Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motherhood. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nagging moms raise more successful girls!



I love going to Google to look for an image, usually mid-way through, while writing a blog.  Ironically, the more productive I feel in real life, the better the writing seems to become.  If looking at the stats on meanderingABOUT and YUPPYdom are a strong indication.

Finding the perfect image to compliment the point I want to emphasis, often buried in all the other stuff I write.  I might start out with a strong title and then start writing.  However, once the image has been chosen, there is a strong likelihood that the title will change along with it.

I could spend hours looking at Pinterest art and photographic splendor:  there is a LOT of talent out there in the universe.  

Thankfulness
I may be slightly off the mark in my thankfulness blog to commemorate our Canadian Thanksgiving this year earlier in October [ usually, it fall around the third week of October, or so I thought ].

I'm sure my brother is thankful every October.  That is when he married his love of his life, his wife.  He was kinda private about relationships from what I remember growing up.  He is affectionately stereotyped as the Baby Boomer Older Sibling or BBOS (yes, somewhat bossy, but typically laid back unless you touched one of his record albums and left a speck of dust, he'd punch you in the arm).

Not anywhere else.  Just the arm.  Thankfully, it never happened very often.  In fact, once was quite enough.  



Ironically, growing up in the 1960s was not all about being groovy and surrounded by peace and love.  From what I recall, corporal punishment was outlawed just before me.  Happy to note, such an adventure to the principal's office for the strap is not among the repertoire of experiences I have had.

Yes, the innocent aura of my tribe of 1961 friends and classmates.  Yes, the worst year in history according to demographic specialists who authored "Boom Bust or Echo".  Light reading for a 25 year old to be sure.  That would have been in 1986.  A self-confessed YUPPY of a bygone era, overshadowed by Millennial entitlement, a product of our generous and forgiving parenting style where we tried to reason, take away "privileges"  the worst punishment these hipsters had to endure.  That, and our endless nagging or demanding Mom.

That REMINDS ME!!  One of my daughters texted me with a link to the following:

"Study:  Girls with nagging moms grow up to be more successful"

http://nbc4i.com/2017/10/31/study-girls-with-nagging-moms-grow-up-to-be-more-successful/
READ:  Nagging moms .... LINK


YES, this is the same one who gave me the PINK SLIP a couple of weeks ago.  One minute I'm driving her crazy and the next, I'm her hero.

The best story of nagging happened when she was at the enlightened age of 13.  As a January baby, beginning school at 3 because I recognized that she had a very inquisitive mind and knowledge student.  

I was trying to think of a gift for my son, who would have been 16 at Christmas.  That's when you start to realize that gifts are not masses of stuff but one perfectly thought out gift that connects with the age appropriateness of a boy starting the difficult journey of becoming a man.  Not something too boyish, it was getting to be a real bore buying a video game or a video console every year.  It was also expensive and not quite memorable.

In steps my daughter, where we're about to embark in the biggest mother-daughter battle of our respective generations.  Setting the tone for the next 15 to 20 years.  She suggests that I get him two tickets to this concert in February just in and around his birthday.  

Brilliant!  Now I had not even thought of that!  Probably because it was not uncommon for me to take them and pals to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary [when I did have to pay for entrance, having years ago been their advertising representative, attending free openings, general meetings, shareholder meetings, artist presentations, launching shows].  They all had been to live performances with me from The Nutcracker to Phantom of the Opera to The Wiz on Broadway in New York, NY.

So I did buy those two tickets as my lovely offspring suggested.  Son was just "meh" over the present.  He didn't even appear interested with his sister's first pay-as-you-go cell phone [ one of the reasons she turned into a math whiz I'm sure, from learning to subtract backwards on declining minutes of coolness ].

Well, as it happens.  The daughter had actually wanted to go to said concert.  She was 9/10 convinced that her brother would reward her thoughtfulness for coming up with the idea, that he would ask her to go with him.

As the date of the concert started to draw closer, her hints were replaced by out-and-out-demands that he take her to the concert.

