Monthly Archives: March 2008

Love You Forever

The above titled book, written by Robert Munsch, is a favourite of my kids. I hadn’t grown up with Robert Munschs’s books, so I was not familiar with his work. One day one of the kids brought it home from first grade, as a reading assignment. Every night we had to read at least one book to our first grader. In our house, reading has always been a thrill, and not done just for homework.

Anyhow, we snuggled up on the sofa, kids big and small, to read the latest assignment. I started reading,

“A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

I’ll love you forever 
I’ll like you for always, 
As long as I’m living 
My baby you’ll be”

The mother in me was thinking what a sweet book, what a great message of unconditional love.

I carried on reading, feeling myself pulled in to the story, really relating to the subject matter. By the time we were close to the end, tears were streaming down my face. I remember sitting there on the sofa long after the books were all read and the kids all put to bed. I had never thought a children’s book could touch me quite so deeply.

That was maybe six years ago, and I have since bought a copy of the book to keep at home and have read it to the kids more times than I can remember. One child waits to see at what point in the story I will start crying, and feels the need to point it out to me “Ima, you are crying again”. (accompanied by much eye rolling!). The youngest waits for the “I’ll love you forever” part, and loves to sing along with us.

On further investigation I learned that Mr Munsch wrote this book after the tragic stillbirth of two of his children in 1979 and 1980. Apparently the little song took shape inside his head, and was his private song to his lost babies. Eventually the story in the book grew around the refrain. Once I found this out, the tears would flow even at the beginning of reading the story.

It’s interesting to note that many families have their own tune to “I’ll love you forever…” Tonight we found a clip of Mr Munsch reading the story (or I should say, telling the story, for he doesn’t follow word for word) and we got to hear how he hears the song in his head. (You can go here to download the mp3 file )

We have become huge Robert Munsch fans, but this book will be a favourite forever.

Read to your kids, they will blossom and thrive so much more. Give them the gift of words.


unconditional bonbons

As a mother I am very aware of the effect of my words and parenting skills, most of the time, but like any other stressed parent trying to do her best, I don’t manage perfection. When I started out on my mothering journey perfection was my ultimate goal. Now, my goal is to get through the day knowing that I did the best I could, that I showed the children the love I have for them is rock solid, and that even if I lose my temper on finding dirty socks stuffed down the recliner cushion, it doesn’t diminish my love for them, not one iota.  

There are times when I do despair, when I truly wonder if I am doing right by my children. I am sure that happens to most parents some of the time. We always second guess ourselves. It’s probably better that way than constantly patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves what a great job we are doing, put your feet up and go eat some bonbons. 

A while back one of the kids mentioned to me that he was glad I didn’t work outside the home. When I asked him why, he told me he loved knowing that I sat at home all day waiting for school to be over so my kids would come home. To him it was logical, and comforting. To me, while I found it highly amusing, I did feel a little satisfaction too. My son knew that even while he was at school I was thinking about him, that I loved him even when he was gone, that I had not forgotten about him. He looked forward to the end of his school day because he knew a hug from his Ima would be waiting on his return. 

I allowed myself a small victorious pat on the back. While the “always honest” part of me had wanted to disabuse my kindergartner’s notion of what I did (or didn’t do) all day, the sensible part of me kicked in, and took it for what it was worth. He knows he is loved, no matter what. That unconditional love that I feel for all my children, he feels it. He knows it. It is real for him. Even though I am far from the perfect mother, in that moment, I felt it.  

So when I get down on myself, and question my parenting skills, I try to remember what that moment felt like, and I give myself a little boost. I am sure there have been other similar “yay me” moments for me, and for others. It’s just a question of allowing ourselves to remember them at the opportune times. It’s not being smug if it happens occasionally. It’s being real. It’s giving ourselves the emotional bonbons we need to give us a boost. 

I am going back to sit (with my feet up) by the front door until school is over…….with my magazines and my bonbons!

My Morning Prayer / Ode to coffee

Oh how i love the taste of you
so early in the morn
the shock of your warmth thrills me
it chills me
it stokes the fires within me
The power you hold
Over me is strong and true
How lucky you are
that I wake craving YOU
You are my first thought
Upon arising
The taste of you is always surprising
To sense your fire
Coursing through my veins
Is my ultimate desire
My lips surround you
In a velvet kiss
Awaiting that feeling
Of sheer caffeinated bliss.

Multi-tasking at the wheel.

