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Clutter

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I feel like it’s one step forward, two steps back.  Who has time to do any big projects when I spend all day playing “find the smell” (old dishtowel used to sop up milk shoved in cupboard) and picking up things like this: a shoe stuffed inside a Hallowe’en bag.

The shoe is the one we spent 20 minutes trying to find this morning when getting out the door; the Hallowe’en bag keeps coming back to life (I’ve thrown it out TWICE and it’s REALLY hard for me to throw things in the trash).

It’s the little things … sigh

Categories: Parenting

PAC: These are my people.

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, the moment I’ve been waiting for has arrived.  PAC (Parent Advisory Council) night!

If you’re reading this, you know me; and if you know me, you are familiar with my need to be involved in my community.  Confession: I started working my way into the PAC before my son even WENT to the school.  Actually, before he even got INTO the school!  I promoted events, solicited for donations, and delivered 24 bags to last year’s clothing drive.

This year, I planned to play it cool…I’ve heard things about the PAC.  Not my school’s PAC, but PACs in general.  I couldn’t help myself though, and when there was a mention in the school newsletter, I emailed immediately:

My son started in Kindergarten this year; and I’m so excited to be a part of the school community.  I would be pleased to do what I can to support the PAC.  Please let me know how I can join the PAC or help out with events.

I also co-manage a local neighbourhood website for Sullivan/Panorama, NotQuiteSouthSurrey.com, on which I would be happy to post any of the fundraisers, etc.

Have a wonderful school year and let me know how I can help out!  I will see you on Monday night, let me know if you need any help with set up, clean up, childcare, or anything else.  I have a background in marketing, writing and administration so am pleased to help out in any way.

Totally breezy, RIGHT?!  Don’t worry, I’m embarassed just reading it.  But I didn’t have to be.  I came in late (7:01) and everyone was seated neatly around the table.  My name preceded me, as when I gave my name as “Jennifer”, I was asked….”Jennifer Robbins?” To which I almost replied with my usual: “You may know me from Facebook.”  (I won’t add: I get that alot.)

In any case, I just loved the community vibe encouraged by the principal, and the super welcoming tone of the President.  In our past, brief dealings, I’d wondered if she was really that nice or was it one of those sugar on top but wait-til-the-claws-come-out.  With most people I can tell within 5 seconds if they are good or evil (AKA, we’ll be BFFs or not-so-much), but some people are tricky.  After a good hour of listening and watching for any tics or runaway eyerolls, my verdict is: genuinely adorable / adorably genuine.

And my fears that I’d be seen as an overeager, naive new parent, were assuaged quickly.  A big reason was that at least half the parents there were from the Kindergarten class, and they all had the same twinkle in their eye.  I mean how much keener can you get than the mom that shows up with the 4-week-old!  THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!

A part of my commitment to the PAC stems from the working mom guilt, that I can’t do it all.  I “straddle the worlds between a career and hanging’ with the moms” (As F described it).  So as they circulated the yearbook (so freakin’ adorable I got a tear in my eye) and talked about parent forums and community values, I tripled the amount of the requested PAC donation as I wrote out the cheque.  Because I wish I could be there every Wednesday, handing out Twizzlers and popcorn (wait – is that a nutrionally sound fundraiser??) and getting to know all 179 kids, I can’t.  I’m lucky enough that I may be able to do it every FOURTH Wednesday.  I do appreciate that.  But I wish I could be there physically, at every request with my neighbours: building a safe place, a warm community for my boys.

So I’ll do what I can, overcommit yet still follow through, and my dear tribe: be on notice that you’ll be picking me up off the ground when I have my bi-annual meltdown…  Because I couldn’t be a dual citizen of these two worlds without you, you save my sanity.  And yeah: you’ll be buying some raffle tickets.

Categories: Kids, Me, Parenting

Class of 2023

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment

The sight of my sleeping 5 year old still takes my breath away.  I can see glimpses of his little baby face.  I can see his easy-going manner, his smile, his giggles, the perfection in his long black eyelashes…

The eve of the first day of school reminds me that these days are numbered.  The days where he will stop giving me bear hugs, where he will stop telling me, “but I just want to snuggle with you”.  He won’t ask me “How do you count to Hallowe’en”.  He won’t ask if he can come with me, everywhere I go.   One day, not too long from now, he won’t hold my hand or sing along with me in the car.

I think back now to the choices I’ve made, and wish things could have been different.  If I could change it now I would go back in time, quit my job, never leave the house, just spend every moment just soaking up his toddler ways and storing it all away in my heart to bring out to comfort myself in the days like today when I am nearly debilitated by the shock at how fast he is growing up, and ultimately, growing away.

These are all good things, amazing things.  My son is a wonderful little boy, fun and kind, who makes friends easily and is never a worry to me or other moms.  I know he will thrive and excel in school, that this is the next step in his life and ours.  I do know that; I am happy and proud.  But there is always the part of me that wants to keep him safe, innocent, free of the burdens of life lessons; somewhere that I can be his protector.

These are the pangs in my heart today, and in the hearts of many, I’m sure. On one hand, I can’t wait to see what our kids will become, and on the other: I think they’re perfect right now, right here, at this very moment.  Kiss them goodnight and hold them tightly in your heart.

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

Categories: Kids, Parenting

Kids’ books….it’s complicated.

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve always let the kids pick out their own library books, throwing a few of my favourites in the mix and keeping them away from the “A” section (because those Thomas books are way too long, and let’s face it: they freaky).  I usually flip through to make sure there’s no previous damage (you aren’t getting another penny from me, SPL) or that they’re not too wordy.

But maybe I need to spend a little more time sussing out the books, or at least pre-reading them.

Wednesday night’s story: Sammy the Spider goes to school.  Awesome, because soon, B will be…Going to School.  And spiders rock.  Did you know that Sammy the Spider is Jewish?  Which is cool, but raises certain questions that I just don’t know quite how to explain.  One of which being,  “Do I get to wear a hat when I go to school?”, followed by “Why are those guys wearing those hats?”   Uhh….that’s me in the corner.   I see, after coming to the end and the booklist, that most of Sammy’s other adventures are a little more clearly defined, such as Sammy’s First Hanukkah and Sammy’s First Shabbat. I am totally open to sharing religions, I just need to do a little research myself, because Moms know Everything.

Tonight’s selection, a wonderful little tale called One More Wednesday. Great.  A simple tale, with a moderate amount of words, a great wrap up as we’ve read 3 stories so far and I’m getting a little tired of hearing my own voice (ha!!).  I knew the story started to take a turn when the little bunny couldn’t visit Granny one Wednesday, because she was in the hospital. Next up, Mommy bunny’s on the phone and then started crying, because: GRANNY DIED.  Whaaaaa?  I was tempted to make something up, because, please can we go back to asking about the Jewish “hats” because I don’t want to go down this road!  Some kind of warning, somewhere on the book would have been nice, like way before I got to page 5 when Granny was never coming back.  (um, spoiler alert.)

So yeah, while I really try to stay away from reading commercial-type books like Dora the Explorer, it might be a safer choice some days as you can be sure all Abuela is going to be doing is serving up some rice pudding and won’t up and die on ya…