Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice Blessings

Dearest Mateo & Jakaya,

All across the Northern Hemisphere we welcome the light tonight, and so we had a small family ritual.  After explaining what we were about to do, the four of us sat together in the dark for some time.  We lit a central candle to brighten our house through the night.  Next, Jakaya, you and Dada lit a taper candle and shared your wishes for the season of light.

Stephen: On this solstice, I wish health for everyone in the family and the most boring year possible.
Jakaya: I wish a giant duck bring me a surprise.
Stephen: What would it bring you?
Jakaya: A Christmas tree.

We are planning to surprise you with a Christmas tree -- I don't know how we will work the duck in, but your Dada and I will try.

Mateo and I took a turn next.

Nan: On this solstice, I wish health and happiness upon our family and friends.
Mateo: (pointing at the flame) Hot.  Hot.

Your Dada timed it -- four minutes from start to finish and only one minor wax burn.

I love you.
Blessings upon you this solstice.
Yours,
Mama

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's all good, even the tough parts.

Dearest Jakaya and Mateo,

I hope wherever you are when you read this, you are in health and happiness.

On December 9, 2013, humankind lost one of our brightest ambassadors and most powerful warriors, Nelson Mandela.  In his autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom, he wrote:
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
Freedom and responsibilities are inextricably linked and their relationship is ongoing.  Regardless of the mountains we choose or are forced to climb, we don't get to rest for long, not really.  It is not something we earn.  There is no finish line.  But there is joy and beauty in the effort and the views are spectacular.

One of my many wishes for your lives is the opportunity to know your grandparents well, as well as I know them -- better than I know them, even.  They are all incredible people with stories and opinions and ideas and faith.  If you get to know your Granddad the way I have come to know him, you'll already know that one of his beautiful qualities is his willingness to share his beliefs on any lived subject or experience you have in common.

Over the last four years, your Grandad has said: "One of the best things about having kids is that they force a person to grow up".  I've always agreed, I mean I've had to do a lot of grown up things since becoming your mama.  But it is only now that I am really beginning to understand what he might mean.  Dada and I, both, have been undertaking a crash course in growing up since we first met you.

You see, it is clear to me now that, from the time we set out in the world until the time we were blessed with your presence in our lives, Dada and I were both the type of people to welcome what comes our way, react as best as possible, plan or what we can and shrug our shoulders and give it a shot anyway when we cannot.  We liked to call this "being spontaneous".  Well, your Dada and I were also, I believe, uncharacteristically fortunate people.  We had grown accustomed to landing on our feet.

The truth is, for the most part, we were reactionary people.  We didn't have systems in place to enable the best part of ourselves, we always came closest to those parts of ourselves when facing challenge or nature or travel.  Okay, to be fair, I haven't talked to your Dada about this, so maybe I should stop speaking for him, this is really just my sense of one of the ways that he and I are alike.

Anyway, reacting, reacting, reacting is fine...feels cool and looks like spontaneity, even, when the stakes are relatively low.  And given the sense of invincibility people generally have in our culture throughout their twenties, the stakes either: really are pretty low, or, are very high but a lack of awareness of risk makes the stakes feel low.   (Ask me about skydiving with your Aunties Tamara and Christie.)

Having kids really increases the stakes.

That is putting it mildly.

When people say: "having kids changes everything"; yes, they are talking about the fact that you can kiss sleep goodbye along with most forms of socializing, they are talking about how you, bleary-eyed, walked into a club called 'parenthood,' and you've been stumbling around so long somehow you forgot where the door is, your wallet's gone missing, you gave someone your coat check ticket and you have no idea what you're drinking or how the glass got in your hand, but the band is amazing and so you stay a while.  BUT, kids, what they are really talking about when they tell you that phrase is that your riskometer is going to be so finely tuned you will be able to hear a symphony of risk in your every decision.

I'm not just talking about mortal risk -- although that's a fun one to ponder.  I'm talking about risk of illness, risk of injury, risk of financial ruin, risk of your children having to face hard things like encountering their limitations or having their hearts broken, risk of lead paint, risk of unknown chemicals and phytoestrogens in the water, risk of broken governments and greedy industry moguls (Wanna rebel in this family?  Vote Conservative or make your living dealing with money that doesn't actually exist.  There, now you know.), risk of not knowing what to make for dinner, risk of losing your kids' mittens on the coldest day of the year, risk of climate change, risk of empires falling, risk of human rights violations at home and abroad, risk of not being able to convince your kids that vegetables are, in fact, awesome and necessary, risk of abandoning your ideals and values, risk of not recognizing yourself in the mirror, risk of future regret, risk of inadvertently damaging one or all of your children...you see what I mean?  When the riskometer has been dialed up, you become sensitive to all of it.