I am so frustrated with other drivers, particularly in this part of the world. When did everyone become so selfish, so self important, so self destructive? Since Sunday I have avoided at least 5 fender benders. If I was texting behind the wheel, chatting on my cellphone, doing my make up, or eating, as some of the other people were, terrible things may have happened, as neither driver would have been aware of the imminent danger.

Used to be that a car was used primarily as a mode of transport, to get you from Point A to Point B and back again. These days the car is a form of residence. We eat there, we nap there, we work from our cars. We live in them. The days of driving just to drive are long gone. Because we all have become such expert multi-taskers, driving needs to be done in tandem with other things or else we feel as if we are wasting time.

Drinking and driving is dangerous. We all know that. People are still idiots and these idiots still drink and get behind the wheel. But people who would not drive drunk will still put themselves and others in danger. (and I am not saying I have never been guilty of being distracted while on the road).

They make hands free cellphone ear pieces, or speakerphones. There is no reason on G-d’s green earth that a person needs to talk on the cellphone while driving. Pull over to the side, return the call. If you feel you need to talk on the phone, use the ear piece, but be sure you can still concentrate on the roads. (it’s the age old need vs want conundrum. The subject for a future post)

There was a lady on the highway, chatting on her non-hands-free phone, in bumper to bumper traffic, and when the traffic slowed (not stopped) to a crawl, she decided to touch up her make up, while chatting on the phone. When the person behind her honked her as the traffic sped up while she was meticulously lengthening her lashes and gabbing, she gave the driver the finger……yes I was that driver and was not happy.

Is it that because there is a metal cage around us that we feel secure? Or that because maybe we’ve not yet been in a serious car crash that we feel invincible?

Most if not all of the multi-tasking that I have mentioned is a choice. But as every parent knows, there is nothing quite like a child to distract you when behind the wheel. It takes a lot to interact with the child when s/he is talking to you, and keep your eyes on the road. Factor in cellphones, returning emails and or texts, food, make-up, reading the paper / a book, lighting a cigarette that refuses to be lit, shavers (yep, seen that too) – it’s no wonder there are so many accidents.

Please, people, please be careful out there. We only have one life to live, let’s please live it safely.


If you have seen any “interesting” behaviour out there on the road, please share it here in the comments. Thanks.

My son, the budding attorney

Recently we were grocery shopping. I usually do this alone, as with children in tow it tends to take longer and cost more, but the little guy had been sick, so I had pity on him and shlepped him with.

 These nice store planners seem to enjoy making parents’ lives difficult and place brightly packaged toys at kids eye level throughout the store. Sure enough little guy (all of 5 years old) pipes up “ima could i have a toy please?”. now every parent knows if you say yes the first time, you’re toast forever. So I said no. He continued to ask. Finally I said “sweetie, you have plenty of toys at home, and you don’t play with them all every day, you don’t need a new toy”. Kid thinks for a second.

 “Ima, you know how you tell us that you can never have enough shoes or enough clothes? well, the same is true for me and toys” – he got the darn toy.

Ladies of the night

What woman is worth a few thousand dollars an hour? What can she do that a “cheaper” lady of the night cannot? This conundrum has been consuming me for days. After several conversations with friends and reading a whole bunch of different editorials, articles and columns, the conclusions I have drawn are the following:

It is not what she can do for the exorbitant amount of money, it’s the status symbol that comes with hiring her or her co-workers. Any simple guy can drive down to the red light district and pick up a hooker. Any average John can call an escort service from the yellow pages and get what he pays for. (ok in the interest of fairness, any average Jane can do the same). These particular prostitutes have no pedigree. You don’t know where and with whom they have been and maybe for some that is part of the excitement.

Now, if you want to feel that you have made it in this world you spend more money. A rich guy doesn’t buy his dress shoes at Walmart. He will shop in an upscale boutique where he will drop thousands of dollars on a hand made pair of loafers that look identical to the 29.99 ones at Walmart. But the knowledge that what he wears cost him a lot of money makes him feel like he is somebody. The same with hiring expensive hookers. Logically, one assumes, that the only other clients they have been with are just as rich and powerful as Mr rich guy with the fancy shoes therefore they are above reproach. I can see the logic even continuing, that because they are above reproach none of them carry any diseases or STDs therefore these hookers are certified disease free, therefore worth all that extra moolah.  And if they are being hired only by other rich boys looking for toys, that puts Mr rich guy in the kind of company he wants to be in. Of course this is all pure conjecture. But the thought process makes sense to me (me, a woman who totally doesn’t get the paying for sex thing…..).

