You can now find Capital Mom at www.capitalmom.ca

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Reminder

Not that you need reminding, but in case you do, don't forget to update your RSS feed with the new URL http://capitalmom.ca/. Otherwise you will be missing all those funny moments. Like the one about me and my punctuation.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New

It's a new year. It's a time to reflect on where we have been. Set our course for where we would like to go.

After a year and a half here I am moving Capital Mom to a new home. I had the encouragement of some friends. And their patience, as I tried to figure out the technical side of self-hosting.

I hope to see you there.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Play dates

I open the door in my pink fuzzy bathrobe, pulling it tight around me in preparation of the cold air. The girl runs up behind me, too excited about seeing her friend to wait much longer. I open the door and we exchange greetings. A child enters and mother leaves. The play date begins.

I wander around in my bathrobe until the husband arrives home from getting groceries with the boy. Now there are three kids running through the house. I am happy to sneak upstairs and take my time getting dressed.

The day passes in chunks of time. Playing. Eating. Watching a video. Playing. Braving the cold. Eating. Saying goodbye. Hours and hours that pass like minutes.

Each activity is fully embraced. The playing is enthusiastic. The movie is considered hilarious. The homemade sushi for snack time is devoured. Everything is loved. Except for the goodbyes.

*
The mother and I sit in the kitchen at the square brown table. We can't see the kids from here but we can hear them. The sounds are happy, so we stay where we are. I have to laugh. How can the sounds not be happy when three kids wearing swim suits are jumping off the couch into a swimming pool outlined with with masking tape on the hardwood floor.

I make tea. We talk. The kids come running to us whenever they want snacks. The boy eats his piece of homemade cake brought by our guests. After I wipe off the smear of whipping cream on his left cheek he hurries back to his sister and her friend.

*
We are late but they are still glad to see us. Everyone is glad to be there, except for the boy who cries on and off about being tired. Maybe you should sleep later then 4:30am I tell him. He ignores me.

We wander the museum, stopping when something interests us. The kids play and the mom and I have the broken conversation that comes with supervising four little kids in a public place. Enough is said though. Enough to understand.

The kids are older and taller then when I last saw them. That is the funny thing about time. It makes my kids older and taller too.

*

Here's to friends in 2011. The girl's. The boy's. Mine.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Atalanta

The first few strains of the music make me stop what I am doing. A smile creeps over my face. I have to dance.

The girl sees me down the hallway and she rushes to me, her arms outstretched. We clasp hands and start to twirl. The boy sees us and runs to join in. We skip around in a circle, our legs flailing wider and wider as we go.

We listen to each song and story as it comes, sometimes singing along, sometimes dancing. I think about all the times I used to listen to the CD when the girl was a baby. She was too little to understand. I really played it for me. 

The girl stands as close as she can to the CD player, maybe hoping that this way she won't miss anything. Finally she walks to the next room. But my favorite story comes on. I move closer to hear better. I don't want to miss anything.

Atalanta's father wants her to get married. She doesn't want to. He doesn't understand. She tells him she will run a race and agrees to marry the winner; she only agrees because she knows she will win. She trains and trains. But so does another young man. A man who only wants the chance to talk to Atalanta. To have the chance to know her better.

The day of the race comes and Atalanta is in the lead as she nears the finish line. Until the young man, John, pulls along side her. The cross the finish line together. The race is a tie.

Still. Atalanta's father the King offers John her hand in marriage. John doesn't take it. He says he could never marry someone who doesn't wish to marry him. Instead they spend the afternoon together talking before going their separate ways, each off to explore the world. Maybe they will meet again. Maybe they won't.

I feel the tears start to come as I listen to the children's story. Tears for all the girls and women that have been married off by their fathers and brothers. Tears for the freedom I have had to choose my own life. Tears for the girl I have just danced with.

May she always believe that she is Atalanta.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Miss. You.

Miss. You he says, laying his head against my shoulder. He has to lean far to his right from where he sits in the dinning room chair but he does it anyway.

He says it all the time now. When I come home from being out. When I walk into the kitchen in the mornings. When I have been gone from his sight, if only for a minute.

He doesn't just say it to me. He says it when we arrive home and find that Grandma is out for groceries. He says it as he waits for his aunt and uncle to arrive from out of town. He says it when the husband is at work. He tells the girl as soon as she arrives home from school.

He misses everyone. He misses all of us. I imagine he would like us all clustered together on the couch. He would go from one to another giving us hugs and kisses. He would lay his head against our shoulders. Miss. You he would say.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day

I lay in bed, my eyes closed, waiting. I thought I was waiting for sleep to overtake me but I think I was really waiting for her. How else can I explain why I was wide awake at 1:45 am on Christmas morning. But I was.

Click. Slam. Thump, thump, thump.

Did you hear that? I asked the husband. Yes he said. We both jumped out of bed and followed the girl down the stairs.

At the bottom step I heard her call out Grandma! Grandma! but instead of running to where Grandma was sleeping on the sofa bed she ran in circles around the hallway and living room wall. It was on one of her laps  that she bumped into me.

What are you doing? I asked her. Come back to bed.

I can't find Grandma she cried.

It was just a bad dream I reassured her. Grandma is just sleeping. Everything is fine.