As the most perfect brother would, he just didn't respond.  The more she squawked, the less he noticed.  




It was time to go to war.  It was time to get everyone on her side of the army to help convince her brother that she was the most logical and OBVIOUS partner.

He didn't agree.  I respected his decision, reinforcing that choice every time she peeped up.

The day of the concert also happened to be when I was going to compete in a Toastmasters' International Contest by giving a speech.  I was nervous already, about to step off the cliff of my comfort zone and compete.  

Dressed to the nines to work I went that day.  Thinking back as one of the most disastrous days as a mother.  

Like any army general, I had the battalion organized with the support and help of the Master Sgt, my mother, and her side kick, my father.  I would pick up the one daughter at home with my son, then drop her off at my parents, who would pick up the youngest daughter from her soccer game, which I had arranged carpooling with another soccer mom.  My parents would feed the girls and my son would eat garbage at the concert and be content after I drove him there with his buddy.

Like any well-intentioned-mother, I had clearance from work to leave at four o'clock to "prepare for my contest" that evening.  I was already trying to think of ways I could bow out gracefully without showing the stage fright I was hit with!

Happily practicing and rehearsing out loud as I joined the commute home:  not appearing as though I were singing like all the other gals in the various lanes, nope.  I was looking like I was talking to myself!

SOURCE:  Getty Images


Being a single mother of three, perfection was my decree:  the better a job I do at being a parent than their dad, the happier they would be.  No, no yelling.  While a locked jaw clenching my teeth was usually the best sign for the troops to run for cover:  it never looked good and appeared more foreboding than any disciplinary measures handed out.

When I arrived home, not one girl was missing but both!  Huh?  Oh, look a note from the articulate writer who confessed to having swiped her brother's concert tickets and gone to it with her best friend, Stephanie.  {Ironic how both girls best friends when they were 13 were both named Stephanie - I ignored any red flags with the 2nd daughter that I shouldn't have!}

Now that I think of it, I wonder if I ever did save that note.  With butterflies, sunshine and flowers surrounding the words, she begged for forgiveness and understanding on how much SHE wanted to go to the concert.  How mean her brother WAS for not agreeing to take her, she couldn't stop herself and her best friend from going.  Fear not, she knows what she is doing and will text when she is safely settled into the seats so I won't worry about her!

I aptly stepped into the role of psycho [which a daughter has accused her mother of on more than one occasion].  

OMGosh, the competition.  Everything was choreographed and timed to perfection like carefully laid out dominoes [which I never mastered for real].  Now I had to call my mom to tell her that I wouldn't be dropping off the one daughter, but that didn't mean that all other plans were in play:  they still needed to pick up the younger daughter at her soccer game at precisely 7:30 p.m.  Of course, I had to wait for her to come to the entrance of her seniors building after riding the elevator down.  

SOURCE:  Allan Sanders


That was fine because like any fierce general faced with combat, I was barking on the phone to the Stephanie mother, who was proudly informing me that she had done her part of the carpooling to the concert since her daughter was so graciously invited to share with mine, apparently, picking them up when it was over after my competition!

My competition!  Less than an hour and a half.  Fat chance for rehearsal before the stage.  Hey, I couldn't make it!  I had to retrieve my daughter from the concert.  I was going to teach her a lesson.



Don't mess with the mom
Everyone knows this.  Wisdom about staying away from Grizzly bear mothers with her cubs is common knowledge!

Unfortunately for daughter, she wasn't aware of doing anything wrong.  She had left me a note, made carpooling arrangements, all without interfering with the original plan.

She had a phone!
Imagine me texting from the pulled over spot I was at [setting the appropriate example, important at all times, as though children and grandparents have CCTV capabilities that weren't even installed, or not yet, or were they?  Ensuring mannerly conduct complimenting the polished, professional suit I was in that said:  

"I mean business!"

Back in that early dawn of the new Millennium of the early 2000s, it likely was a Blackberry, the clear badge of honor most YUPPIES grasped and carried, or hooked on our waists with the blazer casually tucked aside, like a police firearm, the Blackberry.  No professional parent of an honorable upbringing child would NOT have a Blackberry!  

