david : version 10.0

Just two months short of turning thirty I became a mom and now, ten years later, I am about to turn forty and realizing that the thirties was a rollercoaster ride filled with high, low, fun, scary, sickening, exhilarating, pukey and amazing moments. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but I’m happy to report mothering is well worth the ride (so far).

In celebration of David’s tenth birthday tomorrow, here are ten things I’ve learned in ten years of parenting:

1. It goes by so fast or at least that’s what everyone always says. In the big picture, yes but it certainly does not feel that way some days. Like when you’re stuck inside on a rainy day or playing the board game LIFE. Tick, tick, tick.

2. Explore local, travel far. We try and take David on as many trips as possible. He’s pretty lucky and has been to more places than I did by age thirty. It’s not always fun, and certainly not easy, but he’s a kid that learns best by experiences than by the book. Plus, learning how to run through an airport is an important life skill.

3. Get outside. When things go wrong, get outside. As a baby, whenever he’d cry, we’d take him outside – the sky would calm him down. He feeds off sunshine and fresh air; I have no idea who he gets this from.

4a. To each their own. “When are you going to have kids,” “when are you going to have a second,” “you can’t just have one”… We all get our own collection of questions and comments thrown at us. I spent a lot of time reminding myself that it’s what’s best for us, not what’s best for everyone else.
4b. We all have our own battles. David and I struggled with nursing that was my first battle and there have been many more since. No kid is perfect, and no parent has it all figured out. There is no one is judgier than a mom and I can’t say I know how to deal with this, but it made my first year of mothering hard. How I felt, is not how I want anyone else to feel, so I have learned to shut my mouth and let each mom fight their fight.

5. Just set one goal. Each day, each week, each year. Don’t expect too much from your kid and be pleasantly surprised when they overachieved.

6. Lead by example can be both good and bad. I love that David loves sports and being active; however, I am not so proud of his potty mouth. No one to blame but me, I fucked that up.

7. They will excel at some stuff and suck at a lot of other things, but let them try new things. You never know what will spark their fire.

8. Your fears are not their fears. The thought of forming a beatboxing group and performing at the school talent show scares the hell out of me… I can barely handle a conference call but, I appreciate that David follows the no guts no glory philosophy. I hope it sticks, being shy sucks. (note: I should add that your goals are not their goals but I’d be a hypocrite because I’d love for him to excel and math or make the 2030 Olympic Team…)

9. SWIM! It was the only must-do expectation from us. At five months old we tossed him in the pool, and he’s been going strong ever since. We live in Nova Scotia: Canada’s Ocean Playground – it’d be a shame to be beached. Plus, I keep telling him, I wish had been a lifeguard instead of being a hostess at the Honey Garlic Buffet when I was young.

10. Sit back, spectate and enjoy the ride. Now that we’re ten years in, I try and avoid hovering as much as possible from what he wears (questionable) to how he interacts with others (questionable). I’m channeling the free-range vibe and hoping he figures things out on his own. I trust him and most of the time, David has proven that he’s capable of making smart decisions.

Happy birthday David! xomeg

meanwhile, elsewhere

Friday’s online finds: Cozy up and dig in.

  • 5 Reasons I’ve Implemented a 4 Day Work Week (A Fabulous Fete)
  • Redesign (design milk)
  • I learnt learned alot a lot (The Everygirl)
  • Nothing in American society — not parental leave policies, medical care, research funding, work culture, or product design — is set up to help parents feed their children breast milk. Changing that will require reimagining not just the pump itself, but the entire culture around work and family. (Vox)
  • Sobriety Made Me a Better Cook, and Cooking Keeps Me Sober (The Kitchn)
  • And Millennials Are Sick of Drinking But they’re not giving up booze just yet (The Atlantic)
  • Patagonia is starting to weed out certain corporate clients to focus on customers that “prioritize the planet” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Serious Food: In the Kitchen with Grandma (Bon Appétempt)
  • A worldwide directory of playgrounds based on your location in an easy to read map. (Say Yes)
  • Hindsight 2070: We asked 15 experts, “What do we do now that will be considered unthinkable in 50 years?” Here’s what they told us. (VOX)
  • The Whopper is getting a makeover … Impossible! (Kottke)
  • And thoughts on this: What’s Next After Plant-Based? Clean Meat Grown From Animal Cells (Forbes)
  • 5, 7, 11, 20 (BuzzFeed)
  • IF I was ever to live through a renovation again, I’d want it to turn out like this (design milk)

Have a beautiful weekend!

(photo)

10 things I miss most about having a dog

I miss Henry like crazy – he was the best dog ever! Now that it has been three months, I’m sharing 10 things I miss most about having a dog:

  1. Walking through the door: It’s hard to enter the house without yelling hello Peach. He was never one to come running, and often he’d be hiding, but we always said hello.
  2. Cutting a slice of cheese: Henry’s favourite food was cheese – he’d always get a slice or two.
  3. Going for a walk: What’s the point? Seriously, what’s the joy of walking without a dog?
  4. The woods/park: There’s nothing more lovely than watching a dog run off leash, ears flapping – it’s hard going to the park without him. I also bust out a smile when dogs pop their head out a car window, but Henry never did that.
  5. Home alone: Working from home without someone to talk to and commiserate with is rough (dare I say ruff). Henry never liked it when I swore at my computer, so I much better behaved with him around.
  6. Bread bags: What do you do with empty bread bags and flyer bags?
  7. Mornings: Henry and I were both fans of mornings together. I miss that.
  8. Opening a can of tuna: I guess the tuna water goes down the drain now?
  9. Throwing sticks and finding tennis balls: It was like winning the lottery when Henry found a tennis ball on a walk. Now when I see an abandoned ball, I get excited, then sad.
  10. Pillow talk: He was a great pillow, I’d often end up on the floor with my head on his belly asking him for advice. I miss this the most.

I am working really hard at finding joy in these days without him, but there are moments when I’d rather wallow than adapt. On his last day, I wrote that I have never loved anyone unconditionally as much as I love Henry and I stand by this. Kids can be awesome. A family is amazing. Friends are great, but Henry was the one that never wore me down or broke my heart. He never talked back and was never a disappointment. People do this; I do this; we all do this.

He was a rescue dog, and as cliché it is, I rescued him but he rescued me. It was the best adventure.

I hate not being a dog family. I am scared that I want another dog, but I hate that it won’t be Henry, which is why I LOVE the dog episode (Cynology) of Ologies. Please listen – it’s so good. I went back and listened to it again today and here is one of the best things I ever heard (grab a tissue and start at 1:09:35) – it explains why every dog is the best dog ever. Waaaa!

“Who has the best dog in the world? We all do” – Brandon McMillan

I’d love to hear why your dog is the best dog ever. xo

PS. Don’t worry my cat-loving friends, Ologies has a cat episode too which makes me want a cat.