We tucked her back in bed and waited for her to settle. Instead she hacked loudly and coughed repeatedly. The boy's rustling in his bed made us decide to try something different. So I took the girl to bed with me.

It seems to be a holiday tradition now, spending the late hours of Christmas Eve together. I kept thinking about last year as the girl tossed and turned and tried to convince me it really was time to go downstairs. She didn't even care about the presents waiting under the tree. She was just ready to be awake.

By quarter to four I gave up trying and sent her back to her bed. She fell asleep instantly. The husband and I slept too; until the boy woke at for the day 4:30 am. Followed by his sister fifteen minutes later.

I despaired about the day when it was already 5am and I had been up most of the night. If it hadn't been for Grandma distracting them with their stocking for a few more hours while the husband and I slept, I would have been short on Christmas cheer.

*

It was close to 7:30am by the time the household was all awake. I was determined to push through my exhaustion. Luckily it was easy to get swept up in the kids' excitement. They had to show me each of the items they had earlier pulled from their stockings. The girl had to help me look through mine.

Playing back in the sunroom, the kids had yet to see the piles of presents under the Christmas tree tucked into the corner of the living room. Once we turned on the lights they rushed in and exclaimed about everything they saw. The girl was momentarily distracted by the huge dollhouse the husband and I had bought her. I wanted to have her love it. To know that she loved it. I think she does. There was just too many presents for her to stop for any one.

The girl kept us moving. She handed out the presents, helped slow people open them faster and quickly moved us onto the next. She had to cajole her brother into opening the stack of presents growing beside him. He was too engrossed with the car tracks he had been given, the very first present he opened, to care about anything else.

The gifts under the tree this year were all very thoughtful. The girl loved her ballet slippers from Nana. I was thrilled with my bread box. The boy stopped playing with his cars long enough to race up and down the hallway throwing his small Winnipeg Blue Bombers football. It was a very successful Christmas morning.

*
I felt myself flag briefly while both the kids napped. We had had to strong arm the girl into spending some "quiet time" in our bed, but finally she gave into the tiredness that was overtaking her. I contemplated lying in bed with her, knowing that this time we would both be sleeping, but there was too much to do. Too much I wanted to do.

I made lemon pudding. I cooked cranberry sauce. I helped the husband prepare and organize and prep the rest of the food for the dinner. I chatted with my sister. I talked to my mother-in-law. I felt myself float through the middle of the day on a cloud of contentment. Being glad to have so many of my family with me on this day. Happy to see everyone so happy.

*
With our guests due to arrive soon I hurried to finish getting ready. I put on a dress. I applied makeup. I wore new jewelry I had unwrapped just that morning. I was ready to celebrate.

Our friends were lovely. The kids all played well together. The food was good, especially the vinarterta. I had a flashback to Boxing Day gatherings in the past when we would join my Grandma's family for dinner, the kids eating in front of the tv and the adults in the other room. As I turned on a video for the four kids snuggled in two chairs I finally understood the value of the age separation. The adults were able to talk as the kids giggled and yelled from the back of the house.

I had to ask my friend Do you let your kids leave the table once they are done? Are you ok with them not eating everything on their plate? Can they watch a video? We have had company before where the differences in our parenting suddenly became apparent in the dining room and made for an awkward meal. Her easy attitude to everything made the evening go smoothly and made me resolve to have them for dinner again soon.

*
The kids were ready for bed, the boy wearing both his and his sister's new pajamas, and I said goodnight. I ate some more vinaterta and then headed to bed myself. Tired but pleased. Certain in my knowledge that I had my best Christmas yet.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas gift

I give to you my love.

You won't find it at the bottom of your stocking.
It's not wrapped up under the tree.
It's nothing you can open.
I hope it is something that you can see.

It is here in my hugs.
You can feel it in my kiss.
It's the way I look at you.
It is how much you are missed.

When I say "no more cookies".
"Stop and just sit down".
"Don't push. Don't hit".
Yes, even then, the love is all around.

I hope you like your presents.
I hope you like your toys.
I hope you know I love you.
I love you, girl and boy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Go. Stop.

Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

I have come to see my life as a series of moments. Some over in the blink of an eye. Some stretched out like salt water taffy, pulled apart piece by piece until all the little bits are shoved quickly into a mouth and slowly savoured.

Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

The holidays are almost here and the pace of life has changed. No school. Many preparations. The days feel longer. The days are fuller.

Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

I find myself thinking about all the moments that have come before. Last Christmas. The Christmas morning I found out I was pregnant with the boy. My first Christmas as a mom. All the Christmases of my childhood that seem to blend together into one. Like a technicolored dream.

Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

They rush past me. Around the table, past the tree and into the hallway. I find myself wondering where they are going. Running so fast through their their childhood; pulling me along behind them. Sometimes I try to keep up. Sometimes I am dragged kicking and screaming.

Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

4:32pm

This is when I start to watch the clock. I will glance over every few minutes, hoping that a time warp has occurred and it is now 5pm. That any minute the husband will be walking through the door.

My bag of tricks is empty. We have painted. Cut with scissors. Visited the park. Read books. Baked cookies. Run around in circles. We have done everything and anything for the last nine hours.

I feel myself getting twitchy. The same way I feel when I wake too early and I am waiting for my cup of coffee to brew. I know I just need to get through these next few seconds, minutes.

But I am done.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010