Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tangled Threads....

Any crafter knows that sometimes, when you are working with any kind of threads that you occasionally hit a major snarl in things where something gets knotted and you just have to stop everything and pick out the knot before you can carry on.

I’M STUCK IN A PILE OF KNOTS!!! This whole week has been absolute chaos and if I had longer hair, I probably would have yanked it out by now. A thunderstorm swept through yesterday morning as the kids were getting on the bus, so I came home and got to work on some computer stuff before starting the illustration work. First of all, Erin’s Vice-Principal called to ask us about putting Erin in a 6/7 split class next year as one of 8 grade 6 students rather than in the straight grade 6 class. Then a client called in a panic with a problem to fix and before I knew it, it was almost noon. Last night, I worked on Santa’s Dragon, my big design release for Charlotte, because I am still worried that it might not be finished in time.

No problem! I still had a day and a half before my darling daughters are done school and joyfully underfoot for the summer... right? To make a long story short and spare you the sneezing, snonking and retching sounds, Erin is not in school today. Her asthma medicine must always be taken on a full stomach and you can’t take a decongestant before you take it... so she did not get on the bus this morning.

The school called in an absolute panic after I’d left my message on the Safe Arrival machine because she is going to receive an award tonight at the graduation/awards night and they wanted to know how sick she really was! With Nick doing the graduation ceremony in Petitcodiac tonight, that will mean taking a cab to the school, but it will be worth it if she’s feeling better. We’ll see in a few hours.

So what did we decide about the split grade? Her academic work is high enough that they feel she’d be a perfect candidate (that’s actually what she is receiving an award for tonight) but we’ve been down this road twice already. I had promised the school that I would think about it and talk it over with Nick before making a decision. I also had a chance to call my sister yesterday for her perspective, since she was in a combined class and actually skipped a year afterwards! Nick and I both feel that she would be much better off in the straight 6 class next year, but that if there is ever a split grade where she is one of the older students rather than the younger (as she was in grade 3 being in a 2/3 split) we would be happy. Last year in a 4/5 class, she felt too much pressure always measuring herself up to kids doing the grade 5 work. I also want to let her enjoy maturing at her own pace socially instead of trying to keep up with grade 7 students. We thanked them for the offer, but politely declined as her parents.

So, just as I FINALLY get set to draw this morning, I end up untangling another knot with the scheduling for the CSNF in the fall and another cool lecture that they’d like Doug, Teresa and I to do...

It’s now almost 11:30 am and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much of anything this week except spin in circles... I actually feel like I am sitting inside the middle of some mobius loop, thread hair ball trying to untangle enough threads to find my way out of the maze!

At least I like playing with thread.... At least I like what I try to do for a living.... but Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reality Check...

This blog is all about what life is really like as an artist... at least this artist. One of the things that I love about my job is that it can combine with raising a family and working from home, but sometimes the reality of that is trickier than others.

The last week of school would be such an example, especially when Nick is wrapping up one job and trying to start another all at the same time. Tonight was Safe Grad for the kids in Petitcodiac, so he left the house early this morning about 7:30 and only just got in the door a few minutes ago.

The past two days have been a flurry of trying to wrap up lots of little tasks that need to be done, but it has kept me away from both drawing and stitching, so I am feeling a little frustrated. How simple it would be to just focus on one thing at a time.... motherhood, art, business, marriage, housework, fitness... but reality means juggling little bits of everything at once and hoping that nothing drops.

I can’t wait to get the kids on the bus tomorrow morning, walk my 6 km loop in the park and then get right to drawing!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers - Roots And Wings

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!! Today is always a time for me to be reflective... because it was on Father’s Day, the year I turned 12, that I learned my parents would be getting a divorce. At the time, I couldn’t imagine what that would be like and when my father moved to Hawaii almost 6 months later, it felt like the ends of the universe. Then, when we visited the following summer, I learned that it is possible to love long distance and to feel that bond between parent and child no matter how many miles lie in between.

My Dad gave me the ability to dream impossible dreams, to seek out adventures and new experiences, to love traveling to new places, to devour books and wonder about life in galaxies far, far away. He taught us how to sing in harmony, laugh until we cried, adapt to new places, play video games really well and how to be proud of being so tall. Despite the miles that lie between us even now, he’s in my thoughts and heart more than he realizes sometimes.

As a young woman, I met a man and fell in love more deeply than I ever thought possible. As we thought of a life together, one of the most important qualities that I was looking for was not only someone who would be a real partner, but also someone who would be a good father if we had kids. In Nick, I found someone who not only takes an active role in raising our daughters with me, but also someone who has shared laughter and made memories with them that I know they will look back on and treasure for many years.

Nick has given Erin and Bethany roots with his stability and wings with his ability to help them tackle any challenge while learning to rely on their own skills as well as our love and support.

I also met Nick's father, Ken, who had a large hand in shaping the kind of man Nick became. Like me, Nick parents also divorced and found other people to fall in love with. In the end, I think it only gave us more family to love.

Nick and I love our own fathers very much, yet into our lives also came two other very special men. John and Jerome taught us different things from our own fathers without replacing them. They have shared their wisdom, skills, music and other talents wth us and with our girls.

Erin and Bethany don’t see anything odd about having 4 special men to call on Father’s Day, they just think they are lucky to have BobDoc, Grampy Ken, Grrr and Papa as their grandfathers.

Finally, I am also lucky enough to have my Grampy still alive at 94! From him I learned the beauty (and the agony) of a well crafted limerick, an appreciation for fine art and good wine, a love of two languages, how to sit up straight, which forks to use at a fancy restaurant, how to sink a putt, how to capture moments in a sketch and how to argue my point of view in a lively debate.

To all the special men in my life, I thank you for the many ways in which you have enriched my journey, added to my adventures, nourished my spirit and given me either roots or wings. Happy Father’s Day!