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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Emma's Box of Patience

My daughter has been asking me for a story just for her.  This was a hard one!

"When is Christmas ever going to get here?", Emma asked herself as he paced in her room back and forth back and forth.

"I'm so borreeed, bored, bored." She sat on her bed with her arms crossed and her head down. "School is on a break, dance is on a break and Mom says she needs a break. What good is a break anyway? All a break means is that I'm bored!"

Emma got off her bed and went into the kitchen. She found her mom cleaning up and said, "Mom, I'm bored."

"Really? It's only the third day of Christmas Break and you're bored already?", asked her Mom.

Emma let out a BIG sigh and said, "Yes. There is nothing to do."

Her Mom listed off a bunch of things she could do but Emma said no, no, no to all of them.

"Never mind," said Emma. "I'll find something."

"Good thinking, use your imagination, "said her Mom.

Emma went back to her room. "Use my imagination. Hmm....what can I come up with?"

"Oh! I know! I'll pretend I'm a princess locked in a closet and I'll wait for my prince to come and rescue me!"

She climbed into her closet, found a small spot on the floor where she could sit and hid behind the clothes. "This is perfect," she thought to herself. "Now I'll just wait and my magic prince will use his x-ray vision and find me!"

Emma waited and waited and waited. And waited and waited and waited. After a long while Emma decided that this wasn't a game for one, she better go get her little sister, Elise, and she could be her prince.

"ELISE! Where are you?", Emma shouted from her room. Let's play Princess and Elise!"

"W-H-A-T?" Elise shouted back from the playroom.


"W-H-A-T?" Elise shouted again.

"Why don't you go to the playroom and speak to her there Emma," her mom said sounding annoyed.

"Okay." Emma went to the playroom and explained her game to her little sister.

"Uh, no thanks. I no wanna to. I playing Little People. You wanna play Little Peoples and Elise?"

"NO, I don't! HUMPH!", Emma turned on one heal and stomped back to her room.

"Christmas Break is boring! Who needs Christmas Break anyway? Christmas is NEVER going to get here."

Emma's Mom came into her room after she heard the commotion. "What's the problem Emma?"

"I'm so bored and now Elise won't even play with me. She makes me so mad sometimes. Little sisters are no fun and Christmas Break is no fun!"

"You won't think so in a few days. Just find your patience and you'll be surprised what patience will bring you."

"What? More presents?!" Emma asked with a smile.

"You know that Christmas isn't just about gifts." Said her mom.

"I know, it's about giving, Christmas spirit, Baby Jesus and the final countdown to being good!"

"Well yes you're right about those things, but being good is a smart idea for the whole year, not just the week before Christmas. Patience brings you love and joy and your own sense of magic in your heart."

"You mean I can really have magic? It's really real?" asked Emma.

"Magic is in all of us, we just have to figure out how to use it."

"Do you have magic Mom?" Emma asked.

"I like to think so," said her Mom as she kissed her on the top of her head.

Emma thought long and hard about patience. "Patience means waiting and waiting and Mom says good things will come. I don't know what patience looks like though. How can I find it if I don't know what it looks like?"

Emma began to search her room, "Is it under my bed? Is it in my closet? Is it behind my table?" She decided to look around the house, "It's got to be here somewhere," she said.

After hours of looking and searching and exploring Emma became very frustrated and went to talk to her Mom.

"Mom, I've been looking all over the house for my patience but I can't find it! What does it look like EXACTLY?"

"Oh Emma, it is not something you can see or touch. Patience is something that is inside your heart and your mind."

"Okay, then what EXACTLY does that mean?" Emma asked even more frustrated than before.

"Hmm.. remember when you wanted to get your ears pierced and we said you had to wait until your birthday?"


"Well you waited six long months and then your birthday came and you got your birthday wish. So for you that time patience came in the form of pierced ears. It is different for everyone. For me it was waiting for you to be born, you were two weeks overdue and I thought the world was going to come to an end if you hadn't come out already! And then I got a call from the hospital to say that it was time to get you out! So patience for me was finally holding you in my arms instead of my belly."

Emma giggled.

"Patience can be the moment you finally learn that special step in ballet or tap, or when you figure out that really long word in school. For some people it's that moment when the Doctor says they are better after hurting for a long from being sick."

"Oh. Okay I think I understand. Practice means patience and waiting means patience. But why do you say, "Find your patience", if it's nothing I can see or touch?"