All of it.

And if you are a person who has been so fortunate and so lucky so as to have gotten by all these long years by reacting to what comes, becoming sensitized to all of this risk is a little, well, shocking.

Every decision matters in a different way, and that can be really overwhelming.  It sure has been in our household.  Jakaya, sometime in this past year it is likely you will have formed the first memory you will carry with you into adulthood -- I cringe at some of the possible candidates.  I really have not been at my best.  Don't get me wrong, I know I'm a generally good person and I think I'm an okay mother, I mean, I really hope there are points for effort, because I'm giving it all I've got.  But when I imagined raising you, I did not imagine a lot of what has happened in this past year.  Aside from the horror I feel at the culinary exposure I've offered you thus far, I am mortified by that fact that I am as strung out and desperate as I am.  You are beautiful, amazing, wonderous, miraculous beings and I have not been able to honour that in you.  I've been so focused on this thing that needs to get done and then this thing and then that thing over there.

"One of the best things about having kids is that they force a person to grow up."
Well, no thank you.  If this is growing up, I am off to Neverland.

And then it hit me.  This is not growing up.  This is what happens when you resist growing up.  This is what happens when you think you are somehow exempt from the laws of physics and nature.  This is what happens when you hold out the secret hope that someone will swoop in and save you from your situation.

Growing up is what happens when you realise the captor you need to rescue yourself from is yourself.  Growing up is what happens when you realize that you need to (and can) figure out systems that will help enable you to be at your best as often as possible.  Growing up is what happens when you stop running around blaming people for starting an assortment of fires and start assessing which of those fires is actually threatening and moving in your direction, and which of those fires will make the ground fertile for new life to form.  Growing up is what happens when you stop yelling at yourself for having limitations and start honouring the whole of who you have become.  Growing up in knowing when and how to ask for exactly the help you need.

I am just beginning to take in this learning and live it in the world.  And, kids, the events that have had to unfold in order for me to start to get it?  Well, some of them have been really tough and some of them have been truly magnificent.  None of them would have mattered to me in the way that they do, had you not been born.  While it is obvious that your lives in this place exist because I served as the conduit for your being, it is equally true that I owe my life to you as well.

It is fascinating to me that you, my greatest responsibilities, are leading me to understand more about freedom than all the freedom in the world ever could.  I don't know how I'll be able to thank you for that, but we can start by baking some cookies together this weekend, how about that?

With love and in gratitude,
Mama

Friday, November 29, 2013

Take a Deep Breath

My Darling Children,

I hope wherever you are when you read this has you feeling well and happy.

One thing about parenting, I've found, is that parenting is both a theory and practice.  Parenting is theoretical in that, as parents, we are always working from abstract hypotheses, limiting variables as best we can and hoping everything (by which I mean all our lives) turns out.  Parenting is a practice in that there are sets of translatable hard skills (like, say, organization and meal planning) that one can learn and refine and work on *and* parenting is a practice in the sense that we keep practicing.  I have an idea of finding a sense of stillness -- the eye in the storm as it were, about parenting, a place of balance.  And that only comes one moment at a time.  One mindful moment at a time.

These days I see both of you wrestling with big emotions.  One: it is the nature of your age and, frankly, two: it is the nature of life in a human body that we have emotional selves we have to learn about and live with.  So, on the theory side, I feel it is my job to help you learn about your emotions: what they are, where they come from, what they might be telling you, and how to work through them.  On the theory side, I feel this is more important than teaching you how to fall in line for my (or anyone else's) convenience (although, not gonna lie, some days I really wish you would just fall in line).  The biggest disservice I think I could do to you, especially given your biological sex, is to ignore the fact that you have emotions or to teach you how to repress them.

Because, you know what?  Emotions always find a way to win.  They come out somehow.  Maybe not in tear-filled form, but they come out in terms of your sense of motivation, in the stories you will come to tell yourselves about yourselves, and in the relationships you have with others.

