Brilliant

I was thinking earlier about the type of parent I want to be and it’s hard to put into words. I want my child(ren someday) to feel loved and be loved, and to love themselves. I want them to grow up with a sense of belonging and self-worth. I don’t know how exactly to do this, but Brene Brown wrote a beautiful parenting manifesto that speaks to me straight to the heart:

The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions–the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude.

I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.” –Brene Brown

Cheers,
Jenny

November Rain (and Sunshine)

Hello Everyone! Thanks for stopping by to my (teeny-tiny) corner of the interwebs today. I want to talk about all things November today.

I love fall, but November is kind of that slippery slope into winter. Winter is not good, people. I LOVE Christmas, but other than that, winter pretty much sucks. You see, I live in a city that rains, and rains, and rains during the winter months. And every so often we do get a nice day of sunshine and brisk wind (which is totally fantastic), but then it just rains again.

Now, I really shouldn’t complain because I’m actually from just outside of Edmonton and it is much colder there. So cold, in fact, that really if you were outside not wearing anything you could die within minutes (this is not a scientific fact, I’m not sure how long–probably more like hours. BUT STILL! You could die from the cold!!! I even had a friend who was allergic to the cold–she had a medical bracelet and everything. WTF was she doing in Edmonton?) But I don’t really like the rain either. Le sigh. Or “la sigh?” Which one, French people?

Anyway, enough rambling. The point of this post is to simply say this: My son changed my grumpiness directed at November because he was born in this month. So now November is full of sunshine regardless of how rainy it is! (See how corny I can be? Avery does that to me, boy does he ever! Golly gee). I love my little man. He will be ONE YEARS OLD on Thursday!

You are my sunshine

Happy birth-month sweet pumpkin monturkeyroozle! I love you like you wouldn’t believe. You are my heart.

If this isn’t the face of sunshine and rainbows I don’t know what is.

 

 

Remembering

Lest We Forget

My grandfather was a jokester. Yes, he could make anyone laugh and that’s what I remember most about him. “Pull my finger” was among his favourites, and he had an arsenal of twisted jokes that he pulled out whenever the situation called for. I remember him pretending to be an auctioneer, and calling me a little “boy” to tease me and insisting that I was a boy even when I would get mad and teary-eyed–“What do you mean you’re a girl? No, no, you’re a boy.” He certainly had a strange and good sense of humour, and his singing voice was just lovely–a booming tenor filled with melody and strength.  He brought this quiet, happy presence to our family get-togethers, and I miss him. He passed away several years ago.

My grandpa and grandma on their wedding day–aren’t they beautiful?

He was in the war–WWII–and I wanted to take a moment here to honour him and his contribution to our country and to peace in this world. He was a supply driver, and was stationed in Italy, and England. His job was to take army supplies, such as ammunition, to where-ever they were needed. He used to sleep under his truck, and could only stay asleep for 10-15 minutes at a time because he had to keep alert and was, I’m sure, a bit scared to fall into a deep sleep during war-time.

One particular war-time story of his stands out in my mind, partly because it somewhat shows my grandfather’s “naughty” personality, and partly because it makes me think about how little decisions we make can have big effects. One night, my grandfather’s friend had invited him to go see a movie (motion picture back in those days). All the other guys were going out to the bar, to party and let loose. My grandfather, weighing the options, of course chose to go to the bar with the others and so his friend went to the movies alone. It so happened that night that a bomb hit the movie theatre, and my grandfather lost his friend. Of course, he was grateful for his decision to avoid the movies, but it was hard to lose someone close.

My mother said that while my grandfather didn’t say much about his time in the war, he would have nightmares and would wake up screaming. He held it all inside rather than burden others with his painful memories. I would have loved to hear more about those times.

Remembrance day is an important day because we all need reminding what war can turn into. It is ugly and brutal, and there are still wars going on all over the world. I keep in my heart my grandfather and all those who risked their own lives to bring peace to our country and the world, and those who are still risking their lives around the world. I love you grandpa.

Almost One

My baby is growing up.  He is changing so much every week–nay, make that every DAY–and soon he will be a full-fledged toddler. The past year has been one of the most amazing/trying/exhausting/beautiful/exhausting/maturing times of my life. Exhausting. Did I forget that one 😉

Anyway, he is starting to look like a true little boy–less baby-like. He is learning at full-speed right now, and it is so neat to see. For example, when I say “Where’s mommy’s nose?” he takes his chubby little finger and taps me right on the tip of my nose. SO CUTE! And he points to everything and makes this sweet little “ta” sound at the things he points to. It almost sounds like he’s saying “that–what’s that?” and I guess he is in his way. He’s cruising furniture like a pro, and can stand for like 1-2 seconds on his own. He even remembers hand-gestures for different cues–for example, on one page of the book “Canada in Colours” I always wave my hand, and one day when I turned to that page he started waving his hand before I did it myself–SMARTIE!. He waves “hi” and “bye,” brushes his hair with his little baby brush, plays peek-a-boo on his terms, gets mad if he doesn’t get what he wants (uh oh–he has my temper), plays the drums, and so much more.

I say all this because it’s my way of remembering these little moments. Time goes by so fast, and I don’t want to forget all this. I’m not good at documenting through things like baby-books or pictures even (I will kick myself for not taking enough pictures in the future) so I just want to make sure I don’t forget. He’s my sweet little monturkeyroo and he will be ONE in two weeks. I can’t believe it.

I just want to add, and not dwell–I never dwell, NEVER–he’s still not sleeping through the night though. Come on Avery. In the words of one other exhausted parent: “How come you can do all this other great shit but you can’t just go the f— to sleep?” Those are my sentiments exactly.

My baby is growing, and I can’t stop it. But I can write about it here so I can look back on this time of my life and remember.

OOOOOH I want to pinch those delicious cheeks