Sunday, February 27, 2011

The return to the maritimes....

My son, who is almost but not quite two, has been on a plane seven times in his short life. The first time was a trip to Calgary when he was three months old. He slept through the entire flight, which I remember being somewhere between five to seven hours. He breastfed intermittently while I held his little hand and he snoozed happily away. The second time, we had gone to Halifax to house shop. He slept for some of both flights, also peeking his head over the seats to stare at a little kid behind him. He was about fourteen months old. This last flight, there was very little sleeping and a steady stream of babble. Ender wrestled both me and his dad, frantically pointing out the window at the planes, trying to mash the flight attendant call button, giggling at the stream of air that he opened in the ceiling. The tiny televisions behind the seats were of no help, as he doesn't understand tv is for staring at. All in all, travelling with a toddler is oddly energizing. It makes you feel like you can take on the world, and you certainly don't need a book. It helps that Ender clearly enjoyed the sensory experience of flight this time, as he hooted during takeoff and buzzed during landing. I kissed his rosy little cheeks as we set our course back to Nova Scotia, home, and our regular everyday lives.

The trip was a refreshing change of highs and lows. We laughed and cried, as is appropriate for visits with family members and long held friends. We had a chance to head out to the city on several occasions, though we spent the majority of our time in Etobicoke with Mikes parents. Ender basked in the attention of his grandparents and multitudinous loving aunties and uncles, blood related and otherwise. I feel very grateful to be so loved. Probably I dont deserve it.

I had a chance to go fabric shopping while we were in toronto as well, which was great. The fabric selection in halifax is just dismal, so I did the best I could, and I think I made some good selections. No point in buying any old polyester; I bought unbleached linen, checked silk duppioni, heavily embroidered cotton and a stiff black silk organza.

We watched, amazed, as Enders language made leaps and bounds during our trip. Words and names all came easily to him and a constant smirk of self satisfaction was on his face. "bay-bee" he said, pointing at himself, "bay-bee done down" his way of saying he was both finished and ready to get going. Along with self expression comes a belief that all reactions should be immediate, and with this he is an unforgiving taskmaster. All of us must learn patience in this thing.

I shall wrap up here, for now. Very tired and looking at a full day of catchup tomorrow, as I did not keep up on my homework as I should have on this week off. Till next time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Love Dare

Say what you will about evangelical Christians, they have the marriage market covered. They get married more, younger, and add children to the mix. They also don't believe in divorce. There, me and evangelicals get along just fine. I didn't take getting married lightly. I was the girl who claimed she would never condescend to link herself to someone for life, let alone have a child. But here we are, and both Mike and I are convinced that we have found our partner for eternity. We take the awesomeness of our baby as a daily affirmation of this, of our genetic and fateful predestination for one another. That the mingling of our souls and our DNA was chosen for us before we were even born. That said, nothing is ever perfect. Having your life all jumbled up in another persons leads to several issues: reenacting the mistakes of your parents, taking your partner for granted, and closeness leading to contempt, to name a few. Raising a child in all this adds to the issues. There is little time to discuss when one feels overlooked or disrespected. Arguments, which can be healthy and fulfilling, are stunted into a quick and sharp whisper that leaves everyone feeling cold.

So, all this to say that there is a book, called The Love Dare, which is mingled with so much scripture as to make my staunchly atheist mother shudder. But it's also filled with daily exercises that promote respect and communication with your partner, and I appreciate the wisdom that it has imparted so far. I plan on buying the book, but the sample chapter had this to say: 

"Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clapping a hand over your mouth, patience is a deep breath."

So yes, maybe this is just a bunch of WASPy repressive talk, but I think I could use a little repression at times. Too often I say what I think, to no good end. So the dare for day 1? Spend a day saying nothing negative to your spouse at all. It doesn't propose that you should never speak negatively to your spouse ever, but that its complete absence from your life for one day can make you appreciate its benefits. 

The Love Dare is a forty day journey into appreciating and linking yourself to your partner. A dare from the couples who have undertaken the challenge and succeeded. Because I love my husband, because I love myself, I am devoted to strengthen and appreciate our relationship together. I am an agnostic, if we are going to put labels on things, so I can pick and choose from faiths what I find to be helpful and useful. I think yoga is good for the body, I think Buddhism is good for the brain, and I think a few Jewish shepherds had some helpful things to say about love. 


As for updates: Ender's language development is exploding! He attempts to say all words that he sees in books, mostly with a lot of success. I suspect he will be a very well spoken little boy. He is still a little sick with a cough, but the dr said it was not a localized sound in his lungs so probably not an infection. Thank goodness, I really hate that he has already been on antibiotics once in his short life and my goal is not to repeat the experience any time soon. 

I think all of our friends in Toronto will be very surprised to see how much Ender has grown since they saw him in July. He is so much bigger, more articulate and his dexterity is that of a grown person. He understands every word you say, which still takes some getting used to.  

And with that, my beautiful baby boy is awake and I must go get him and feed him lunch!