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baby soft

I get in my head a lot. I work in an office by myself, and though I’m often in and out, and sometimes people come in, I do spend the majority of my day sitting in a quiet state. Sometimes I’ll put on music, but I’m not much of a music person. Diametrically opposed to my husband, the music lover. I like podcasts, but since I’m often in and out, I’d miss parts, and I don’t like missing parts.

I don’t like thinking about my kids ageing. And this is one of things I dwell on. I sometimes like to think about my sixteen-year-old ageing, though, as in, ageing another year and a half because then she’s an adult and can live on her own because sometimes parenting a teenager is SO HARD SO HARD. Even though she’s a really great teenager, she’s still a teenager and it’s still hard and why do they have to grow up again?

I mourn my kids leaving the early years of childhood. Especially Preston, since I know that there is nobody coming after him. He’s it. His soft cheeks I can cover in kisses. His giggle as I chase him around the kitchen. His bony butt as he snuggles on my lap.

It’s funny, because when they’re babies, you just can’t wait for them to reach the next step. Holding their head up, sitting, crawling, walking, talking … At what point do you want them to slow down again? To stop going so fast?

I ran across this photo of Liliana the other day. Her crazy blond hair and her big inquisitive eyes. She was a handful back then, but I’d give anything to go back there. I love when they’re little.

But Preston will be seven in a few short months. Will he still want me to smother him in kisses? Will his cheeks still be baby soft? Will he still want to sit in close to me as we watch Grey’s Anatomy together? Will he still think it hilarious to kick me out of bed on Saturday mornings so he can snuggle into my spot? Will he still want to hold my hand when we’re walking together? Will he still need that third hug when I’m heading out the door?

As proud of him as I am, of each new milestone he reaches, it’s one step away from being my little boy. One step closer to being all grown up. And probably being taller than me.

Kaylie will be driving by herself soon. Liliana is growing out of pants faster than we can buy them for her. I swear Preston grew six inches in the last year. There are so many wonderful things about kids getting older, like diapers being gone, like seatbelts being done up unassisted, like games being funner to play.

But my babies. I miss my babies.

Categories: parenting is hard
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Resolutions

1. Read more
2. Write more
3. Run more
4. Love more
5. Give more

And maybe eat a little less chocolate.

Categories: uncategorized
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sixteen

Dear Kaylie,

You turned 16 this year. SIXTEEN. WHUT.

You spent your sixteenth summer the same way we did the previous few years: at Miss Lisa’s cabin. You got to drive the four-wheeler and couldn’t have been happier about it. You sure love it at Miss Lisa’s.

We then headed to BC where you got your annual piercing. We pulled a fast one on your dad and your Miss Sue though. You wanted to get your lip pierced but we said no. So you got your nose pierced. We did that at a tattoo shop, but you also got your second holes pierced, which we did at Claire’s. While Auntie Laura-Mae and I were waiting for you, we found fake piercings. We had a great idea.

When we walked back into Big Papi and Miss Sue’s house, we went down to the basement where your dad was watching some sort of sports. We then showed him the piercing in your lip. Dad looked from you to me to you to me and was like, WHAT??? We then laughed and laughed and he realised it was fake. A couple hours later when Miss Sue got home, we got her too. She was not ok with it. We had a lot of fun.

While we were in Kelowna we also got to see your baby friend Reece. You two used to be two peas in a pod when you were little. It was good to see the two of you together again, if only for a few hours.

One great thing that happened in your sixteenth year is that you got your driver’s license. You started driver’s ed and your dad and I were SO SCARED that you were about to hit the road! You’re our BABY and you were going to be DRIVING. Terrifying! You passed and were ready to get behind the wheel.

The first time you got behind the wheel, we drove around the parking lot of the church. You went sooooo sloooooow. But we were both nervous and it was a start. We finally hit an actual road, though, and you did ok. Not great, but a good start. You’ve gotten better with practice!

You and Lily performed in your first dance competitions in the spring. You did so well! It was so fun to see you on stage. There were two of them two weekends in a row, but you guys hit them out of the park.

You had your sixteenth birthday party in June. You planned ahead! You had your BFF Paige, your BF Ben, and Ben’s friend Wyatt over. You guys had a water fight with many, many water balloons, a couple water guns, and a hose. You guys were soaked! This was followed by putting makeup on Wyatt. Why? I have no idea.

But you’re sixteen now. I still don’t know how that happened. One minute you were growling out the window at our house in Caronport and then next you’re behind the wheel of a death machine.

You’re smart, Kaylie. Though you’re just like your dad and you need to apply yourself more, which you know. You do so well in school when you put your mind to it. You love art, and your art grades are perfect. Math is not your strong suit, but you’ve worked hard on it. You’re a reader. You go through books like nobody I’ve ever met. I’m so glad you love to read.

In the spring we decided for you to switch schools in the fall. We felt it was the best thing for you and I’m glad we made the change. You’re happier for it!

You have plans to go to Australia after you graduate. Better get a job, my dear! We should work on that more. I know you’ll love it. You’re an independent soul, and you need to spread your wings.

