Saturday, June 26, 2004

Dragons on a Road Trip....

I can still remember my parents getting ready for trips when I was a kid. When you are a child, there is only the excitement of the impending adventure. You can’t understand why the grown-ups are getting so snappy and flustered!! You are just giddy with joy and far too much nervous energy.

Suddenly I understand how my parents felt!! Then endless lists of things to do and items to remember to pack! Bethany and Erin are being allowed to stay up later than usual tonight with a DVD upstairs so that maybe they will sleep a bit in the van tomorrow morning and avoid too much of the “Are We THERE YET?” syndrome.

All of my Columbus orders are on there way except for the ones with canvas designs left to paint... and even then I had some shops where I sent the leaflets on ahead and will ship the canvas at my own expense as soon as it is painted. Like most learning curves, this one has been vertical!

We last about 4 hours today to help a very good friend get her rented cube van loaded for her move to PEI. Sigh! I have lost my two “Sister Moms” (our club of 3 families that all had babies together in 1995) but it will give me friends to e-mail and excuses to plan better so that we can still have get togethers once every few months.

Our lives are really the most intricate weavings of endings and beginnings. I sometimes don’t understand the pattern until later... or enjoy the sad threads, but they are part of my life’s design. Our local tragedy of a young girl being killed while trying to bike across the highway that circles the city this week has made everyone hug their kids more and explain to them the importance of not doing anything risky... even if their friends are. Nick found some quotes to read to me today and one African saying has the gerbils in my brain racing around on their little wheels to see what kind of design it would make.

I will still be blogging on my adventures, but I won’t be near a computer until late Monday night or early Tuesday.... this dragon is hitting the road with her family!! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

No Longer Nervous About Needles!

After weeks of dreading her last needle that she needs to have before school, Bethany survived her needle yesterday with flying colours! I think that she had built the event up in her imagination to be far worse that the reality of it, partly because she couldn’t really remember her last shot. While it did hurt for a moment, it was over and done with so quickly that today it is just a distant memory.

That got me thinking about how nervous I get before anything new. I was lucky to have Teresa and Letha to keep me grounded before the show in Columbus... and once the show got started, it really wasn’t that different that any other trade show I had ever done.

So often, we let our worries build into such overwhelming obstacles in our heads instead of just going ahead and facing them. Yesterday I was inspired by my daughter to be brave. Today I am trying to plow through the last of our orders from Columbus and get everything in the mail by the end of the week, except for the canvases.

Whoever said you learn from your children was right!!

Monday, June 21, 2004

Summer Solstice Celebrations....

Today was the first Monday of summer vacation for the girls. Nick got up at the usual time and left early since he only had to worry about himself getting fed and out the door. I sighed blissfully and rolled over to fall back to sleep. Around 8:15, I heard the sound of little feet coming up the stairs, down the hallway, pausing and then going halfway down the stairs again... then repeating the process. By the third time, when the footsteps paused as Bethany peeked in Erin’s room and then mine to see if we were awake yet, I gave up playing possum and got up to feed her. Now I know to put a few “tide over the tummy” healthy snacks within her reach if she is going to be the early bird!!

It was an extremely busy and productive day. The girls helped me stick labels on the 6 boxes going out with Purolator after also helping me measure them with the tape measure and lift them onto our bathroom scale. I had final press proofs to look over and correct (they were missing a font and instead of letting me know, they substituted an ugly one) and a batch of charts to get up to Staples for copying on the special 24lb paper I love to use in my chartpacks.

The girls played well after the first fight this morning. Erin had declared today to be “the First Annual Be Nice To Bethany Day” which lasted for approximately 49 minutes until Bethany first got on her nerves. She then told Bethany that “Be Nice To Bethany Day” had been canceled and would never happen again... EVER... so Bethany came down to me in tears!! When I asked them to stop measuring each other in the middle of my phone call with the Purolator operator, he burst out laughing! I explained that as a home based business, I was having a bit of a tricky time with the transition to them being home.... but I could hear him trying not to giggle for the rest of the call to arrange the pickup.