There are two practices I've turned to in order to support this theory I've posited about your emotions:  one is to better learn the true feelings and thoughts that underlie my emotional responses and the second is the be as careful as I can around helping you name your emotions and building tools around processing them.  I say things like: It looks like you're really disappointed that I wouldn't let you run around the apartment while carrying a knife.  It is hard when we don't get to do the things we want to, isn't it?  Would you like me to cuddle you while you cry?  Would you like to try taking some deep breaths?  That kind of thing.  This is a pretty classic Attachment Parenting approach.

Anyway, Jakaya, I've been doing this with you for almost four years now, and Mateo for almost two.  Parenting is one of those tasks where it is difficult to see if and how what you are doing is sticking or matters or makes any kind of difference.  It is a lot like classroom teaching in that way.  The difference is known years later and, then, not always by me.  The other day, the universe threw me a solid and showed me that our emotion work together is a good idea.  Here is what happened.

We were getting some warrantee work done on the car and so the autobody shop gave us a loaner vehicle to use while they had our car.  The loaner vehicle in this case was a minivan (now I totally get the minivan thing, by the way.  Amazing.) and, so, slightly larger than the SUV we've been cruising around in.  I'm a bit nervous about having a sense of the size of a vehicle I'm driving at the best of times, put me in a new car and my anxiety around space bumps up quite a bit.

At present, we are still living at the Kalamata -- maybe your dad and I still do when you're reading this, who knows...anyway, parking here is always a bit of a lottery.  There is parking out back, but it is unclear whether that is for residents or shop patrons or what, so sometimes the back lot gets a little full.  After you and I picked up the minivan, we drove it home and won the lottery by getting a pretty prime spot out back.

The next morning I had you guys by myself because November is hunting season and your dad is off every Saturday doing his best to provide our family with wild meat.  I made plans with your Auntie Stacey and, as it happened, we were running right on time.  Not a moment early.  But not late.  It snowed the previous night so after getting you guys in your seats, I lost some minutes brushing and scraping snow off the vehicle (if we are not living here at the Kalamata, I sure hope we are living somewhere with heated underground parking, because scraping cars is just not my favourite thing to do).

As I'm walking around the van with the snow brush, I see that someone with a very expensive car (one I've never seen before, so obviously belonging to a store patron) has partially blocked us in.  I mean, technically, I can get out, with about a half inch clearance on either side.  So, I plunked myself in the driver's seat and got about the business of doing just that.  I must have been sighing audibly, because, Jakaya, you said:

"Mama, you sound frustrated."
"I am frustrated, Jakaya."
"Why?"
"Well, someone was inconsiderate in their parking and now it is difficult for me to get the van out and we are going to be late in meeting Auntie Stacey, C and G."
"You can do it, Mama.  Keep trying."
At this point you paused for a moment and then, "Mama, you know what helps with frustration?  Hold your breath and count to four.  We can do it together."

You then led me (and Mateo, because he was participating right along side you) through that exercise I've done with you so many times.

After we breathed and counted to four, I burst out laughing and said, "You know?  That really does work!"
"I know," you replied.

So, then I finished the 26-point turn required to extricate the van from its parking spot.  You held up your hands in the he-shoots-he-scores position and exclaimed: "You did it!  I knew you could do it!" and, Mateo, for the record, you squealed and clapped.

I might have cried just a little.

There are a lot of mistakes I know I'm making as a parent.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed or frustrated or lazy -- but, at very least, I know you are learning about your emotions and I feel very good about what that could mean for your life as it unfolds.

Monday, November 18, 2013

No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

Dearest Jakaya and Mateo,

It's been a long time.  Too long as usual.

As you can see 2013 is pretty short here on the blog.  I'm sure a lot of the people who used to read it have assumed it over.  I've assumed it over on a number of occasions.  But it is not.  It is the only family record I've kept and I'm not ready to let it go.  Just that, kids, 2013 has been a challenging year.

There is a saying in the adult world that goes, "we were running to stand still", meaning we were doing everything we could, putting all our efforts in, trying as hard as we can and were only able to manage staying where we are (as opposed to getting ahead).  In our family, the saying for this year, in many ways, has been: running to fall only slightly behind.