Also, we didn't have SMART PHONES where we could thumb or swipe maps and itineraries with merely a flick!  We were thumb champions, children of the 60s, Yuppies of the 80s!

I did my best to appear "calm" in my text to said daughter to ask her where she was, trying to appear casual, avoiding betraying at all costs, the combination of rage and panic:  my baby is at a concert without parental attendance!

Surely, they would ask for ID or notice that the name on the ticket was in her brother's name?  You ask?  Well, back then, they were not email confirmations with all the pertinent information like NAME of purchaser, concert seat, which could have easily have been printed out again under any circumstances!

Imagine the parking at the Calgary Saddle Dome.  Darn, I couldn't just pull up as a drop off, I had to pay for parking, look for parking, park, then hoof it to the entrance.

Heaven and mercy.  At least the son has a remarkable memory!  He recalled an approximate location of the seats, which he observed where pretty amazing, now that he thought of not having them anymore.

The rebellious daughter had not responded to my text.  The nerve!  




I likely gained attention while driving and parking waving my arms and raising eyes to the heavens when telling my buddy, Maddy, what I was in the midst of:  a crisis of massive proportions!  

She graciously offered to let the folks know that I would not be able to compete due to an unforeseen family emergency!  [ How many hear that and think:  "she chickened out"? ]  Well I was thinking about it, but now I had no choice!

I marched up to the security guard at the entrance attracting some attention for wearing a beautiful navy pant suit, perfectly coiffed hair, aesthetically polished nails and tasteful complimenting accessories and matching shoes with purse!

After explaining my situation:  that my daughter had taken her brother's present and come to the concert without my permission or knowledge and I needed to lock in parenting strategy 101:  grab daughter and eject from the concert.

A motley crew we must have appeared:  my five feet zero executive pace, clicking pumps with a purpose in mind.  Accompanied by the security guard who was a big foot Chibawka with less hair, appearing more like a bodyguard.  By then, I was pretty accustomed to flipping eyeballs and raised brows.  



Let's call him George.
While escorting me to the office at the opposite of the building, he asked me for a description of said daughter in case we miraculously crossed paths with the offender.  

Only kids born in the 90s remember "EMO"
which was the opposite of whatever their parents may have happened to look like:  lots of very dark circles around eyes, fashionable hardly ever!  Black clothes:  black jean jacket, black jeans, black t-shirt, with died pitch black hair.  Maybe carrying her pay-as-you-go flip phone for peers to notice, they were more than happening by being at said concert.

George didn't slow his pace after ingesting the description any decent mother would recall what her child looked like for Pete's sake [ nobody says:  "Pete's sake" anymore, you notice?].

He empathetically observed and commented that she would fit right in since she looked like every other concert goer we were speeding past.  



Just as we were approaching the will-call booth to begin closing in on the culprit, I did get a text back [she probably remembered the number one rule she was nagged about when she got her pay-as-you-go-phone:  "always answer the mother, no matter what you are doing, even if on the toilet and asking her to hang on so she could wash her hands").

My daughter's text calmly advised that I should not worry as she is in her seats, safe.  The concert was about to begin.  She'll let me know when it is close to ending so I can swing by and pick them up out front.

They were so advanced technologically at the time:  all I had to do was provide the attendants with my DEBIT CARD [note:  single mother as stated previously.  CREDIT CARDs go better being part of a couple].  My ID was used to verify that I should be a very irate parent.  They were able to verify that the seats were claimed with the tickets.  The speed in response was amazing!

The other security guards were starting to form a circle around me as I waited for the seat details and escort to pick up my daughter.  Trying not to be rude [texting while conversing was unheard of "back then"], I texted to inform daughter that I was in the building, she was going to be surrounded by security guards and her name was going to be said out loud by the act's lead singer, telling her that she should meet her mother at the concourse!  

