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Recently, watching Nate has felt a little bit like looking in a mirror.

I am struck by how thoroughly he is influenced by our actions as parents.  Everywhere we go people have an opinion about who he looks like – me or Dale.  But what really boggles my mind, is how much he acts like us.  In the past few months as he has started talking more and communicating more easily, I am astounded by what he picks up and how quick he is to follow our lead in all kinds of things.

When we are active and engaged in daily activities – he is much more likely to be so as well.  When he sees us working independently at tasks he is much more likely to play quietly on his own.  When he sees us eating he wants to eat.  When he sees us going places, he wants to go too.  He mimics our mannerisms, the tones of our voices and even the words we use.  I realize he learns from other sources as well, but at the moment we are still very much the centre of his small but growing world.

I see myself in him every.single.day.  But what I wonder sometimes is how I got into him?  Was he born that way?  Has my parenting made him a mini-me?  Is it the fact that he exists in the same little environmental bubble that I do?  All-in-all, it is quite fascinating.  Scary too at times.  When I know, for example, that he totally has my temper.  My tendency to be moody.  My penchant for talking non-stop?  My sweet tooth? There are many moments when I wonder why (wish perhaps even??) that he isn’t more like his Dad.  You know, calm, cool and collected and above all quiet?

Of course he isn’t entirely his mother’s clone.  The love of bike riding?  Well, that he gets from Dale.

I imagine that I will never know why he is the way he is.  But I am hoping that I don’t forget how amazing it is to see his personality traits and his character developing as he grows from baby to toddler to little boy.

Perhaps I am just feeling  wee bit nostalgic, knowing that baby number 2 is about to arrive all fresh and new and undiscovered.  It’s making me think back to those days when the things that defined Nate were so different – so minute and so unquantifiable.  Today is a whole different story and one I don’t want to forget any time soon!

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Summer is definitely fading.  The night air is cooler, the dew on the morning grass lasts longer, and the kids have returned to the school playground across of the street from this little house that I have called “home” for the past 5 years.

5 years.  Crazy to think it has been that long.  But in fact, 5 years ago TODAY, I stepped off a West Jet plane onto the tarmac of the Comox Valley Airport and breathed in the sweet smell of salty west coast air. And of course the sickly sweet smell of jet fuel to which I have become rather accustomed, but which still makes me gag a little.

This place I now call home didn’t always feel quite so welcoming though.  The mountains used to make me feel somewhat claustrophobic.  I was painfully lonely and bored for months on end while Dale went off to work and I sat at home alone watching mind-numbing soap operas.  The seemingly unending torrent of rain and wind storms depressed me and I missed my family terribly.

But then I adjusted.  I found a job, made friends, fell in love with hiking those mountains and found peace in falling asleep to the sound of pelting rain dashing against the peaked roof of my teeny tiny house.  And what finally cemented this place as “home” in my mind was the arrival of my best friend in the whole wide world – my sister Gill.

So now, here I sit 5 years later, yet again amidst the boxes, waiting for the movers to pack up all our worldly possessions and ship them off to Cold Lake.  I am crying inside and out.  For a long time it didn’t seem real, but suddenly it is all too real.

I will never again live in this house in which my son was born.  We are leaving behind our first home and his first home.  And although I know we will eventually return to Comox, I also know that we can never have this time back. Mostly I’m cool with that, because life goes on (and I’m glad that there is more to life than living as newlyweds in a PMQ!!), but there are moments when something inside me wants to scream “NO! Don’t let them take it all away!”  That’s when I feel like my heart has broken into a million little pieces.

Of course I am excited for things to come.  We have just bought our first house…and in time I’m sure it too will become a home.  And perhaps I will eventually appreciate the rolling prairies and the frigid but crystal clear days of winter.  I’m sure I will have fond and lasting memories of Nate growing up in Cold Lake, and that will make all the difference.

Just right now I don’t feel quite ready to leave Comox behind.  I’m not up for the goodbyes.  The hugs are great…the tears suck.  In July I consoled myself with the fact that I had all of August to chill with my pals and finish exploring this gorgeous place…to do all the things I’ve been meaning to do for the last 5 years but haven’t quite gotten around to.  But suddenly it’s September and I am reminded of the camp song, Linger, that I used to love but hate because it meant that things were ending yet again:

Linger:

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a little longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you

Mmm, its such a perfect night

Mmm, it doesn’t seem quite right

Mmm, that this should be my last with you

Mmm, and as the years go by

Mmm, I’ll think of you and sigh

Mmm, This is good night and not good bye

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a little longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you

Mmm, and come September

Mmm, I will remember

Mmm, our camping days and friendships true

Mmm, I want to linger

Mmm, a lttle longer

Mmm, a little longer here with you
Of course these aren’t camping days, but the tears are streaking my nicely applied make-up nonetheless. I could list off the people that I’m not ready to leave and the things that I miss, but I think you all know who you are and I hope you all know exactly how special you are to me.  I also want you to know that this goodbye is NOT forever.  It’s a small world after all, and I know we’ll meet again.
Hugs,Jen