Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Moment 9: the final year

It goes fast.

It goes fast.

The leaves are slowing shifting colour and the mercury’s rising – the promise of a glorious Indian summer fills the air. The streets are full of school children in shining backpacks, pressed jeans and new runners. Some walk shyly hand-in-hand with parents or grandparents. Some have younger siblings at their sides. Some run fill tilt towards the school yard hollering, eager to see old friends and hit the playground before the bell rings. Others walk slowly expressionless, already too cool for school. Still others drag their feet steeped in recent memories of sand and water, burnt marshmallows and block parties, reluctant to let go of summer’s grip.

My four-year-old looks longingly out at the kids as they stream into the schoolyard. He wants to go. He thinks he’s ready. But I’m happy to have him with me for another year. This final pre-school year, the last year of kids’ sizes at the Gap, easy afternoons at the pool, empty playgrounds, wide open spaces at Science World, tranquil beaches and slow mornings.

He may be tall but he’s still little inside. He asks for a “gugu” when he’s tired (milk in a sippy bottle), and his outrageous stories often need a translator. He love kids, but he crashes and burns out like a spectacular meteor from the excitement.

The schoolyard is empty now, and I think how precious this upcoming year is. Early childhood is fleeting; I’m already nostalgic. … gentle sigh.

This is my 9th post for the September – 21 Moments Writing Challenge – 12 more to go.


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Moment 1: Summer’s end


It’s 5 pm, and the slanting September light sparkles and dances across the water. Despite the threat of autumn with its heightened sense of purpose, the beach is covered in glowing bodies soaking up the last vestiges of summer’s heat.

From our spot in the sand, we spy a shimmering haze of calm diggers bent over buckets in search of butter clams, mussels and cockles. Not even red tide warnings and the possibility of shellfish poisoning deters them from the lure of the catch.

A stream of paddleboarders pick their way gingerly through the reeds as kayakers glide stealthy through the waters. A lone sailboat flaps its white sails in the distance.

We slather more sunscreen on our sun-baked shoulders and sip our illicit cans of beer mesmerized by the ephemeral beauty of this shining moment between summer and fall, freedom and responsibility. Meanwhile, four children oblivious to summer’s closing act splash around at the water’s edge, their spray glittering like fireflies as peals of laughter echo across the inlet.

This is my first post for the 21 Moments Writing Challenge to be written this September. 

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This guy!

A rambunctious bundle of enthusiasm, energy, chatter and joie de vivre!

Happy Birthday Theo!


Read about The Day We Met 4 years ago.

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Summer in the City

More scenes from the summer that keeps on giving!


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1. June is not always Junuary!  June in Vancouver is typically a horrifying blend of cold rain and darkness so this sunny June came as weather surprise. For the first time in years, we got to soak up the golden evening light in shirt sleeves clinking glasses instead of huddling around the  TV in wool sweaters.

2. Almost four-year-olds can go non-stop until dusk if the weather is fine. Theo’s internal sleep clock switched from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm to 9:00 am to 11 pm. Note to self: Do not enroll Theo in a morning summer camp again.

3. Super soakers (AKA water guns) are a great way to get your son to water the potted plants.


4. Good weather means more time outside, which means more allergies, which led to another ER visit for asthma for Theo. Boo 😦

5. A husband with a broken ankle is no fun for anyone, especially Mark.

6. The face of adoption has changed dramatically. Not only is open adoption increasingly the norm locally but I was moved by a first-hand account of an international adoption reunion.

7. Kind words from Theo’s birth parents made The Happiness List.

8. Fatherhood is much more than ties and beer.

9. There’s no such thing as “just adopting.”

10. Summer needs children.


Did you learn anything last month? Do tell!

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Summer Needs You


Inspired by a comment from my friend Fiona after Theo’s latest bout in the ER. She said that Theo needed to get well because “summer needed him.”

Summer needs you to:

  • run half-naked through the sprinkler until a Popsicle appears like magic
  • leap off sun-burnt logs
  • Ooh and aah as fireworks explode against the night sky
  • fill your face with berries fresh off the vine
  • push your friends on the tire swing in the golden evening light
  • inhale hotdogs, cotton candy and ice cream
  • fill your shoes with sand turning the house into a giant sandbox
  • watch big screen blockbusters and fill your belly with popcorn
  • listen to infectious music in the park
  • splash in sparkling waters
  • hand pick “wildflowers”
  • collect snails, slugs and wood lice
  • run through spray parks and dive into pools
  • ride hollering down the sidewalks with a possee of kids until the street lights come on
  • throw rocks in the ocean until the shores are empty
  • shriek and play until voices turn to whispers
  • run and chase and run and chase again until the last vestiges of light have drained from the sky
  • collapse into bed exhausted with a sigh and a  grin

Summer needs your joie de vivre, your innocence, your loudness, and mostly it needs you to remind us all what summer is truly about.

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The happiness list

Ripped off of Amber Strocel, who’s always full of good ideas.

Here are few things that made me happy this month.

The first coffee of the day! Go!


Garden delphiniums and peonies in bloom.

The tire swing across the street AKA child magnet.

The warmest, driest June on record making views like this commonplace.


An unhurried family Father’s Day feast that lasted 7 hours.

A party where not one wore a sweater or brought an umbrella just in case.

Watermelon and fresh local strawberries.


Watching Theo swing across on the monkey bars and yell “Mom! I did it!”

Kids running around in the golden evening light.


My iPhone (bows down), which makes documenting all this ridiculously easy.

And the thing that made me most happy this week?
A surprise Father’s Day email from Theo’s birthfather saying that he and Theo’s birthmother couldn’t have asked for better parents for their son.

What made you happy this week?

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