Never humiliate a child unless you want revenge
She gasped and said that she was on the floor, no longer in her seats, so I wouldn't be able to find her.  By now, I was furiously texting to demand that she give herself up and come out, it wasn't going to end well for her if she didn't.

Smarty pants response was that the concert was just starting and she'd be coming out when it was done.  My response was less composed when I told her to watch for all the guards' flashlights going up and down the aisle.  We knew where the seats were.  She could meet me or we could come and get her.

When caught in an argument with an adolescent child, name calling, threats don't work.  

The show down was set at the replacement for the Corral in Calgary, the Saddle Dome.

The stadium was blacked out with the exception of George and I carefully avoiding taking a tumble, with a flashlight guiding him and his hulk blinding me.

She wasn't there!  

We went back to the concourse as my thumbs were warmed up and I reminded her she should be hearing her name any second before the band started.

Embarrassment is revenge
a parent should enforce.  At 13, being singled out among peers at such a big coolness event with the mention of having a mother, was a disaster worth considering.

She gave herself up.
There was only so much she was prepared to do.  She walked up to me with Stephanie so casually, as if it was a well thought out planned meeting.

"You're coming with me"
George boomed as he grabbed their arms as he started to firmly walk them to someplace he had in mind.  There was no rehearsal on what we would do when they finally gave themselves up.  I was curious somewhat on where we were going, but too puffed up with pride for accosting the culprits:  I was victorious.  I had won.  I had found the stubborn so and so.

Every stadium has a jail
for wayward tweens and teens, originally intended for drunks and obnoxious folks waiting for a trip to downtown.

George took them into the jail
I caught a glimpse of a grey room, more like an arena dressing room without any bars.

George politely asked me to wait outside
I'm sure my look of astonishment wasn't lost on the girls, who may have decided at that precise moment that the fun was done.  They were catching heat of the shocking kind!

After what seemed like a very long time, remembering that everything had been a blur since sailing out of work to glide into my wonderfully planned organizational masterpiece of pulling off being in three places at once.

George came out and whispered to me:  " I really think 'we' got them.  What would you like me to do?  Scare them?"

Masterfully calm parenting
was out the window.  I exclaimed:  "YES!  Make her pay.  She deserves to do the time!"

After promising to come out in a few moments, George hailed another enforcer, motioning another Big Foot Chibawka to join me and wait for a few, he needed help escorting a couple of young girls out of the building.

True to character, the young darling was miffed and annoyed by the time she reappeared.  Declaring to all within hearing (a wide area) directed to George and complaining to me that a big deal was being made out of nothing.

"Nothing?" boomed George, supported by a scowl from his associate.  "Were you not in possession of stolen tickets?" he asked.

"Stolen!?!" she responded.  They were her brother's tickets and they were NOT stolen she declared, indignantly.

"Young lady, did you pay for those tickets?" She immediately glared at me to provide support.  I was quite intimidated by the turn of events and remained quiet.  [Not my strongest suit.]

George then turned, all 6 or 7 foot of over 200 lbs, quite easily two of me or my daughter and I combined and asked me:  "Ma'am would you like me to take this young lady down to the police station for them to do an inquiry on stolen property?"

I gulped and blushed as concert stragglers were being entertained by this scene, suggesting that perhaps that wasn't necessary if she was prepared to come home with me then and at the same time drop her friend off home on the way.

The longest mile
You've seen in the movies where the police escort or bailiff escorts the criminal to jail or to court.  In our case, it was two imposing figures flanking all three of us as they walked with us to the nearest exit.  George asked if we needed assistance to our vehicle and I assured him it wasn't far and we were good to go.  As I turned to lead the girls to the car, George winked at me.

Oh the shame, embarrassment
was the rant the whole drive home, while her friend was frozen in fear to what she may expect when she got home where her mother was waiting.  She had ignored her mother's frantic calls and text messages as well.

After allowing my wayward daughter to exhaust herself from crying and bemoaning how she was going to be the laughing stock when "everyone" heard that her mother had come down to the stadium and hauled her out, narrowly avoiding jail time.

