grown and moved away I look back and wish I could have appreciated each of those days more.  Yes  I would have done some things differently for sure, but most of all I would have enjoyed every single moment of the time we lived together.  Sigh.

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Sports Day Ribbons…what’s happened to them?

Sports Day RibbonIndividual Sports Day Ribbons are obsolete unless of course you really know how to decorate your bike.  We acknowledge the ‘artsy’ kids but not the ‘athletic‘ ones.  Why is that?  We grade our kids in Math, Spelling, Art, Science, Social Studies, and PE in their daily school activities but we are afraid of hurting their feelings at Sports day.

Who decided that kids don’t need a ribbon for being the fastest in the relay or catching the most bean bags?  I understand that not everyone is good at sports but not everyone is good at art!  I think as parents it is up to us to encourage our kids and give them support for trying their best.  Sometimes your personal best is just not good enough to come first place!  Is that so bad?  Olympic athletes are going for the Gold metal but only few achieve it!  This doesn’t discourage them from training for years to give it their best.  Which sadly is sometimes not good enough, but we all still love to watch them try.

Sports day today is made up of  ‘Houses’ with names and colours attached such as the ‘Green Flaming Frogs’.  The kids in the school are divided up into those groups and their group competes for points in order to win 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place, as a group.  There is no individual ribbons given out anymore.  To make it worse they don’t even get their ribbon until the following week, when all the excitement has worn off.  Kind of like getting a pat on the back for something you did last week.  Anticlimactic!  There’s more…it’s also fixed on occasion just in case ‘yellow house’ has never won, they need a turn too.  What’s the world coming to.  Why can’t kids be acknowledge for their individual efforts instead of being lost in a group.  Come on it’s not a union job, it’s sports day!  There is nothing wrong with knowing as a child or adult that there will ALWAYS be someone bigger, stronger, faster, taller, smarter, funnier than you!  That’s life, embrace it.

Do we really think that kids would have as much fun or even want to put their best effort in if they knew it was fixed?  I hate to hear about sporting events being fixed.  It ruins it completely!  It’s not real!  Just like when you find out an Olympic athlete used steroids to win.  It’s not fair and you don’t really care about the results because it’s all made up.

When I was little every kid in the school decorated their bike.  You did it by yourself.  You didn’t want your parents help or it wasn’t your ribbon you won, if you won.  Your effort or creativity usually matched your placing.  Usually, just like in real life.  Makes perfect sense.

I spent the entire day with my kids at their sports day.  I love to see them having fun, being challenged and bonding with their friends.  I cheer them on with words of encouragement just to see the smiles on their faces while they try to balance a new potato on a spoon while running around a chair.  But much to my chagrin they still don’t give out ribbons to individual kids.

I remember when sports day was about trying your hardest and maybe coming home with a few colourful ribbons!  Sometimes you got 1st and sometimes you got 8th.  There was no ‘participation ribbon’.  If there were 6 kids in the race you could get anywhere from 1st place to 6th place.  You got a ribbon either way, it didn’t have to say 1st on it, it was just a different color.  At end of the day we all rode our bikes home talking about who won the relay or whose bike was the most creative.  We laughed and everyone loved the day from the moment they woke up to the moment their eyes closed that night from exhaustion!

I know I am not the only parent who thinks this or I wouldn’t have even thought it worth a post.  I don’t want any kids to feel bad at the end of the day for not getting the pretty purple ribbon but I honestly think this is adults sheltering kids from life lessons that they are more than equipped to deal with.  Perhaps a ‘sports day grinch’ story is behind it all.

I heard a couple parents talking last year about possibly arranging a ‘Rep Sports Day‘.  Tryouts will begin in the spring!  (that’s a joke)  Not a bad idea though.  House sports day or Rep?  Which would you sign your kids up for?  My son would be rep for sure!  My daughter, she’s just there for the fun experience, a true Canadian!  Did you win any ribbons as a kid or even care?

I recently had this article brought to my attention and wanted to add the link for those of you interested in reading more about Sports Day Ribbons!

Let school kids learn their life lessons early Skip self-esteem issues, stir up those competitive juices... by Jon Ferry

Tracy

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Obligations and Expectations.

TracyObligations and expectations are something everyone accumulates over time.  They can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.  They start to layer themselves on us until we start to feel like our lives are being directed by everyone but us.  Family obligations are one thing, such as celebrations and doing things for other family members because we want to, but it’s another story when acquaintances start to guilt you into doing what they think is something you should do, because they feel obligated to.  People do this when they don’t know how to say no.

With great friendships and true love there are no obligations or expectations.  Fear is full of obligations.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of what people will think if you say “no”.  Fear of being a minority.  Fear of not being accepted if you don’t play along with the politics.  Fear of being judged.  Fear is a horrible emotion that leads you further away from who you truly are.  Fear nothing and you will make the right decisions.  Without fear you can live your life truthfully and authentically.  The next time someone puts their obligations onto you ask yourself  ” Is this really something I want to do?” If the answer is no then chances are it is an obligation trying to be put on you.

