Sunday, October 14, 2018

Strong-willed Child**

I may, perhaps, probably not have written here for a while (again), but hey, I'm back (at least for the moment) so ... whatever. It's my blog and I will post when I want to (said somewhat guiltily). But
moving on.

The Kit Kat is in her fourth year of university. The first three years she lived in the dorm, but this year she is sharing an apartment with a friend. And I have a few thoughts about that.

First, I thought she moved out on her own the first year of university. For her birthday prior to the first year, I bought a big (and I mean BIG) wicker laundry basket and filled it up with all the everyday stuff she would need to live on her own.Thought that was that - give them a good start and send them on their way, right? Maybe. But ... the first year she not only lived in the dorm, she also had a meal plan. So nothing to worry about as far as being fed or housed.

The next two years in the dorm, we skipped the meal plan (not worth the money) and for the first time in her life, she had to worry about actually feeding herself.

Fast forward to this year.

Now she not only needs to feed herself, but also to pay all those mundane every day month expenses like rent, power, tenants' insurance, etc.

I found myself shopping again before she moved into the new apartment. I mean, the place needed to be furnished, right? A nice lamp for the living room, some stuff for the kitchen. Wait a minute, I thought I had already been there, done that. After all, hadn't she moved out three years ago??

Yes. And no. In at least two different ways.


First, I think (hope, perhaps naively) that she is now officially adulting (as she likes to call it). Incidentally, there are some hilarious memes on FB about this process. Funny, how it didn't seem to be that big a deal for my generation (just something you went and did), but for these guys ... seriously?

There are at least two popular songs on the radio that attempt to document how terrible and disconcerting the process of growing us is. Which, they're pretty funny and I rather enjoy them, I must admit. My favourite FB meme goes something like this:
"That moment when something bad happens and you run to find an adult. Only to realize that you are an adult. But you need an adultier adult".
Heh.

But for the second aspect of this growing up and becoming an adult thing, I seem to be the one who has a problem. Okay, maybe not a problem but came to a rather jolting revelation the other day.

Her university is a little over an hour away. The first three years, I saw her at least every three weeks at a minimum. It wasn't planned that way - it was just that between the times she came home (Reading week, Thanksgiving, Christmas, another Reading week, summer, etc) and the fact that I am in Halifax a fair bit for work and appointments, we saw each other fairly regularly. Never thought too much about it; it just was.

And I was amazed to find that (quick, cover your ears) I didn't really *miss* her when she was away. Heresy, I know. Don't get me wrong, I loved having her home and really enjoyed that time with her  but when she wasn't home, well, I was busy living my life. And, yes, stalking her occasionally on FB as a means to check in and make sure everything was okay. As if I could actually tell how things were doing by what she posted.

This year? This year is different.

Not only did she work in Halifax for the past two summers, but she's working part-time now during the school year. And suddenly ... she's not coming home as much. Not over Thanksgiving because of her work and class schedule. Not during Reading week next month because she wants to pick up extra shifts at work. As if that wasn't bad enough, I seem to be in Halifax less over the past few months so not seeing her then so much either.

And it was bothering me. And her Dad. Yes, it was. The part about her not wanting to come home when she could. Until the other day, when  it finally hit me.

When I went to University, I moved clear across the country. From Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia; 4,379.4 km, for those that are counting. That's 2,721.2 miles, for those that are metrically challenged (which I must admit, I still am somewhat myself).

I called my mother mostly late at night (or was that very early in the morning?) after I had been out partying, had too much to drink and suddenly had a truck-load of perceived dilemmas that only my mom could help with. Other than that, she wrote once every few months (yes, Virginia, there actually was a time when we survived without email) and I sent a humorous greeting card every so often - used the card technique because there was only so much space to write in, unlike a letter, where the amount written would have looked pathetic (compared to what she wrote) on a full sheet.

The Kit Kat, you ask?

Yeah, I realize now that she is just acting/doing as she is meant to. Growing up, becoming an adult, leading her own (gasp) life. How dare she?! And I realized that, although I would still really like to see her more often, I'm okay with the fact that I don't.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about her father. He is constantly calling her (and getting annoyed when, the majority of the time, she doesn't answer her phone). I tried pointing out to him today what I had recently realized and even asked him how often he had called his parents when he moved out West for a few years at age 16. Not so sure I got through to him, though.

So, in addition to pointing out that the Kit Kat is now starting to lead her own adult life, I commented on the difference between her and the Blue Jay (the Kit Kat's older sister). Due to her disability, the Blue Jay, even though three years older, still needs us, needs to talk to us daily and needs to see us at least once a week. I pointed out that if the Kit Kat acted like her sister does at the moment, then we would have a real problem.





** For anybody wondering about the "strong-willed child" reference, let's just say ... she was.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Thank U Canada [aka the Great White UP*]

Okay, this is a little out date [ahem] - seven weeks after Canada Day and 10 months since my post [shhhh, I don't think anybody's noticed], but it's my blog and I'll thank Canada if I want to, eh?




PS Just for the record, this also proves that I'm still alive.

* In honour of our amazing (and greatly-missed) friend, Neptunus Lex.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Letter From Heaven

Not sure if she's in heaven or not, but otherwise ... picture perfect.