Things were pretty quiet by the time we got home.  Her younger sister perched and ready with her grandmother waiting to hear how her heroine, older sister, rebelled and got caught.

Per normal, the brother had escaped to his corner of the house, where he often went to when he wanted to avoid "the drama" of the girls.

The daughter dutifully brushed her teeth and went to bed without a peep.  Fresh the next day, off to school she went to face the music from her peers.  Respectful, polite and chipper as though what had unfolded the night before was a dream or conjured imagination of events.

Of course, by the time I got home that evening, I had no steam left.  Yet my daughter wasn't apologetic or acting like anything had happened.

After dinner, wash up and after less fuss than usual for what time it was to go to bed [not having the "wait till your father hears this" refrain available as a single mother].

When all was quiet, kids settled and snug in their beds, my daughter crept downstairs to check in and see whether I was gritting my teeth still.

She approached me quietly and then said that she understood what had happened and how things happened the way they did.

She said that I became a hero to all parents who had heard that I hadn't done what they would have done:  wait at home until they got home before going on the offensive.  I was a hero because I went out of my way to prove that she was wrong.  She then chipper-like confessed that she hadn't been embarrassed at all.  In fact, she was a hero for being so rebellious by going to the concert alone.

Sigh.  That was one of the first struggle over power between my daughter and me.  The never ending saga of being the nagging mother, trying to teach right from wrong, good manners and bad.

Like the happy moral of the story that she optimistically revealed of two champions:  a mother and a daughter, each forging their way toward circumstances that required a stand off.  Apparently, both equally glorious.  

After a pink slip and the silent treatment, I did reach out and we had a Facetime conversation last weekend.  Lovingly mother and daughter as though it was all par for the course.  She then texted me a note about an artist that I had unveiled a recognized woman who became famous in the 80s when she passed away, sending her pieces to appreciate in value.  Validating that such was the case.

Then the text and article about how nagging moms raise more successful girls:  from a daughter skyrocketing in her own right as an emerging artist, scholarships, grants and the Dean's list earned solely on her own.







Saturday, May 13, 2017

happy UNmothers day!



Words of wisdom from a YUPPY ~ exploring what it means to be a consciously developed >>> Youthful Unselfish Proud Philosophical Young-at-heart ~ persona!


happy UNmothers day!
Glorious rejoicing upon the eve of the BIGGEST day of the year ~ mother's day, the BIGGEST guilt day of the annual calendar year.  More money is spent on Mother's Day than any other day of the year.

Perhaps it has slid in importance and sprinkled upon our millennial hipsters < the younger version and offspring of YUPPIES>.






I'm the luckiest of all of those others, Queen of the Crestfallen.  My birthday falls in April, three weeks before Mother's Day, so I can veer off disappointment lane when it's forgotten.




If the ones you love the most can't or don't honor your birthday, the day celebrating the day you were born, the most unique event in everyone's life:  a birthday.  Without YOU being born, those entitled offspring who rarely appreciate how unique YOU.  One of a kind.  If pushed, the said offspring would acknowledge how little they would change in YOU, their mother.  



You've sure done a great job, of raising those young Millennial Hipsters.  So well, in fact, that they calmly accept being the center of the universe, rarely acknowledging the way they were born, or by whom.




I wouldn't change a minute of it.  Being a mom has made me a lot tougher in so many ways like stifling fear and doing my darnedest to appear strong.  Even when fears before you knew were fears begin to surface.  Being a mom who did an excellent job of guiding her children in the best way she can, not in any singular form of wisdom, religion, experience or philosophy.  




That is a lesson that anyone should achieve.  On every UNmothers day every other day of the year ::... save your money on that one explosive day of feast or famine that mothers of the world unite.  Sprinkle it every UNmothers day with a small bouquet of tulips, or a greeting card with a $5 Starbucks or Tim Horton's card.  




Celebrate today, this #unMOTHERSday hashtag for the next 24 hours in 140 characters or less on Twitter, include me @optioneerJM with #RT so we REPLY and connect with expanding new followers, unique and special because you share the same spirit and celebrate excellent quality.