I’m proud of you Kaylie, I’m so glad I get to be your mom.

Love,
Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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ten

Dear Liliana,

You turned 10 this year. Double digits! You’ve been looking forward to your birthday for some time now. You love celebrating, and on April 25 we celebrated ten years with you.

You had your party a couple weeks after your birthday and you had so much fun with your friends Evelyn and Layla. You struggle in making friends but those two girls are solid friends. You were nervous about having two friends who didn’t know each other before your party, but the three of you got along so well, and Layla and Evelyn were instant friends. We celebrated as a family too and took you and your siblings to Ruckers. You love that place so much.

You have been working since last year to earn a fish. The rule was that you had to keep your room clean for a whole 30 days before you got your fish. You misunderstood and took it to mean that for 30 individual days you had to have your room clean and you were devastated to find out that we meant 30 consecutive days. But we compromised. I cleaned your room thoroughly and now, with less stuff, you’re keeping it clean pretty well. So you got your fish. You told me that you now feel safer with another living thing in your room. You’ve been doing well feeding it so far, but I know you’ll continue to care for it going forward.

You are such a great sister. You love to spend one-on-one time with both your siblings. I know you’re frustrated that your and Kaylie’s relationship has evolved as the two of you have gotten older, but you two still have fun when you spend time together. Your brother is so excited when you spend time with him. You two can play together for hours.

I mentioned Layla earlier. You two are like two peas in a pod. She moved here from Washington earlier this year. She visited a few times before moving here and the two of you hit it off instantly.

You do so well in school. Your grades are top notch. Your teacher has such fun with you an actually requested you be in her class. She has already asked to have you in her class again next year, since she teaches a 5/6 split.

You love to read. You love to read so much that any time we ask you to do something, we find you in your room reading. Sometimes it’s a problem though, like when you’re supposed to be getting dressed or coming to dinner or doing your chores. But mostly we love your love of reading.

I’m so proud of the person you are becoming, Liliana. You are kind, compassionate, and wise beyond your years.

Happy belated birthday, my dear.

Love,
Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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six

Dear Preston,

Today you turn six years old. I’m so overwhelmed with how fast these past six years have gone. I have enjoyed parenting you every day of your life. Five has been so much fun. Every day you are a blessing to me. You light up the lives of me, your dad, and your sisters. We are so thankful for you.

I often tell you that you’ll always be my baby and you love to hear me say it. You love it when we read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and you often tell me the story of how Peppa Pig’s mom tells her that she’ll always be her mom’s baby just like you’ll always be my baby.

You’ve come so far in your speech this past year. At the beginning of kindergarten you were struggling in pronouncing your Ls and your Rs and now you pronounce them almost perfectly. You say “incept” instead of “except” and “sumping” instead of “something” and I just love it so much. I know you’ll say those properly one day, but I’m enjoying the time while you say them how you say them now.

You look forward to going to school. You’re excited when you wake up and know it’s a school day. Your best school friends are Mark and Luke and Michael. You also like to play with Pyper and Wong. Your reading and spelling impress me so much. You’ve learned so much and your teacher has such good things to say about you. I hope you continue to enjoy school as much as you do now.

When you’re not in school, you go to Michelle’s house. It’s been a bit of a transition this last month of me working full-time for the first time in your life, and there are often tears when I drop you off, but at the end of the day you’ve had such a great time that you’re often sad to leave.

You love kisses. You say you don’t, but you do. You like one on your left cheek, one on your right cheek, one on your forehead, and one on your nose. You’ll tell me to try to kiss you and then you’ll put your arms over your head and giggle and squirm to try to stop me.

You love to wrestle with your dad and your Big Papi. Your new favourite move is the frog splash. You randomly run up to your dad and start punching him. One day soon you will be too strong to do this, but for now it is perfectly acceptable. Most of the time. You just have to watch where those fists go!

You’ve been big into Uno lately. You just played a couple games with your dad before bed tonight. When you get into a game, you really get into it. It wasn’t too long ago that Guess Who was your game of choice. Your dad is your favourite person to play these games with and you sure love beating him!

Your favourite thing in the whole wide world is video games. Ok, maybe not your absolute favourite thing, but you enjoy video games immensely. You love to get games from the library; the Wii U is your console of choice. You can sit for hours on the game pad, which you get to do on Saturday mornings. You love Saturday mornings.

On Sunday we went to get you your birthday present. A bike. We didn’t tell you what we were there for, and when we first showed you that your present was a bike, you were not impressed. You said you’d rather have video games. But we got you on the bike and you took it for a spin and by the time we left the store you were so excited about it. I hope you love it.

Preston, I love how much you love life. When I wake you up in the morning you just can’t wait to get the day started, though the odd time you’re a little groggy, but even then it takes you only a few moments to jump out of bed and start your day. You’re happy almost all the time, and your presence makes our days so much better.

I hope you have a great year being six. And slow these days down a little, because I want to savour every bit of them.

Happy birthday, buddy.

Love,
Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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