In our culture, especially, that is a bitter and difficult pill to swallow.  Running-to-fall-slightly-behind comes with this bitter cocktail to swallow it down with called: not (good/strong/worthy/hard-working/loved/loving/lucky/faithful/etc.) enough.  It's a limiting and painful medicine, but my years of experience tell me everyone has a dose from time to time, and there are gifts in it, too.  I'm not someone with enough grace to see those gifts as they are arriving before me; I'm just not there yet.  But, as your mama, I hope I can help you experience times like these differently than I do in the moment of their happening.

When I was a teenager, I took my very first "real" writing class, certainly the first one I ever cared about, the first one where I felt I was taken seriously as a writer.  It was run by a playwright named Eugene Stickland.  I don't know him well.  Not at all really.  But he lives in my mind and heart and in that place, the Eugene I carry around with me is very tall and very serious and very hard working and very skilled and ridiculously funny.

He was writer-in-residence at Alberta Theatre Projects that year, his first year running the group.  And on the very first day, he stood in front of us all and put part of a Sam Beckett quote on the board:

No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.

After that he said something to the effect of: That's all you need to know about play-writing.  That and: Don't bring a loaded gun on stage unless you intend to use it.

It's taken me years, a few degrees (finally, one actually in creative writing), and a massive, massive amount of failure to even begin to realize how right he was.  Except those four lines?  They are pretty much all you need to know about trying to accomplish anything.  Write a play, break a habit, mend a heart, eat your vegetables (cultural and otherwise).  As for the loaded gun; yes, that is correct, too, but only in writing.

Anyway, back to the quote.  I've carried it around with me all these years -- twenty years in the fall of 2014, and really only ever focused on the "fail better" line, actually just the "better" part of that line.  Do better.  Be better.  Live better.  Think better.  Love better.  You get the idea.  Our culture likes to focus on the "try again" line and erasing failure out of the rest of the poem...I think if I was to rewrite the poem from a cultural perspective it would look something like:

Try again!
Try harder!
Anything that stops you is your fault but you can bask in the glory of overcoming all odds!
Get it right!

Don't take that message in if you can.  It hurts.

Back to the real poem.  All the lines are pretty important in the original text.  But, I'm only realizing now the power of the first:

No matter.

I'm only just realizing the value of: letting go, of accepting, of forgiving ourselves for, of purposefully unbarring ourselves the burden of our previous failures.  And also, in another way of reading that line, I'm only beginning to understand how not real, how without matter those burdens are.  But, goodness, they're heavy.

So, here is the thing.  Failure happens.  It happens all the time.  It already happens to you guys, and it will keep happening; but, instead of failing to get the fork full of food from your plate into your mouth without the assistance of your other hand, one day it is highly likely that you will fail at something you care deeply about, at something you've worked hard to succeed at, at multiple things you care about all at the same time.  Again and again.  And you may find it tempting to tell yourself a story about your own failure that strings those life events as so many beads on a necklace of shame you wear.  And one day that necklace may feel like a noose and it will be so tempting to step off the chair and just be done with it.  But.

No matter.

It's okay.  Or it's not okay, but it will be someday, a new, different kind of okay than the one you were imagining.  If I am not there to tell you in person, sweet Jakaya and dear Mateo, it's okay.  It's happened and I am so sorry you are hurting.  You did the very best you could.  And now you are feeling devastated and lost, you feel you've been wronged, and maybe you have.  But it is what it is, right now.  And it is painful.  And it is okay. 

No matter.

When you can, try again.  At that, at something else that means something to you, at love, at joy, at chasing a dream.

No matter.
Try again.

Failure happens.  It happens all the time.  It will happen to you again and again.

No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.

But, the point is, whether the endpoint of your efforts is one of failure or one of success, if it was what you imagined or something else entirely -- the good, the bad, however we codify it.  The attempt.  The approach.  The path toward whatever result.  I only hope that, for you, those experiences line up closer and closer to your core values with each try.

No matter.
Try again.
Fail again.
Fail better.

Let the failure be yours, let it be a result of you being you and taking a risk.  Let it not be dictated entirely by the things you fear or the thing I've told you I value or your Dada values or your hero values.  When you fail.  Let it be yours.  Grieve it.  Learn from it.  Let it go.  And know that no matter who and where you are when you are reading this.  You are enough.  You are loved.  Success and failure aside, I believe in you.  You.  I always have, from long before your first breath.  I always will.

