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In a time when diversity is flourishing all around us, especially in a place like Montreal, it deeply saddens me to hear stories such as the one my hairdresser shared with me this week.
You see, he is gay and ‘somewhat flamboyant’ (his words, not mine), and each time that he shops at his local mall, people give him negative looks and make comments about how he is dressed or the clothes that he is buying. He said that over time he has become resilient and always smiles politely, trying not to let people’s judgments of him get under his skin.  As I profusely apologized to him on behalf of the human race, I began to think about what my students go through on a regular basis because they themselves are different, having difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, daydreaming, learning disabilities, different interests, or inappropriate social skills.

Six months ago, I was completely consumed with my son’s picky eating habits.  His diet consisted of Cheerios and toast and despite everyone’s efforts to reassure me that this was a phase he would eventually grow out of, I was convinced that my son was somehow the exception, that his stubborn refusal to try new things would last FOREVER.

  rainbowThere are moments in motherhood that take our breath away.  There are the lovely moments, like when we hear our children giggle, when we feel the warmth of a hug and a wet sloppy kiss or just the everyday mother-child banter. There are also more difficult moments that can leave a mom feeling breathless, like willing a child’s fever to break or watching them struggle with a painful social situation.

Today is my birthday.  I’m 36 years old.
I was woken up with a warm kiss from my husband followe20140320_162804d by wet kisses and big hugs from my son.  He looked at me with his big beautiful eyes full of excitement and screamed “Happy Birthday Mama!!!”. His enthusiasm was genuine and palpable.  And it touched my heart.  The warm wishes were followed by the presentation of a card that he had proudly made accompanied by a song as he strummed his toy guitar.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective.

In the olden days, as I like to refer to them, I think I had a hard time discerning what was worth making a big deal about and what wasn’t. I was easily upset and stressed by little things and was quick to overreact.

I HATE winter.  Actually, DESPISE would be a more accurate description. You’d think that after living my entire life in Montreal, I would have developed a certain level of acceptance and simply surrender to the frigid cold, the ridiculous amount of snow and the wind chill.  But unfortunately this is not the case. And now that I have an active two-and-a-half- year-old toddler,  I’ve been forced to confront winter head-on, instead of avoiding it like the plague as I had done in the past, hiding under blankets in my warm socks.

It's funny how your start to reflect on your personal experiences through the stories your children share with you.

classroom

They come home and talk about their daily struggles in grade school, and while seemingly trivial, they are all consuming at this age.
How frustrated they felt when the math teacher did not call on them for the answer, although they "really knew it!".  How angry they were for having a recess taken away because they forgot to bring home a note.  How sad they felt when another child called them a name.

I have been going back and forth in my mind as to whether or not I should write this…..whether this is too revealing…..whether I should take the lid off this box of emotions that I have been desperately trying to keep under control for so long. But I’m tired of keeping it together, of pretending that I’m strong, when on the inside, I feel like I’m crumbling.

taking risksThis is one of my favourite pictures. My then 11-year-old daughter is showing off how well she rides without hands on the handlebars. You can't see her face but if you did, it would be the kind of pure exhilaration you only see in children. The absolute pleasure in the skill, the sensation, the slight frisson of danger. She is totally in the moment, in a way adults rarely are.

The other day, I was talking to my very pregnant friend.  She was telling me that if she hears the words, “Sleep now while you can, cause once you have kids, you’ll never sleep again” uttered by one more parent wanting to offer her advice, she was going to scream. I totally understood where she was coming from.  I remember before having my son, getting that same warning time and time again.

Recently, I wore denim overalls to my mother-in-law’s 65th birthday party. [caption id="attachment_5817" align="alignleft" width="160"] Mike Holmes rocking his overalls[/caption] Now, when you think of overalls, your brain probably conjures images of farmers, gingham and toddlers. Holmes on Homes, perhaps.  The kids from Kris Kross . The...

Lately my life seems to be filled with lots of twists, turns, and obstacles.
It’s natural that with our busy and often non-stop routines we are bombarded with a multitude of daily challenges – some of which can be compared to tiny pebbles and others which feels like enormous boulders.  As I have mentioned before, as a mother, I spend a great deal of my life behind the wheel of my car.  While in the car this week, I found myself having to drive over many speed bumps, and lots of things became very clear to me…