"I guess I mean practice your patience and you'll see it that way. I have an idea.", said Emma's Mom. She gave Emma a square red box with a lid and a white bow on top. She opened it up and inside was a white shiny lining but nothing inside.

"What's this for?" asked Emma. "There is nothing in it."

"This box is a good place to keep your patience and see it grow. Close your eyes, make a wish in your mind and then whisper it in the box. Close the lid tight so it doesn't escape. When you're waiting for something to happen, like in this case Christmas Day, and you feel like you're losing your patience, take the box in your hands and squeeze the lid on tighter and tighter. That way it will remind you that the day is coming and not to let go of the magic it will bring you."

Emma smiled took the box and went into her room. She took the lid off and whispered her wish inside, just as her mom explained. "I wish for Christmas Day to get here, to see my cousins, and family, to eat LOTS of chocolate and to open lots of presents! But don't tell mom that last part!" She closed the lid as quick as she could and put the box on top of her dresser.

Emma stared at that red box for days, picking it up and squeezing it every now and then to make sure her patience wasn't escaping. Finally it was Christmas Eve. ONE MORE SLEEP! "You can do this." Emma said to herself. At bedtime she and her sister put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Mom tucked her into bed and kissed her on her cheek.

"How's the patience going Emma?"

"Really good, it tried to get out but I stuffed it back in and now we have one more sleep!"

"Good news!" said her mom. "See you in the morning, but not too early right?"

"I can't promise that Mom!"

Emma fell fast asleep and dreamed of snow and treats and presents. Before she knew it she opened her eyes and she could feel that Santa finally came. She rushed out of her room and woke everyone up.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!" she yelled as she jumped on her parents bed.

Emma sat and looked around the living room after the presents were all open and smiled. She was happy she had her patience with her and thought she should share it. She went to her room grabbed the red box and gave it to her mom.

"What's this for?" asked her mom.

"Well I was thinking and I thought you could use it too. You know when you say that you are about to lose your patience when you're getting mad at us?"

Her Mom nodded.

"Just shove it back in here and hold it tight, that way you won't actually lose it and we won't get into trouble!"

"I'll do my best Emma. Thank-you. I love you. Merry Christmas Baby."

"Merry Christmas Mommy."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Super Domestic Diva/Engineer!

Multitasking and busy took on a whole new meaning this week! The Christmas season is upon us and the BIG day is soon to arrive. Do I have the shopping done...NOPE! Do I have the tree up...YUP! (creatively decorated by my girls!) Do I have Christmas baking done...NOPE! (I did but we ate it.) So maybe like, or unlike, other wives and mothers I still have a lot to do! Instead of tackling the shopping I decided that finishing our spare room in the basement is far more important...and to do it without my husband's knowledge. (so shhh..he hasn't noticed yet!)

Almost two years ago we paid to have some rooms built, a spare bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. Problem being our contractor stopped at the drywall stage(he didn't like the mudding/taping/sanding junk) and we knew this going into it. We decided we could do the rest ourselves. Well a few coats of mud was put on and then left to dry...for 2 years. (I don't recommend that brand of mud by the way!) Looking at it every second day for a long time I thought I'd take matters into my own hands and just get it done already.

It took me four days to get to the ready to prime and paint stage. As I am in this room sanding, sanding, sanding I am realizing why dry-wallers get paid so much, and why my husband didn't feel the urge to get back at it! It is a painful, slow and dusty job, not to mention the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing, but whatever...I'm doing it! Even with drywall dust in my eyes and up my nose causing some really sticky boogers I still finished what I had to do! And then the final coat of mud was next...and this is where the fun began.

I found a BIG container of mud unopened, and of course it needed to be mixed. I found a drill with a large egg beater type attachment on it. (Well that must be what I should use to mix this pail!) Easy enough! I place the mixer in the mud about halfway down, bracing myself a little. Pull the trigger and before I knew it the room was splattered with mud, my pants and feet covered and the pail is on its side....(Huh...I guess it's a little more powerful than my hand mixer in the kitchen...note to self...a POWER tool has some power!
) Standing in awe of the mess I made in a matter of five seconds I didn't know what to clean up first. Elise pokes her head in to see what the noise is all about and says, "Oh Mommy..What you do?" "I don't know, I do not know." I answered. I get it cleaned up as best I could and grab a wooden spoon to finish least I can control that!