If you internalize nothing from your childhood other than this, so be it:
You are enough.  You are loved.

So, yes.  2013.  Full of the lessons of failure, certainly for me -- and, I think, for a lot of our friends.  We made a lot of good memories this year as well.  Tonnes of 'em.  But a lot of them I don't want to write about on a public blog, because I can't actually get your permission, Jakaya and Mateo, and there are a lot of people who do mean things out there.  So, once again, I am taking this blog private, behind a password.  If you want to keep getting updates from us online text/email/FB me and I will share that with you.  Or, I will do some digging and see if Blogger or some other software will allow me to make individual posts private while keeping the blog public.  In any case, the password will be the same.

Kids, I don't know how frequently I will be writing -- I've failed a lot on my intentions, but I will try again and keep trying, so, at least you have some of this record when you get older.

Love always,
mama

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Great Flood of 2013: Part 1

Dearest Jakaya and Mateo,

I hope this entry has found you well and happy wherever you are.  As you can see, I haven't been writing at all in the past two weeks, and that is because, for the most part I've been spending my days working on restoring Gammy and Grandad's beloved 808 after it was hit by the flood.  Right now, you're too young to remember what happened, so here is the story from our current vantage point.

The city put out this infographic to explain what happened:


Here are some pictures set to the song "Hell or High Water" written by Blake Reid:


The association of "Hell or High Water" to this flood came from this, the Calgary Stampede's response to the flooding:


Here is a little bit of our family's personal story of this flood...

When we heard the flood was coming, we were told to expect something three times as bad as the flood of 2005.  Well, 808 was bone-dry in 2005, so your Dada and I figured it would be enough to clear everything we could three feet off the basement floor.  We took all the valuable family photos, art, and especially precious items we could think of and placed them where we felt sure they would be safe: on the main floor.  We cleared items until we were evacuated by members of the Calgary Fire Department.

The city was put into a state of municipal emergency shortly after and we all came home to wait.  You two could sense the tension, but went about everything as usual as possible.  We waited and waited, and watched our devices and waited.

We knew things were getting bad and our fears were confirmed when we saw this:


Here is some other compelling footage:



And, if you're really interested, here is about an hour's worth as the HAWCS helecopter captured the flooding at its peak:

 
But, like 100,000 other affected Calgarians, we did our best to:

Naheed Nenshi is our Mayor and he and the rest of the City of Calgary employees have done an incredible job throughout this entire situation.

When we were finally allowed back into Rideau to see what had happened to 808 and begin the clean up, it was a Sunday, so you hung out at Auntie Jaime's house and had a great time.  You even brought home two pet snails.

Here is what we found:

The waterline was so high!


The backdoor was swollen shut because of the water, so we had to go in the front.  This was our first look.


And here is the back entry way.  Most of the items you see here were carried up from the basement by the flood water.


We pushed our way out the back door, and Dada set up the pump to start getting the water out.  Meanwhile, I went all over the house getting photos in case we would need them for insurance or provincial disaster relief funding.


These are some of the precious photo albums we moved upstairs from the basement in order to protect them from the flood.  Obviously we didn't move them high enough.


Here is some of the artwork and filed we thought we had moved to safety.

 

This layer of slippery silt covered absolutely everything on both floors.


As the water got lower, we wondered what the white stuff on all the floating furniture was and then we realized that when the water was at its highest, all this furniture was pressed into the basement ceiling and the stipple transferred from its rightful place to the wood.


The backyard was affected, too.  The playhouse you were just beginning to enjoy got completely swept away by the river.  Fences were tossed askew.  


After getting all the photos we could, your Dada and I were joined by Grandad's friends Henry and Emmett as well as your Uncle Ryan, and we began the process of cleaning up.


When the water was low enough to walk through the basement, we waded in to take a look and were shocked and saddened by what we discovered.


After taking a moment to wrap our heads around what was happening, we did what people do in times like these: the next best thing.  We couldn't save the basement, but we could clean it.  And so began The Pile.


A lot of people like to say: it's only stuff that was lost or damaged and stuff can be replaced.  And, to some extent, that is true.  All the people in our family were safe and we are so grateful for that.  The thing, though, about events like this is that the "stuff" sometimes can't be replaced.  Sometimes it carries meaning or memories or ties to our past history.  More than stuff, what was threatened by this flood were our stories.  The stories that make sense of who we are.  And so a big part of what we are trying to do in rebuilding is to save what of those stories we can.