If she is being paid thousands of dollars for an assignation, she won’t want to kiss and tell, because there is more money where that comes from. Honestly the idea of making thousands of dollars for an hour’s work – well, I can see how tempting that can be. But I was not born to sell my favours for any price. But if I knew I could get a record deal out of it…….nah, still no.

It’s not what this expensive hooker can do for this man’s sexual needs that puts her in such a high income bracket, it’s what her price can do for his ego. And we all know what an erogenous zone the ego can be.

Scrambled Eggs and Coffee

This is a “yay me” post, completely and totally self indulgent. My blog, therefore I can freely indulge!


Most people who know me understand very well that I am not to be talked with, reasoned with, even dealt with in the morning before that blessed caffeine has had a chance to flood my bloodstream with its personality adjusting chemicals. And the caffeination process can take up to three hours on some days. (some would say that it can take up to 3 months, but that’s a different blog)


However, being the only (so-called) adult in a houseful of school-age children, one has to learn to fake it till one makes it. (Hard to fake caffeination, but I can approximate it when absolutely necessary). I recently made a deal with one of the kids, and my part of the deal was to get up and cook him the breakfast of his choice. Yes, I made this deal a full week ago. Until this morning Mr and Mrs Pillow and their cousin Sir Duvet held me in their thrall and would not allow me the temptation of culinary exploits in the kitchen. They usually only let me go once we are running late and would laugh hysterically at the picture of me running around like a chicken without a head panicking.


Well, this morning, I have no clue what happened. Eldest child brought me my coffee (how spoiled am I? not really– in this house knowing how to make Mama Bear’s coffee is a survival skill…) and asked me how I was able to have woken up and be somewhat coherent pre-coffee. I guess my grunts were more verbose than usual.


After 3 sips of the delectable nectar of the gods I bounded out of bed and skipped to the kitchen (poetic license abounds in this post) announcing to all and sundry that they should move their perfect posteriors and convene in the kitchen for scrambled eggs and toast. (I know, not exactly haute cuisine, but anything other than cold cereal is a treat. Poor poor children!)


Oh the fun I had confusing my progeny. Who are you and what have you done with our mother??? But what a payoff for such a small sacrifice. “Oh Ima, scrambled eggs AND toast – you are the best!”,  “I love your scrambled eggs – they are so light and fluffy”. “Ima, you can taste the love in these eggs”. Mommy is happy to feed her children, children are happy to have a cooked breakfast, teachers are happy that the kids are well fed and able to learn, and all is right with the world.


Right now the children are hoping and praying that this is not a one time thing, the kid with whom I made the deal is definitely going to be keeping his side of our deal (which escapes me right now……definitely need more coffee). Total head trip – I feel totally good about my mothering. It won’t last, you know it won’t, one of the kids is bound to ask something of me that I shall have to say no to on grounds of some principle or other, and then my mommy’s crown will be all tarnished and beat up. But until then, I shall totally enjoy the outpouring of love from these little belly-filled people. Sigh. Life is good.

of graffiti and terrorism

Today I came across an interesting new wall decoration in the stairwell near our apartment. It showed a Star of David – a six pointed star, a plus sign, then a five pointed star, an equals sign and the word PEACE. I guess the interpretation is up to the reader. I have interpreted it as “Jews and Arabs should be able to live together in Peace”. To me, the mere idea is preposterous. I would love, more than anything, to know that peace would be possible in our time. However, I know that I will never see peace in Israel between the Jews and the Arabs in my lifetime.

Ten days ago a lone gunman went into a school and murdered 8 young men in cold blood. I read that sentence, and it seems like another tragic school shooting in North America. One tells oneself that the shooter was probably teased and bullied until he was pushed over the edge. Unfortunately we have become slightly blasé about these shootings as they have sadly become more frequent. Let’s add some more words to that sentence, and it changes the meaning.

Ten days ago a lone Palestinian gunman went into a Jewish school in Jerusalem, Israel, and murdered 8 young men in cold blood. No longer does one think of a kid who snapped. The sentence is automatically redirected to the part of the brain that interprets this as a terrorist attack. These 8 young men who were cold bloodedly murdered were killed just because they existed. This “person” who took their lives, who stole their futures, did so because in his opinion a Jew is not fit to walk this earth.

This is what I think terrorism is about. It’s elitism. “I am better than you, therefore I have the right to kill you and claim your property, your land, as my own. I kill you, I show you that I have power over you.” In my eyes it’s not powerful to take a life in such a way. It’s cowardly. If your beliefs are so strong, if you truly believe that what you stand for is right and just, there are the proper channels to go through. A coward takes the life of an innocent. It takes a real man to stand up for his beliefs, to be proud of who he is, to fight for what he sees as right and just.