When I first started to see this happening in my life I was unsure of how to deal with it.  I finally just said “no”.  I stood back and looked at the person who was trying,  I will repeat trying, to put their obligations on to me.  I flat out refused to accept it.  People who over book themselves are really pro at putting their obligations on others.  If their doing it, so should you.  Soon their family and life gets overtaken by what they feel expected to do until they no longer have control over their own lives.  Family dinners get cancelled, the time they used to spend for themselves is gone because of the obligations they have accepted throughout the years.  It’s a Dominos Effect.

People in general these days are busier than ever, and there isn’t enough time in the day for everything they’re obligated to do.  In my opinion we need to get back to the basics and quit accepting more things to do.  We need to have our family be our priority and spend more quality time together.  We need to stop overbooking our kids and ourselves and start living our lives for us.

I am not certain whether it was an age thing with me in being able to say “no” or that I really just have my time and my family as a priority.  I think it’s a combination of both.  If we don’t start making changes, our family time will become a scheduled event marked on our calender along with everything else.  For many this is already the norm, but it’s never too late to reevaluate if your time is well spent or balanced.  Life is too short to have it filled with obligations we didn’t feel good about to begin with.

That’s just my opinion!  Comments are always Welcome !

Tracy

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The Beach

Isn’t the beach a fun place to be!  There are certain areas of the beach that should be completely avoided if you’re looking for solitude or a quiet book read.  But if your like me and totally get off on people watching, smack dab in the center is where you want to plant yourself.  You just have to sit and they will come. Beach

The people, that is.   If you have more than a two foot radius around you it will inevitably be filled with someone similar to those you find yourself  beside on a long flight.  Those people LOVE me!   Forget the warm sun, sand, fresh air and water, bring me the people!  There’s a little something for everyone!

woman playing guitarI spent the day at the beach basking in the sun, watching the kids search for treasures and listening to several vignettes going on around me.  Here are a few I experienced first hand.

There was a blonde woman with a guitar who I could have listened to all day but she only strummed for a short while.  What a great instrument to take to the beach!

There were two French guys who balanced rocks and sticks to make the West Coast version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Loved what they contributed to their beach visit. Rock balancing

There were the loud talkers who annoyed just about the entire beach with their inane, meaningless conversations sitting right behind me.  I don’t remember hearing a pause the entire time they sat there.  For some reason they felt the need to do a play by play of what their kids were doing directly in front of them. “oh look he is picking up the shell, oh look he is touching the sand on the log, oh look he is looking at me looking at him“, confirmation to me of why you don’t marry your brother settle.  (I suppose some people are uncomfortable with silence)

Two pretty young girls showed up ready to meet singles.  I really have to agree with Denis Leary, skinny jeans are for skinny girls!  Why do young girls feel the need to wear jeans that are 7 sizes too small.  Sorry but I just don’t think this is being addressed enough because it’s everywhere I look.  I have always been fit but will admit I also know what it feels like to be a sausage in a casing that is too small on occasion.  It’s not comfortable!  Where does the message that is sent to their brain that this is painful get lost.  There has to be millions of them just floating around!  We all know it doesn’t feel good so it must be because they think it looks good?  Honestly if they wore the right size trousers they would look great!  Hmmmm…Maybe it’s that their shirt is just too short?

I saw a Mother of twins lose it.  By the time she got one ready to leave and lifted up over a log the other one wiggled away from her.   About two minutes into this cat and mouse game her switch flipped.  Her voice did that monster thing where it completely changed!  In slow motion, face slightly distorted, she did the unmentionable!!  She came unglued big time!  “Billleeeee commmmme heeeeeeere”.  You couldn’t help but stop what you were doing and look hoping to catch a glimpse of Ogopogo!  Billy had bolted for the ice-cream shop down the street! Bolting Billy

This poor Mom had absolutely no control right from the start.  I, being a seasoned pro of older children who NEVER did that EVER,  somehow found humor in the Monster voice.  I am embarrassed to say I never even looked up to see if she got hold of the twins because, well, because.  Not the right answer?  My kids never tried to bolt and if they had I would have done what worked with the dog and hid close by until they panicked and realized they, too, needed to know where I was.  Aha!  That’s why they stick so close 10 years later!  So yeah, I just couldn’t relate.  The woman’s husband was somewhere ( I think he bolted to get the car), I am sure he came back, but I am positive he look his sweet time.

The beach is all about the below average hamburger and fries, ice-cream and getting sand in your pink parts. It’s a package deal for me.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  I like all of these people deep down, otherwise I would sit down at the end where no one bothers to walk.

Tracy

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