Today take the time to do something special to say "Ya, I done good."  Relish the moment, or take a moment every other day of the year to remind yourself of that.


Every other #unMOTHERSday is none special as today.  Yeah, you turned a new corner in a new birth day.  A strange phenomena that hits we Yuppies from the 80s, now coasting in our 50s with the same joi d'vive! 

























Sunday, May 8, 2016

Your get away with anything day: for Moms




Mothers Day Fun

Moms, it's your day:  you officially get to look however you want (facials beware) say, share or post whatever you feel like without recourse from kids who get all bent out of shape because they absolutely forbid you to post or say anything that could draw attention to them or embarrass them.

A free pass
You have a forgiveness card that expires by midnight today.  For starters, I am going to begin with a rant.  Logging on I see Google's image for the day and I stare in horror :: how can a Mother's Day image have dad's tassled shoes? Horror.

Google gasp
How could they?  I mean seriously.  Any respectful, fashionista mother is a clothes horse and shoe-a-holic.  What a big booboo that is beyond kissing better. Yes, we've come a long way from being Betty Crockers in the kitchen.  We're a force to be reckoned with if you dare threaten her family and be beneath respectful to her and her kin.  

Google could have at the very least posted a pair of flip flops.  If they had gone out of their way, they would have found a pair of tasteful sandals that would make any lovely lady of motherhood drool over.  



Official "guilt free shopping day"
Ohhhh, one in every color day!  I hope mothers uniting at least finish reading this commentary before rushing out to do embrace their guilt-free shopping day.

Mom's Brag Book
Ok, Moms, grab that brag book and start posting those photos of your kids, brag about their accomplishments and let er rip!  Today is your day to get away with anything day.  What the world calls "Mothers Day" is your day to be who you want to be, do what you wanna do and say what you wanna say!

Have your say ::
I'm darn proud of my kids, just like each and every one of us.  Some days they challenge me while others they give me bursting pride that I could be responsible for creating such wonderful human beings.  Amazing how some of that nagging and guidance pays off.

My son inspires me every day
I was robbed of a normal celebration when he was born.  The nurses and doctors scattered and fussed over the minute he was born.  Imagine having your newborn with needle marks in his head because they wanted to figure out what was going on.  He was born with a rare genetic diagnosis that even specialists couldn't quite predict what life he would have unfold.
A hole in his heart, physically unique footprint, along with a number of other concerns.

Imagine bursting onto the motherhood front and you had to ramp up your protectiveness ten fold, when he was starting sniffles meant you were heading for the emergency department, having heart surgery at 13 months old.



Paul Brandt
Kyle taught me that the cup is always half full.  You should never dwell on what ifs and feel joy at all the what as.   During one of those emergency trips to the Children's Hospital in Calgary, he was treated to the rare care of a male nurse of all things.

What was even more miraculous was this nurse had just won a singing talent contest in Nashville, Tennessee.  Paul has gone on to be the greatest Canadian country artist of all time and  to this day (think Juno, think megastar).   Paul gave a gift to a scared young mother, his spirit and humor.  I remember him sharing things about himself that I share with fondness.  One revelation being that he was actually born named:   Paul RennĂ©e Belobersycky on July 21, 1972 (age 43).

Paul is lending his celebrity to help victims of the Fort McMurray wild fires, retweeting stories, offering other support.  Have a listen to this song that epitomizing the evacuation of this northern oil city:




Today, Kyle is known for his eternal optimism.  People, peers, teachers all exclaim: "I love Kyle" whenever his name comes up.  

Genetics aside reKNOWN 
One would think that a kid with those kinds of challenges, experienced bullying, had life saving surgery, and limitations physically galore, disrespected by employer with only $12.25 an hour after 8 years of service.  

Genius reSOUNDing
Kyle has found the voice for the #Mellennial generation.  He has the knack for seeing something and sharing it because it hit his coolness radar.  

