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Category Archives: Gratitude

About a boy

When I envisioned what my life would be like as a mother, I always knew I wanted a daughter and had many insights as to what I hoped our relationship would be like. And although I was never against having a boy, I also had no vision of what that would mean.

The day my son was born I remember asking the doctor “what did I have?” and when he said “a boy”, I was instantly overwhelmed with happiness. Wow a boy!

In the days that followed I knew I loved him more than I knew how to express and I all I wanted was to cuddle with him. As the weeks came and went I learned quickly what differences having a boy can mean. One little appendage was whole new world of surprise to me. Why did no one warn me that you had better keep his appendage pointed down or he’d end up peeing upwards and out if his diaper? And speaking of diaper changes, you’d better make sure that things covered up or your gonna get sprayed in the face. Good grief was I ever enlightened those first few weeks.

In my mind I always pictured boys as being loud. And that’s exactly how my son started out. Unlike his sister, he HATED the car seat. Screamed bloody murder whenever we strapped him in. To the point where we nick-named him ptero-Jack-tyl.

But more than anything what I never knew or expected was what an adorable, funny and charming little boy he would grow into. How he has yet to outgrow his loudness – in fact at preschool he was told he could only roar outside. And yet I find that when he is being, what I consider, a typical loud boy, he is also this amazingly goofy kid. A kid who has a natural born talent for making people laugh. We often hear my daughter say “mommy he’s just so funny I can’t help but laugh”.

But what I find most endearing about my son is how affectionate he can be. I never dreamed that I would have a son who loved to cuddle. Who would randomly come up to me throughout the day and give me kisses and hugs and tell me how much he loves me. Who would do and say so many things that simply melt my heart. I especially love to hear him singing himself to sleep at night.

He is such a gift to this world and he is only four. I am truly thankful that I was blessed with a son. And look forward to the days and discoveries that await us as we watch him grow.

Until I write again…

x Shay

Finding Gratitude

Finding gratitude. Being thankful. It’s a hard thing to do at times. We get consumed with all the unpleasantness surrounding us. We feel life is “unfair”, as my 7 year old would say. Or get caught up in having ourselves a little pity-party (like me when my husband travels and I’m single parenting while sick). And on and on it goes.

But what if we just stopped. Stopped the thoughts in our heads and the words that come out of our mouths. And instead just take a moment to be thankful. And maybe not just a moment. Maybe we change our focus and start to be more thankful than critical.

My moms group is currently tackling this very concept. It seemed so easy at first. I consider myself a pretty thankful person. I literally go to bed every night and thank God for all the blessings in my life. My two wonderful kids. My amazing husband, who is such a blessing and truly co-parents with me. My friends who are there for me, especially those far away that I miss so deadly. My family. Blah blah blah. You get the idea.

But what about the times when I’m not being thankful. When I’m feeling sorry for myself because I never seem to get a night out because plans keep getting canceled. The days I literally do not talk to another adult and feel so desperately lonely. Or times when life just really sucks. When tragedy hits us when we are least expecting it. Where is my gratitude in those moments.

It’s a challenging task to be truly grateful. Especially when you are an organized person who hates when plans go awry. The one thing I have learned is that sometimes when life throws you a curve ball and nothing seems to be going your way, it might just be an opportunity. An opportunity to do something new. An opportunity to change your way of thinking. An opportunity to just slow down for a moment.

I won’t pretend that I’ve completely given up my self pitying ways and that I live in a world of rainbows and unicorns. But I do try to keep in mind that while you can’t always control what happens to you, you can control how you respond. So try to find a little bit of thankfulness in each moment. I truly hope it brightens your day.

Until I write again…

x Shay

The Long and the Short of It

So I’m having a very emotional evening. I just can’t, for the life of me, wrap my brain around the fact that my daughter is finishing her last day of Kindergarten tomorrow.  Good grief, how I am going to feel in 12 years from now? It just baffles me to think back at her first few months of school. How she was so shy that she wouldn’t talk to anyone. But how through that she excelled at school and eventually came into her own. How she conquered the monkey bars on her first day and hasn’t looked back since. How she continues, on a daily basis, to blow my mind by the things she does and says.  Her constant questions, trying to understand this world we live in.

She’s done me so proud, my girl.  Most recently she came to a big decision. A ‘hair’ decision. She decided that she wanted to chop off her hair and donate it to make a wig for child with cancer.  She explained to me how kids can get cancer and they have to take this medicine that makes their hair fall out. She said it made her sad and she thought she could make someone happy by giving them a wig.  To be honest, at first I was a little reluctant. She’s always told me she wanted to grow her hair “as long as Rapunzel” and I’ve been letting her. I loved her hair. I wondered if she would have buyers remorse. We talked about how it would take years for her hair to grow back if she didn’t like it. How maybe we could just cut “a bit” off and see what she thought. But she asked if we could give “a bit” to the wig company and I said no. And so she insisted. Wouldn’t let it drop. So how could I say no to a child wanting to do such an amazing thing. Off to the hair dressers we went and now 11 inches of her hair is being used to warm another child’s head and she couldn’t be prouder.