I worked until noon everyday to ensure I wouldn't be caught, made sure Elise was fed lunch (although she was in her glory as snacks were at her finger tips and Mommy's response to those snacks was "Whatever...I don't care!" which by the way I heard her telling her Little People that same phrase! Oops!) and supper was planned and prepared on time, laundry not piling up etc. Took the girls to dance and hair appointments, helped with homework, kept in touch with friends and family, and didn't neglect my husband at all!

I sanded for the last time today, it's not perfect, but not bad. I keep picturing the Holmes on Homes dude standing in his overalls and muscle shirt shaking his head as he inspects my work saying, "These are good people, just wanting some extra rooms...they didn't deserve this...always check out your contractors people, always check your contractors!"

Next week is painting and I just might get caught at that time with all the pesky fumes and stuff, but I'm hoping to have it done, with the bed set up ready for some Christmas company! I do have to mention that I have done all of this with my new set of gel nails and have not broken one yet! Shout out to Lindsay for keeping this Domestic Diva/Engineer beautiful/functional and at her finest all at the same time! I wish my fellow friends/moms/wives a successful holiday season and may you finish all that you have put on your to do, baking, decorating, wrapping, Christmas concerts, and maybe some home renos! Merry Christmas ladies!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Two Mothers, One Love

In July I entered a short story writing contest, encouraged by my Aunty Lois.  I did not win but was honored to hear that my story made it into their book called Formation, along with other Canadian writers.  So here is my entry.

Two Mothers, One Love

Two mothers, though strangers, show each other that the act of selfless, unconditional love is the hardest life lesson to go through, and yet worthwhile at the same time. Together through the process of adoption they share a common ground; placing the wellbeing of a child ahead of their own.

She stood by the window looking through the clear glass, gently rubbing her pregnant tummy. With a sigh, she whispers softly to her unborn child,

"Know that I love you, and I always will. Please understand that when I made the decision to place you in adoption, I did it so you could follow whatever dreams you want to fulfill, as I was not able to help make these dreams come true. I wish you all the love and contentment that you can possibly take in. And know that my love for you is, and always will be abundant. You will for eternity be in my heart, and in no way far from my thoughts. I did this not to make my life easier, but to make sure you never had to carry a concern or burden because of my decisions. I chose your family with my heart, and feel confident that they will raise you the way I would have. The day is coming soon when you will take your first breath. I will be there to hear your voice, and give you your first kiss. I pray that you feel my love through that kiss for a lifetime."

As a tear gently dropped from her eye, she felt her baby give a gentle nudge from inside her, as though in response to her mother's wishes.

She sat on her bed looking at the picture of her daughter on the bedside table. A smile swept across her face, and a tear trickled down her cheek. She longed to give her daughter; now 6 years old, a sibling and to see her family grow. Years of trying for another baby and the heartbreaks of multiple miscarriages had led her and her husband to adoption. After a year of making their way through the adoption process the news finally came that they had been chosen as a newborn baby girl's adoptive family. Filled with as much excitement as the day she found out she was pregnant, she was overwhelmed with elation and emotion. She took a deep breath and spoke softly to the mother of the baby, that will soon be welcome into her life.

"I am and will be forever grateful to you for your precious gift. I promise I will love and treasure your daughter just as I have my very own. She will have a good life; full of love and happiness, more than you could wish for. She will grow up a strong and self-assured woman. She will know how much you loved her, and that you always will. I wish you love and happiness, that your worry soon subsides, and your heart fills with joy, just as you have filled mine."

As she wiped the tears from her eyes, the door to the bedroom slowly opened. Her daughter came in and took her mother's hand, "Mommy, let's go get my sister."

The baby feels a gentle kiss fall on her cheek. She moves her head towards the touch and for a moment, opens her eyes. She coos as she hears whispers of a recognizable voice. Her mother gently places her down in the bassinet and squeezes her tiny hand one last time. The baby falls fast asleep, and wakes to a different whisper though just as soothing. She feels yet another kiss fall upon her cheek. The baby wraps her delicate hand around her new mother's finger and fixates on the fresh face before her. She lets out a soft sigh in acceptance and snuggles into the embrace of her mother, still grasping her finger.

With the touch of the baby's hand, both mother's hearts distend with love; confirming that their wishes, though silent, were heard. A silent wish made, a silent promise pledged, forever acknowledged with each milestone passed on the journey through the baby's life. Two mothers, though strangers, forever bonded by a simple touch of a baby, and their ability to selflessly give unconditional love for the wellbeing of a child.

Polar Expressions Publishing