Queer
Mostly oddly are unique and queer:  in a way that only the 80s gurus know that queer meant cool at that time in our lives.  So strange to discover that a word my generation resonated by would be exhumed to mean something so discriminatory and offensive a word :: eh?

I digressed again ::
I get sidetracked by an insight that is so profound I digress.  Let the mind sing and churn out only the "bestofeverything" :: #bestofeverything ::

Appreciation ::
It so easy to fall in love with Kyle :: the love that is universally channeled by motherhood :: sisterhood :: friendship :: cousin :: brother :: when Kyle gets something or anything, he has the magnetic gift of appreciation.  

Appreciation is something you can mimic enough that you start to feeling it from deep inside.  Emerging a guru who's spell you fell under :: Kyle, @flamesboy4eva get sidetracked by an insight that is so profound I digress.  Let the mind sing and churn out only the "bestofeverything" :: #bestofeverything ::

A strong conscience 
If there is anything that shows the story behind the story is one person who will emerge:: +Kyle S who has this seemingly giant perception radar on what is horribly unfortunate yet all too apparent in our society:  #corruption :: if there is any drum to bang on, Kyle has the uncanny knack for exposing it.  He took the guidance of a mother's continued nagging, repeating and repeating:  do not complain about your government if you're not prepared to do your civic and democratic right to vote.  Fond memory I recall is a discussion amongst my children on a warm summer's day ::

I would always begin with a celebratory atmosphere based merely on a whim :: hardly a birthday or annual event to create such excitement :: where I would set up the table on the patio, put up the Umbrella, in anticipation of the mere pleasure of having company.

Keeping them curious
Politics was something I started talking with my kids early about.  It is funny looking back at how each of them have convictions or causes that resonate within each of them :: feminism, corruption, mental health :: began at those early spirited gatherings.  I wouldn't have known of any secret motherhood ingredient I was giving my children :: keeping them curious.

Regardless of whether they could vote being that it was a good decade away, they were encouraged to have a voice on what is wrong with this world?  The earliest memory of Chantal was the detail I went through with gut-wrenching honesty, the list of items retrieved and inventoried on a list that was to go back to school the next day :: my very first, and maybe the first environmentalists of the #Millennial generation. 

Charitable causes the norm
Imagine my pure pleasure and surprise that should give her a pass for having a home that cared about its planet.  That is because coffee grounds, vegetables, fruit rinds, peelings, soup, meat, gravy, moldy bread, sour milk, burt something, failed recipe, were always put garburator  to work.   The cans were rinsed in a Rubbermade bucket (long before the engenius inventor of a blue recycle bin, talk about explosive idea for this generation to the next).  I am definitely sure that it was before plastics were recycled except milk 2 litres recycling at bottle depots.  That was before grade schools asked for donations of buckets for crafts and pop caps for charitable causes were even considered BTW (twitter-ese for 140 characters or less).


A louder voice
These open ended hearty discussions were encouraged and embraced.  Looking back now, I see how it could boost Kyle's confidence that his opinion mattered and was his purest gift ::  if there is a cause that is because of corruption, you will not hear a louder voice.

Good stock
Kyle is at the front of the line recognizing the attributes he inherited from his parents :: from me he says my outgoing friendliness and optimism :: times at least a dozen.  From his father, a work ethic, financial responsibility, and commitment.  And just this Mother's Day Kyle is confidently sharing the gifts he received from his stepfather named "Rob".  He said it was his sarcastic, dry humor.  That, and the fact that they both seem to like the same games and are gamers together. 

Talk about wisdom
If you are having trouble communicating with your Millennial sons, and the admitted desire to want to reach out and connect, you should try the ingredient that Rob and Kyle have discovered :: you can't go merely through the motions however.  You have to dedicate yourself like you have never before to find a way you will enjoy gaming with a world to uncover. 

It is a secret world
Where escapism meets participation via gaming.  A social (perhaps hidden) personality who had more to give and share by unmasking imagination and team work.  Where the testosterone is checked at the door.  Where men could safely become men and male examples rise to the top.  