I miss you, Mom. Always will.
 


It seems appropriate somehow that this popped up in FaceBook feed today.

I was just cleaning up some stuff around the house and found Vicks Vapour Rub (I haven't used it since long before I became an adult, so it must have been my Mom's) and a bottle of her Oil of Olay, which I don't use, but kept anyway. I don't know why ... okay, maybe I do, but ... I don't know why.

It will be nine years in a few short days (Nov. 29) - time to throw this stuff out and move on?

Perhaps, but that's okay ... I still have two of her dresses hanging up downstairs.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Perfect Homage to my Favourite Show ... EVER

So. I haven't blogged here for ... ahem ... a little while. [Nothing to see here ... move on now.]

I guess it just took the right thing to motivate me. The right thing being watching the entire DVD set of White Collar (six seasons) twice. Back to back. Well, okay, I might have taken one night off in between ... I mean, it's not like I'm obsessive or anything.



 Goodbye Neal. We'll never forget you.

Goodbye for now anyway. I mean, I do still have the DVD set. I will give it a break for a while, but I picture the next go-around being slightly more selective ... only my (many) favourite episodes.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Looking Damn Good For 150, Eh





Happy Canada Day everyone!

How lucky are those of us who are lucky enough to call Canada home?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Melancholy

I stumbled across this today while looking for something else.

Feeling a little melancholy today, I guess.
Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name, Speak to me in the easy way you always used. Put not difference in your tone, Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. 
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was, There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, Somewhere very near, Just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; Nothing is lost. 

One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!" 
~ Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918,Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

Friday, December 2, 2016

From spring cleaning to Christmas decorating in one fell swoop.

What can I say? We don't waste any time around here.


Out with the old. In with the ... snow.
BRRRR

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Time Passages

I suppose I could have just as easily titled this post "Transitions", but "Time Passages" sounds a little bit fancier, don't you think?

Whatever, I like it. And whether you call it time passages or transitions, there does seem to be a bit of that going on around here as of late. When I think back to this time last year, I couldn`t begin to picture where we are are today.

Last August, we (myself and two other families) had just started negotiations with the Department of Community Service for the Blue Jay and two of her friends (young men she has grown up with and who are in Special Olympics with her) to live in their own home, with the support they would need to be successful as part of a government pilot project.

Those negotiations were long and painful - nine months long, in fact, and nearly as painful as giving birth to a baby. But by the end of December, we had a lovely house rented and the three young adults were able to live there on weekends; unfortunately, only weekends at that point because we didn`t yet have the government funding to do any more than that.

But then, as of June 1st, the Blue Jay and her friends have been living in their own home full-time five days a week; unfortunately, we never did manage to get enough funding for them to live in their own home full-time. The other two days per week, the young adults return to their family homes.

For the past two months, there have definitely been a few huge bumps along the way - it`s definitely a process and we`re learning as we go (both the young adults and the parents). The beauty of this, though, is that it is neither a group home nor a small options home - in both those situations, you are placed in the home with other adults, often strangers. Instead, the Blue Jay has been able to choose her own roommates.

Another major difference from the old way of doing things is that we don`t have staff; instead, the Blue Jay and her friends are supported by ``house buddies``, who, for the most part, are pretty much peers (chronologically) - thank goodness for our local university and its SMILE program, which pairs up interested students one-on-one with children and youth with special needs. The Blue Jay has been in the SMILE program since she was 3 or 4 years old - in fact, that is where she learned how to swim (and she`s quite a good Special Olympics swimmer) without any formal lessons.

Last but not least, the house is not being run by either the government or a private agency - we, the parents, are the home`s administrators. Trust me, that can be both good and bad, depending on the day. It`s a lot of work for us, but an ideal situation for the young adults. Or, at least, hopefully it will be once we finally get all the bugs worked out.

Life has not always been easy for the Blue Jay or for us, her family. It`s been a long, often hard road at times, but she is finally getting some of that independence she so desperately wants and needs.


By the way, did I ever mention that she is also working part-time (two days a week) at a local Tim Hortons, something she has wanted to do since was a little kid? She also does some volunteer work and in one of those places, she gets to run a cash register in a small second-hand clothing store - something else she has wanted to do since she was little (run a cash register, that is).

So there`s that.

And then last, but very far from least, is the fact that we moved my youngest daughter, Kit Kat, to Halifax and into the dorm at her university of choice.

It's so hard to believe that my baby is starting university. Definitely mixed emotions there - proud, nostalgic, a little worried and a little sad; not much different than those faced by any parent who sends one of their children off to university for the first time, I suppose.


I am very, very proud of my two girls. They both continue to face challenges, but they have grown into amazing young adults and, in many ways, those challenges have helped shape who they are today. I guess we all must have done something right.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Election Season

Election season. I can just feel it coming.

The most wonderful time of the year. 

NOT.
"Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word."~ Charles de Gaulle

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung ... a bit later than usual perhaps (admittedly both outside my window and on this blog).

It's a good thing the seasons change, I suppose, else you might never see me around these here parts. Hey, what can I say? Sometimes the truth really does hurt.

Okay, I need something witty now for the ending.

Anybody? Any ideas?

Anything at all?


Crickets. 

Damm, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It is, after all, that time of year.