Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Dreams and Minivans

I came across a recent newspaper from my alma mater (as I was cleaning up piles of paper found all over the house) and read through it from cover to cover. I recognized only a few of the professors and absolutely no students, and it struck me that it has been fifteen (15!!!) years since I graduated from university. Reading through the articles and looking at the pictures reminded me of the feelings that I had when I graduated that the world was my oyster. The world was mine to explore, doors were opening up everywhere and life was full of opportunity.

Then, after the kids were in bed, I sat down on my front porch and saw our car and minivan parked in the front of our house. I realized at that moment, that in my mind's eye, I still am that 21 year old that graduated 15 years ago. I don't really see myself as a 35-year old mother of three children who has been married to the same guy for 15 years. But that is who I am, after all. Strange how our minds can trick us.

I also had the opportunity this past weekend to take a step closer to a dream I have had since a little girl. I grew up in a family that watched Hockey Night in Canada religiously every Saturday night. I was never a huge fan of the game itself, but I liked the pizza (which was also served religiously on Saturday nights) and I enjoyed the cuddle time on my dad's lap for those few moments. But, my very favourite part of the whole evening was the singing of the national anthems. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be that person singing the national anthem. It would be a dream come true for me to sing "O Canada" at a national hockey game. This dream has long been stored away deep in my being, somewhat forgotten in the midst of the busyness of life. However, when my brother-in-law called me last week to ask if I would sing "O Canada" at the opening ceremonies of his firefighter's competition, that dream came back to life. I said yes, and came one step closer to fulfilling that little girl's dream:

Even though I am 35, and life is looking a bit different than what I thought it might look like, I still have a chance to follow some dreams. Who knows...maybe the Oilers are looking for someone to sing "O Canada" for their next season?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Relay for Life 2010

The annual Relay for Life for the SuperStoltes has come and gone. With it came some tears and laughter and joy and sadness and complaining and remembering. Mostly, though, as great a cause it is, and as great a time we have bonding as a family, I really wish we didn't have to do this relay.

Cancer ripped away our mother and grandmother away too soon. It stole our chance to share those moments that should be shared with moms.

Like being at our wedding. And being there to meet Eden and Aaralyn and Ephraim. And watching your son graduate with this MA. And having coffee with your adult kids. And telling me stories about what kind of a child my husband was. And sharing our everyday struggles. And being our mom.

I wish I could turn back time so you could share your life with us as it is supposed to have happened. As Aaralyn wrote on her luminary "To Grandma Geraldine: I love you. I wish you were still here."
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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Finding the Joy

I just started this photography class last week and am loving it. I'm already behind in the assignments and it is only week 1...but the perspective is great.

The class is all about taking pictures of kids. And I do that. Alot. So I figured I could take quite a bit away from a class like this. And so far, I haven't been disappointed. I am learning about the ISO setting on my camera. I am learning about lighting. I am learning about seeing things a bit more clearly through my camera lens. I am learning about how important these pictures are.

And I am being confirmed that part of my job right now for my family is to document our lives. Before Eden was born, I was pretty adamant that I would go back to work. And I did. After Aaralyn was born, I was a little less adamant, but still sure that I needed to have the balance of work and parenting. And I did go back to work.

When Ephraim was born, that all changed. Something about that kid was so grounding for me, I knew that where I needed to be was at home with my kids. (not that every day was paradise by any means...). And being at home with my kids meant that I had to give up quite a bit. I had to accept the fact that my days filled with laundry and naps and diapers and snotty noses and temper tantrums and peanut butter sandwiches and reading books and dishes was just where I was at. And I had to let go of my identity as a music teacher. (there is a whole blog post right there - I will just leave it at that).

Somewhere along the way, in the midst of all those mundane activities, there was a shift. I knew this wouldn't be forever and now that I am out of the intense time of "three-little-kids-at-home" time of my live and moving into the "three-kids-in-school" time, I am able to breathe a bit and take these moments in.

Part of my 'mom' identity for me is to make sure that when my kids ask me about a little detail about their lives, I will have a record of it somewhere. I know that it is impossible to get everything down, and I'm not fooling myself that I will have all the answers. But in the end, our kids will know where they came from and the legacy that they can hold on to. That they are loved and valued beyond measure.

Their story for their lives begin with love, end with love and are full of love. And lots of joy.