To be continued ...... (daughters beware)







Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lil bit of attitude


"Oh, my, this one has attitude!" exclamed the delivery nurse.  Who may have been saying "here's another one" to the tired, adrenaline-rushed parents of this newborn creation ..... of theirs.

 A mixture of disbelief and amazement as this gaze upon this near perfect little human girl.  Minutes from being in a warm, comfortable womb.  Indignant at the harsh introduction she hadn't anticipated she let out a howl.

This little beauty grew and grew:  and sang "take me out to the Ball Game" at a mere 16 months.  As a party favor, she blasted through the adults polite conversation, as their jaws dropped and gaped open at a special experience unfolded.  Discussion began.  How amazing is it that a little burst of energy could sing to the rafters, in such abandon, glorying in the musical flutes her own tonsils gave. Oblivious to the expressions of anyone around her.  She liked bursting out and singing.  Her abandon to anything akin to self-conscious expression.  The audience crossed between envy and awe.  How could such a little thing stand up, be so proud, and sing with such abandon?  At ONLY 16 months.

The parents who were always ready with a video camera were stunned into inaction.  The musical notes combined with gusto and self-exuberance.  How could they have created such a ... umm... creature?  Alas, it was a daughter.  They should have had their seat belts tightened.  Yet they didn't do anything. Why should they?  They weren't puppeteers, merely creators.  

They wondered, however, how can they take credit for such a beauty with such a powerful voice? 

As the little girl developed and continued to grow became as ever a sight to behold.  At 2, this confident, clever,  creation would insist that she was a princess.  Her hard-working mother and father fascinated, would wonder:  how could a princess be born and insist she was one.  They  were, although not average folk, wondered how they could be responsible for this envisioned little lady?  

Then, one day, when the father was away at work, slagging dragons called life and career, the mother bent over a captive keyboard for job.  A nanny, on call, living out, ever present, vacuuming the castle always to shine, was focussed on leaving a tread in the carpet, hadn't noticed her charge, who had transformed into an escapee to her mother's home office.  Sneaking in, quietly, taking and absorbing every last detail.  Alas, the mother noticed the scamp in her midst.  The little joy did ask: "Mommy, what are you doing?"

Lest the mother cause disillusionment of the responsibility of working and career, she tenderly said:  "I am working.  When you grown up, you will likely work too.  What is it that you think you'll do too?

The predictable reply did unfold "why, when I am grown up, I will be a princess!" Said with such convincement, less mortal men or mothers would never argue.  However, the mother did sigh.  She then glanced around, realizing that the King was not home nor was the princess' guard on command.

She did try to dispell the disillusionment which chance had burst, said to her darling daughter with such thirst, for life, for dreams, goals and confidence:  "why Sweetie, you will be princess when I am a queen!"  Rationalizing that being realistic of drastic importance.

Then to her utter dismay her daughter did respond:  "Why mommy, I didn't know that you were a queen!!"

The days grew onwards and upward the girl grew, when tragedy did brew.  The media, the news, the television, no matter how one flew, protested the death of a princess many thought they knew.

When dinner one day, was being prepared by her mother.  As the news and the television broadcast the cover:  A princess died while so many fed .. on the photos, paparazzi with the princess photos they led.  How sad to have such a wonderful soul cut short, would end up causing this young four-year-old lady to retort:  "That is so sad to hear about the princess."

The mother, astonished, that this little girl wisdom, attuned to the news and the stories that bloomed.  She asked her daughter, in parenting skills on high alert, how do you feel about this story?  The daughter said "Sad".  The mother now curious, nowhere near mad.  Asked her little one why would she say so.  When the gem said "well, I am a princess, so this one I should know".

This is a reflection of a mother, rediscovering the journey she started with her daughter.  She has just turned 23, in second year of university, dedicated to  fine arts, art history and philanthropy.  

A mother's pride never diminishes with age.  If anything, it flourishes as cheerleading captain of her daughter's journey.  

Happy Birthday sweet, beautiful daughter O mine.