Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They grow up

My daughter is participating in "Take your child to work day" on November 5.  She didn't want to go with a parent because she's always been interested in medicine and neither parent works in that field.  But, we didn't find an adult to take our child to their workplace so... she's going with her father. 

When Kaylin initially confessed that she didn't want to go with her father she asked, "Can you really see me in law enforcement?"  To which her father responded, "Well, not right now, but 10 years from now, who knows?"

And my memories of her 10 years ago flooded back.  She was easily the most assertive of my young kids.  I was used to my babies passively watching other kids take their toys, but not Kaylin.  She fought back.  And she pushed her older siblings away with, "My mommy, not your mommy!!!"

Now, she is perceived as gentle and sweet and soft.  Not exactly police material. But like Robin says, who knows what 10 years will bring.

Then there's Josh.  For the first 15 years of his life I would have rated music as the least likely hobby my child will ever have.  I would have predicted a future as a medieval sword maker - we had lots of those floating around.  Or professional video game player.  But nothing to do with music.  Then the switch flipped and now he's passionate about music.  I never would have guessed but now it's hard to see his life without music.  How does that happen?

No matter what they choose to do with their lives, it will be fun to sit back and watch the journey.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Braggin' on my girl

My daughter's grade 12 Global History class has proven to be quite the challenge.  No, it's not the material... it's the teacher and the students.  More specifically, their opinions.  They are bold and vocal in their opinions and from her perspective, narrow minded and ignorant.  She follows the philosophy, "Don't cast your pearls before swine," and generally bites her tongue.  Anyway, that's a little background for the following incident.

Several students were trashing celebraties, not even specifically- just in general, for all their wasted spending.  Now there's a topic most people would not dispute.  From our middle class perch, it certainly looks like celebraties waste a lot of money.  The students were particularly scornful because there's such poverty around the world.  Places where money is desperately needed and just a little money could do so much good.  Again, nobody can dispute that.

So, what on earth could my daughter object to?  And what am I so proud of?  Well, she said that she finally had enough of the discussion.  And so she turned it back on them.  What are you doing for the poor?  We're all rich compared to the majority of the world.  How much of your money are you giving away?

It is so easy to put others down for their spending choices.  But until I can say with all honesty that I have not wasted my resources and I have  spent my money wisely, I had better not get up on my high horse condemning others in a higher tax bracket.

I'm so proud of her for taking responsibility for her actions.  Financial responsibility is a huge lesson and I think she understands the importance of not being jealous of others for their wealth (not an easy thing to do) and not being critical of others for their wealth and the perception of their selfishness.  She is accountable to God and to herself.  Way to go.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some people just don't get it

My daughter graduates from high school this year.  So so hard to believe, but that's not what people don't get.  She has decided to take a year off from school and volunteer.   She is currently looking into a Christian organization in Thailand that works with physically and mentally disabled children.  Her unltimate goal is to go into physiotherapy, making a difference.

Earlier this week she was discussing some of this with her dance teacher, who's also helping her become a certified highland dance instructor. 

"Why would you want to do that? I'm sure you don't have to. I'm sure your grades are good enough for university."

I don't know my daughter's exact words, but she was a bit speechless.  Yes, she has excellent grades.  Yes, she can easily just go straight to university.  But she wants to make a difference.  She wants to help people.  Life seems meaningless when it's all about me, me, me.  What's hard to understand about that?

These are exciting times for my daughter as her dreams are starting to take shape... starting to look like a reality.  I'm so proud of her and her determination.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little white lie

I remember talking with other moms when my kids were quite young.  Did we lie to our kids about little things that really didn't make a difference?

"No, sweetheart, there aren't any onions in the spagetti sauce," to a child who totally hates onions.

Even if it inconvenienced me, I declared that I would tell my children the truth- point blank - if they asked me a question.  I was appalled that moms would do differently.  If you would lie to your child in the small things, what would prevent you from lying with the really big things.

Well, so much for good intentions.  Today I practiced "deception by omission" with my daughter.  She had all 4 wisdom teeth out today.  She had me laughing so hard in her drug induced haze.  Apparently she was concerned with ice cream and teeth brushing.  Repeatedly concerned.  Then quite confused to hear she had already asked the same question 2 minutes before.

But she did ask a legit serious question (even with the drugs making her wonky) and I knew the answer would upset her, so I dodged it.  Then wouldn't you know it, while I was running this afternoon I just happened to listen to a podcast about "Lies we tell our children".  

Telling white lies eventually makes one color blind.

Ouch.  Convicted!  So, when I came home and we were sitting around the table, I confessed.  Sure enough, she was upset.  But I tried to convey the importance of this issue and she eventually accepted it, even though it upset her.

My lesson learned: kids will respect the truth.  They may not like it, but they will deal with it, often better than our imaginations give them credit for.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall fun

This past weekend we went out and enjoyed the local fall festivities.  I just love fall!!!!  This is our hike to Cape Split.

Maritime fall fair.  As a child I was terrified of petting zoos.  I cowered in fear of those pushy goats and llamas trying to get any food I might have for them.  My girls love, love, love a chance to pet the animals.  They have always wanted a hobby farm.  The closest they will get is visiting their Aunt Carrie's menagerie.

Who can pass up a beaver tail?

Robot guy... he certainly entertained my children.

It was Thanksgiving.  I'm not too old for Thanksgiving crafts or I'm a Martha Stewart wannabe or something.  

Friday, October 10, 2008

The nannies

Gaƫlle with Adrienne.

Peterson with Nadine.

Our kids are fortunate to be living in a really great orphanage - GLA.  One of the areas that GLA takes seriously is bonding.  Knowing that the children have suffered devestating loss in their young lives, the staff at GLA works hard to let the kids know that they are loved.  The nannies are vital to their physical and emotional health.  In September we all received photos of our kids with their nannies.  Beautiful pictures.

21 years and counting

So hard to believe that we've been married for 21 years.  Wow!!!  I know this is where I'm supposed to go on and on and on about how wonderful it's been.  It's not that I can't do that, I can because I'm really blessed to be in such a great relationship.  Quite honestly, it's been easy.  After 21 years, I know how rare that is in relationships.  And for that I'm grateful.  And I'm looking forward to many more years together.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What I did this week

I haven't voted since 1984.  Yikes.  That was the first year I was eligible and the last election I was physically living in the US.  After I moved to Canada I didn't realize that I could still vote in the US elections.  To be quite honest, the possibility never crossed my mind.  During the 2004 elections there was a lot of media attention here to all of the Americans living in Canada and how they were voting.

So, I looked into it and what do you know?  I can vote.  

My absentee ballot arrived this week.  I'm actually excited.