Jakaya and Mateo, it is my dearest hope that something like this will never happen again in your lifetimes.  But if it does, please know that you have the strength to get through.  And people, lots of people, people you don't even know will come to help you.

To help keep our community of friends and family organized, I started a Facebook Group called "For the Love of 808" and posted daily on our progress, with photos, and specific needs for assistance.  Here was the post from Day One:
Day 1 - Evening update.

Hello everyone.

Okay, the Disaster Services person never made it to 808 today, so I think we are on our own in figuring this out for now. This afternoon progressed similarly to this morning. We just kept plugging away at what made the most sense to us in the moment.

All of the items that were not flood affected, and not hanging on walls, we moved to the second floor of the house. Just so nothing happens to any of them accidentally.

We began bringing items out of the basement, documenting them and discarding what has been destroyed. As for the water-logged items on the main floor of the house. Again, we have been documenting and saving everything we can.

We were advised to leave some water in the basement and mark the level, checking tomorrow to see if it has risen to ensure structural integrity. So, if the level has remained the same, the first thing we will need to do is finish pumping out the basement.

Next Steps and Help Needed:

As far as I can tell, there are a few general tasks that need doing, so perhaps it would be wise for us to divide ourselves as a work-force so everyone knows just what to do. Obviously, we can revise and amend as we go, I’m just going to suggest the following as things that I see that need to be done.

- Dry, safe and undamaged items need to be moved to storage of some kind as the house dries out – we don’t want undamaged items to become affected. Which means: storage needs to be arranged as does transportation, and the items need to be packed. I have arranged for an army of boxes to greet us tomorrow.
- Main floor items that have been affected need to be documented and then decisions need to be made about what to try and salvage and what to let go of.
- The basement needs to be emptied. Most of what was in the basement is destroyed. We can document everything as it comes out and then let it go. Of utmost importance in the basement is dealing with the deep freeze. The force of the water flipped it over, so we will need a few strong folks to help flip it back, and then we should get that food out of there right away so it doesn’t rot.
- History, history, history (this is something people can do even if you aren’t in Calgary). So many things in 808 are not just things, but symbols, representative of the family’s history. We will be documenting everything, but we need everyone to pitch in and share the stories of these items. I will figure out a way to enable this online and let you know when it is done. In terms of hands-on help with history preservation, what we need is for people to take photos out of albums and take pictures of the photos so the images aren’t lost. If we can dry the photos out and save them, great! Likewise for memorabilia.
- People who can provide practical things like food and water and remind people to stop what they’re doing and take care of themselves. I can tell you from the day we have spent here, the work is of a nature that you just don’t want to stop once you get started.

I’m sure there are a million other things that need to be done, but this is what is coming to mind for me right now. Please feel free to add all your thoughts and ideas.

Also, this group is really small right now. If you know of other people who should/would like to be kept in the loop, please let me know and I will add them, or make you an admin so that you can add them.

I will now post an album of some of the nearly 800 photos I took today so you can have a sense of where we were, where we are and where we have yet to go.

With love from here to wherever you are ♥
n
The above photos were all taken on Day One of our flood-recovery process, and now we are on Day Sixteen.  It will take me a few posts to get you caught up.  If you want, though, you can have a sneak-peek all the way to the start of Day Fourteen by watching this video, lovingly made by Bridey, a member of Gammy and Grandad's church.


I'll write more soon.

Love always,
mama

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Safari Njema

Dear Mateo,

Tonight you've insisted on sleeping in a plastic replica safari hat. I can only imagine the content of your dreams. May they be beautiful.

Sleep well.
Travel safely.

Love,
mama

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Weekend!

Dear Jakaya and Mateo,

We had a fantastic weekend! It started with a little hike in the mountains and wound up with a huge Father's Day barbecue in Gammy and Grandad's backyard. You mother, however did not take a lot of photos. Oh dear. I'll put what I have up here...I'll have to get better at this part.

 
Shortly after this picture was taken, the backyard (and bouncy castle) were filled with friends. I'm so sorry I didn't manage to get a picture of you and your dad together on this special day.

I love you and hope you had fun!
mama