Finally, the most exciting thing that happened today on June 21st, 2004 (which actually happened here last night at 10:00 pm EST) was that we added to the family!! No... I am not pregnant... and we did not buy a pet!! My sister, Laurie, was married in Tokyo to Yoshi, her college sweetheart from when she attended Lester B. Pearson International World College many years ago. We are thrilled for both of them and welcome him into our zany family with open arms, many hugs and excited squeals from Erin and Bethany. I certainly wish I could have had access to a Star Trek teleporter to be there in person, but we are hoping to celebrate with them in Canada at a later date. Laurie and Yoshi will be moving to Manila in the Philippines in August as his job with Honda takes him on to new adventures. With both my brother and sister in such exotic, far-flung places, it is certainly saving to travel on visits a priority!! Luckily Laurie will be coming to Canada in a few weeks, so I will get a chance to hug her in person!! We’re just not sure if Yoshi will be able to get any time with the impending transfer.

Our family is also starting to get very excited about our visit to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Provence later this summer. It wouldn’t have been affordable if there hadn’t been the special charter between Moncton and Paris this summer due to the 400th Anniversary celebration of Samuel Champlain’s landing on the island between Maine and New Brunswick. I’m not sure how many tourists are actually coming to visit because of this special flight for this summer only, but we were more than happy to take up a few seats and get the chance to see Dave and my niece Juliette in person. We will miss seeing Anne who will be busy in Athens with the IOC as she works at the Summer Games.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Happy Father’s Day? YES!

I used to get a little jumpy around Father’s Day. 26 years ago, that was when my father told us all that he was leaving our family to be with someone else. What I never admitted to him was that I had actually found out a few days earlier by accident. LIke any child who hopes to change an adults mind, I poured all of my efforts over the next few days into that single purpose - I created a little illustrated book of all of the things I loved most about my Dad hoping that it would convince him to stay. I didn’t understand then that guilt really isn’t the most effective persuasion tool.

Now that I am a parent, Father’s Day has taken on a different meaning...I am more aware of how to help my daughters celebrate their love for their father. This morning, they are sitting at the dining room table putting the finishing touches on some adorable cards while the object of today’s celebration gets a much needed chance to sleep in.

Yet, as I thought about how to write this blog entry, especially as I am watching a very good friend struggle with helping her own kids adapt to living in a divorce environment, I knew that I had to also celebrate the many things that my Father continues to give to my life.

It was my father that introduced me to books about Science Fiction and Fantasy, beginning a lifelong addiction that would have me dreaming of other worlds where dragons did fly and the distant stars were not so unreachable.

It was Dad’s boundless enthusiasm and love of new adventures that made me brave enough to leave home for University on the East Coast at the age of 17. I don’t know if I would ever have met Nick otherwise...

My father loved to travel and we were lucky enough to take many trips as a family to such far away places as New Zealand, Bermuda and Florida. When he left, although it was hard to have him so far away, his living in Hawaii and Tulsa also gave me even more wonderful opportunities to travel. This is something that has become a priority for our family as well. Visiting new places, especially new countries, reminds us that “our way” is not the only one in the world.

It was Dad who first showed me that it was OK to be silly with your kids and just play with them. Perhaps that is why I looked to that quality in my husband, knowing that someday I would want him to be able to do the same with our own children.

It was Dad who taught me to adore music and singing in harmony... though it is equally beautiful to watch my “other father” John bring that alive in my daughters and keep the music going in my own life.

It was Dad whose eternal optimism taught me that you can dare to dream BIG (we do Big well in our family... it is all a question of scale!) and to chase that dream... even if it didn’t turn out quite the way you expected. While I learned more of the organizational ways to make those dreams actually come true from my Mom, I owe a lot of that “stardust and dreams” hopefulness to Dad.

I’ve learned that loving someone has nothing to do with them fitting into your expectations and everything to do with just loving them for who they are... no matter what... without conditions. That’s a great lesson to know with all the important people in my life. not just the DADs