She’s just 6 years old. My first born. Growing up faster than I want. Tomorrow is her last day of Kindergarten. And I’m still trying to figure out how it all goes by so fast.

Until I write again…

Shay

Vacation Getaway

I am currently on a vacation getaway with my husband. It’s our first vacation, just the two of us, since our honeymoon 8 years ago. I remember telling that to a friend recently and seeing the look of panic and horror on her face. She is young, newly married and has a newborn baby. As if reading her mind I reassured her with my favourite quote “the days are long but the years are short”. Time goes so fast before you know it it has been eight years. But it’s what you do with the days in between that matters.

I’m lucky. I married my best friend. I married a man who makes me laugh and smile and shake my head at his goofiness every single day. So while we may not have been able to get away on fancy vacations, we have enjoyed our days together. He always tells me something uplifting about myself. How beautiful I am. What a great cook I’ve become. What an amazing mom I am to our two kids. How lucky he is to be my husband. And it’s all those things and more that make our daily life an adventure.

We are currently on vacation in California. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was when he surprised me with this trip. “Just you and me? No kids? Hot weather. Pools and beaches!!!” My daily life is constantly busy. Always trying to manage schedules and make time for everything and everyone. Planning, planning and more planning. And this trip was my chance to do none of that. To lay by the pool with trashy magazine and read books at the beach. Yet here we are. In California. Where it is so cold I had to go out yesterday and buy a pair of long pants and a coat. By the end of the day I was getting a bit down. Expressing to my husband my sadness of not being at the pool or beach. “Aren’t you having fun? Didn’t you have a great day?” He asked. “Of course! It was a really fun day. Just not the day I had hoped for.” “Tomorrow will be sunnier I’m sure” he replied. Despite my protests when looking at the forecast. He is ever the optimist. Now as I see it I have a choice. Wallow because things haven’t turned out as I hoped. Or be endlessly grateful that I am on a vacation with my favourite guy and make the most of our last few days.

So while I may not get to spend my vacation as I had dreamed. I am getting to spend it with my dream man. What more can a girl ask for.

Until I wrote again…

Shay

Mealtime Memories

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At supper every night my family shares stories about their day. As many parents of school children can attest to, when asked “What did you do today?” My 6-year old most often answers “I don’t know”. So we’ve tried a new approach the last few months, where we each each talk about are the “highs” and “lows” of the day. Not only do we often hear get entertaining answers (Katie “my low was that I had to go outside for recess when I wanted to stay inside and do math”, or Jack “being happy makes me happy)” but I find it often reminds my daughter of other things that happened at school and starts up a lengthier conversation.

Tonight my daughter suggested that we add one more item to our dinner-timer conversation:

Katie “Mommy we should all say what we are grateful for each day”

Me “What are you grateful for Katie?”

Katie “I’m grateful for my Mom and Dad. What are you grateful for Mommy?”

Me “I’m grateful for my two amazing kids.  Jack, what are you grateful for?”

Jack “Nothing”.

Well, that’s my boy. Always good for a laugh at dinner.

I’m excited about this new addition to meal-time. I think it’s important to take a moment in our busy days to be thankful for what we have. So today I am thankful for a 6 year-old’s idea.

Until I write again…

x Shay

The lazy days of summer…or spring

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Technically it’s spring. But as I watch my kids in their bare feet rolling down the grassy green hill over and over again on this sunny, cloud-free, blue sky day – it sure feels like a warm memory from the summers of my childhood. Some days I feel as though every second of our day is so jam packed that my kids barely have time to just “be kids”. So I truly cherish a beautiful day like today where we have no plans and fun is left up to my kids imagination.

Until I write again…

Shay

Capturing the small moments

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There are moments each day where I wish I had a hidden camera to capture the things that my kids do or say. Because although the moments small, they bring such a big smile to my face and joy to my heart. They are the moments that make parenting worth every second of heartache, tears, frustration and fears. Here are a couple from today:

A bedtime conversation with my three year old:
Jack: Mommy I want to sleep in your bed
Me: As a special treat you can go to sleep in our bed but I’m going to move you back to your room when I go to sleep
Jack: No thank you. I’ll just stay in your bed
At least be was polite, lol

My son is being a complete goofball at snack time
Katie: Mommy, Jack is just being so funny. He’s making me laugh so much I think I’m going to cry”

My attempt to be serious and firm as I talk to my son about a poor choice he made
Me: Jack, do you think you made a good choice?
Jack: Um…YES!! hmmm…no? [insert goofy face]
Jack: haha you’re laughing Mommy!

Until I write again…

Shay

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