In the olden days battles were set up and fought on the battlefield, between armies, soldier against soldier, hand to hand combat. Lives were lost, yes, but they were the lives of those who signed up to fight. They knew what was at stake and were prepared to pay the ultimate price. When did it become ok to kill civilians, children, innocents who have nothing whatsoever to do with the conflict? Who decided it was ok to hate someone merely because of the colour of his skin, the shape of his eyes, or the place of his birth?

This person who murdered these boys was himself killed, and probably knew that his actions would lead to his death, and perhaps was comforted by the idea that there would be 72 virgins waiting for him in paradise. How many religions condone murder and suicide? Not only condone it, but promise a reward for such barbaric behaviour? (not that their Koran even mentions such rewards – it does not) How did it come to pass that some so-called religious people bring up their children with the idea that suicide is ok so long as you kill some “infidels” at the same time?

As a mother, I try every day to teach my children right from wrong, to have compassion for every person that walks on this earth as we are all G-d’s creations. It is for Him and Him alone to judge us, at the time that He deems our Judgement Day. I teach my children to tolerate all peoples, all religions, all ethnic groups, not to label anyone as bad or less-than, or better-than. However, when I hear that many Palestinians are taught at home, by mothers and fathers, and at school by their teachers, that they should hate all Jews – I find that a bitter pill to swallow. By this Palestinian logic my adorable 5 year old son should be hated by a Palestinian child of the same age. If they were both in public school in Podunk, North Dakota, they would be playing cars together and giggling over lunch.

We do not bring up our children to hate Palestinians. We do not teach them that the only good Arab is a dead Arab. We teach tolerance and acceptance. Yet how do we explain to our tolerant children why this man hated those boys so much? How do we explain to them that it was not a personal attack against these specific boys, that it was in essence an attack against the very core of our religion? How would you explain that to children who are taught the importance of living in harmony? How does one explain that when as an adult we cannot understand nor accept this painful truth?

How on earth can there even be a hope of peace when these people, those people who fund the terrorists organizations such as Hamas, hate us for the simple fact that we exist. How can you make peace with someone who rejects your right to live? How can we shake hands with our enemy, knowing full well that as soon as our back is turned they will shoot us, that while negotiations are in full swing, their compatriots are firing rockets and missiles at our schools and homes?

I think it is highly admirable to want peace. I question Israel’s leaders agenda in this whole process. What message does it give to the terrorists, when after we have buried our eight newest martyrs who were killed in such an horrific fashion, that Israel is still prepared to continue peace negotiations? “You killed our sons, the future of our country, but hey, that’s ok, we’ll forgive you this time, just promise not to do it again” – what are they thinking? Where is their loyalty to their people? Every single time, after every single terrorist attack in Israel, the politicians release a statement that these events will not derail the peace process. One has to wonder what will it take for the leaders of Israel to take a step back and say “Whoa, this has gone too far”? How many lives need to be lost before they wake up and realize the damage they have done?

I know that it is very easy for me to tell people what to do, to tell the politicians how to run Israel when I live safely in North America. When I send my kids to school knowing full well that they are much safer than their cousins in Israel. Yes, it is easy. But it is also difficult watching MY people suffer, their pain is my pain, I feel their frustration. I may not physically be there with my brothers and sisters, but spiritually I share their soul.

In Israel today there are no winners. In this latest attack, 8 Jewish sons were buried, one Arab son was buried too. Parents mourn their loss. The bond between parent and child transcends race, religion or creed. No parent wishes for their child to die. However, the gulf between those 8 sets of parents, and the one, could not be further apart.

I pray that there will be an end to this bloodshed. I pray that G-d in His infinite wisdom will help us to make sense of this awesome loss. May the memories of these innocent souls be blessed. May their families take comfort in the fact that G-d holds their boys so close to His heart, and that eventually we will be able to see in the bigger picture that their deaths were not in vain.

Feelings in the wind, a poem

Feelings in the wind, blown away by the force of struggle.

Drifting aimlessly, looking for a soul upon which to land.

Into whom will they morph?

Will that husk accept these seeds wholeheartedly and allow itself to regenerate

Or will those feelings be cast aside

Like an apple core?


I intend to use this blog as a place to share my thoughts, dreams, writings etc. Just writing about life as I see it, or as it happens to me and my crew. happy reading!!!