[caption id="attachment_23002" align="alignleft" width="225"]This is actually hanging above my kids' toilet. It doesn't work. This is actually hanging above my kids' toilet. It doesn't work.[/caption] It’s my birthday today, and as a special gift to me, I asked my kids to flush their toilet.

You see, my three children (ages 15, 15 and 12) share a bathroom and it’s a rare morning when I don’t have to flush for them.

Maybe it’s the muscular exertion required to depress the flusher that stops them. Maybe it takes too much time out of their very full schedules. Maybe, and very likely, they’re trying to drive me insane. Because despite the constant nagging, yelling, threatening and even signage, they consistently fail at this one very simple task.

I bat my eyelids and suddenly my daughter turned 7 months old. The rate at which time is marching is really quite mind-boggling, and when people tell me, “enjoy, it goes so fast”, they weren’t kidding! As I despondently packed up all her 3-6 month summer dresses and pink frills, I found myself thinking into the future… what will she be when she grows up? What will she be passionate about? How will she impact the world?

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” - Lou Holtz When I think about my life, I think of it as chapters of a book. Some chapters I want to read over and over again, such as getting engaged, getting married, and completing my Master’s degree, but some I want to skip over and never open again.


I have a lot of blessings. I know this, but at times I have forgotten to count them, forgotten to practice gratitude. It always seems easier to look at what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Well, this year it will be different. It will be the best Thanksgiving ever, and my son Michael is the big reason for this change in my mindset. He is an amazing little boy living with autism in a world that does not always understand him, or know how to help him. He gets anxious, discouraged and worries, yet he always has a small on his face, gets up from defeat, and tries again.

And this year, his Mom will do the same thing. She will look at all she has, instead of what is missing, and remember that by opening herself up and reaching out to others, she receives more in return as well.

I am a writer and have been all of my life. I wrote in diaries as a teenager, started writing poetry in my early twenties, and then continued with fiction short stories and later novels. My dream was to work as a journalist and freelance writer writing fiction or non-fiction articles on subjects that interested me. What happened to that dream? I was simply afraid to pursue it. I was afraid I was not good enough to write and make a living at it. I went on to University and did a BA in Sociology, as people and the way they interacted with one another fascinated me. It was also because I knew it would open up many career paths after graduation. I wanted to get out in the work world, marry my then boyfriend, and start my adult life.

“You need to lay off your kids!”(he was referring to my yelling at my kids during a water polo game) is what an eighteen year old lifeguard told me several years ago at our community pool.  That statement although very unwelcome at the time (what does this young punk know about my kids and parenting?) was a HUGE wake up call for me and thankfully led me to make some important changes. 

  lice 2When I was in grade school, I had very long, thick hair. I would love to wear my hair in pig tails and then a pony tail and if the mood was right, I would even braid my hair. As I hit my teen years in the eighties I was not immune to the influences of pop culture (who could resist Wham?!?) and my hair went big and a lot of hairspray was used. All that to say, with the exception of a few years of short hair à la Princess Diana, I never had issues with my hair. Fast forward to being a mom of two kids. I noticed a change in hair culture when my kids started to go to day camp. My daughter came home from her first day and announced with a huge smile that she was lice-free! What? Stop everything and hold the phone.

I am so happy. So, so, so, so stupidly happy with my life right now, and changes that I’ve made. I think, as humans, we generally have pretty strong feelings about change: hate, love, fear, excitement, to name a few. When we’re unhappy, we crave change and...

My daughter is my first-born, and as with all mothers of firstborns, I didn't know any differently. I knew she was a hard baby, that was evident-- she was the type of baby to make a fool out of sleep training, a baby who learned to fake cough at 12 weeks for attention-- but I had no idea what I was up against until her emergence into toddlerhood coincided with the birth of my easygoing son. Not only did it strike me that not all babies are that exhausting, but I also came to understand what it meant to have not just a toddler, not just a hard toddler, but to be the parent of a strong-willed child.

I hate September. I hate the tinge of cool in the air that reminds us fall is almost here. I hate the change of routine; from the easy, schedule-free, long summer days to the frantic return to morning alarms, carpool, work and extra-curricular mayhem. I hate that September reminds me of the last days of my father’s life. September, to me, represents endings, not beginnings.

It always feels like I’m trudging through quicksand, desperate to stay afloat and make it to October when the routine settles and I feel like I can breathe again.

[caption id="attachment_22720" align="alignleft" width="243"]unnamed-2 Helena Levitt[/caption] Helena Levitt is a Montreal actress who is currently rehearsing a play called Aftermath; a production that is produced and directed by The Waterworks Company founders Rob Langford and Tracy Houston. It is a one-woman show about the true story of feminist activist Andrea Dworkin.

In her own words, Andrea shares her story about being drugged and raped in her Paris hotel room. Given what is currently in the news with Bill Cosby, it is a very timely piece of theatre.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I bid farewell to our night nurse (I’ll call her “Mrs. Doubtfire”) and I have been intermittently teary-eyed since. She had been with us since April and helped us tremendously with our now 5-month old daughter. Not only did she allow my husband and I to get 8 hours of sleep every couple of nights, but she also gave us something that new parents so desperately need: reassurance.

2015 is only half over and yet it has been a rather trying period for me (as was most of 2014), both personally and professionally. Although many people would actually not have a clue the extent to which my resilience has been tested, but it has been. It’s funny because I mastered the art of the “all is well” nod and smile that truthfully it would not be obvious to a sole. I don’t even know if those closest to me understand the depth of my trials and tribulations.

UnknownI have been known to be somewhat stubborn about accepting that sometimes as much as I want it to my body just can’t do certain things. If I am injured and it's keeping me out of the gym or on the sidelines of a game, it is very hard for me to do.

I grew up thinking that pushing through the pain was the way to overcome it.

When I was younger and depending on the injury sometimes it worked but sadly as I’ve gotten older it just isn’t the case.  And now that I know more I don’t even want to try that, because I know you can do more harm than good by not taking the appropriate measures to heal when you are injured and that your brain sends warning signs to your body giving signals that you’ve had enough, that you should slow down or stop.