Mom

A bit ago I was missing my father, a lot. And just wanted to say hello to him, ask him some fatherly advice. Since he died I felt like sending it out into the universe how I miss him. So I thought with Thanks Giving coming up and with the whole idea that we are to give thanks on this day, I thought it only fitting to thank my mom.

It’s no secret that we are like fire and ice, we do not see eye to eye at all. As a parent now  I try to understand her. Why she did and said what she did. I think that mom was sad for a long time, since I was adopted I feel like she resented me. She was all done raising children in her mind and now there is another baby in the house. I see that my mom, I think, may have had some mental troubles as well. She did not do well in crowds, she gets flustered and panicked. She is also up and down in moods so perhaps Bipolar. Either way, I know my mother loved me and I love her in our own strange way.

How wonderful it is to have a mother teach you to make cookies and let you lick the spoon, or even better, the bowl. My favourite memory as a kid was when my mom would make jello, she would make a little extra so I could have a 1/2 cup of warm jello before it cooled into the firm wiggly squares. I loved to drink the jello liquid while it was still hot, I still do and so does my daughter.

I was a very active child, a tom boy by all true meaning. I love that mom would get mad at me every time I came home with another cut, another nail through my foot, another gash and needed stitches. The best was when I came home with most of my flesh torn off most of my entire body from a major wipe out. She would get almost sick with worry that it would leave a scar.

“I don’t know if your nails will grow back in, why can’t you act like a girl? Why can’t you play with dolls? Why do you insist on this wild behaviour? You are not a boy and boys don’t date girls that act like boys.” She would say.

Mother would try many things over the years, I know she would stress out about what to bring to the pot luck dinners, and worry about what the other women are wearing. I know my mom never seemed to fit in with the other ladies. I know she felt a little on the outside no matter how hard she tried to fit in, to be a part of the women in the church.  I felt her pain, her tears of not understanding why they all won’t include her or even be nicer to her. Mom tried very hard. When dad couldn’t work anymore, mom went back to school and became a  nurse. She was in her 50’s. She was always doing her best to do what she could for her community, her family, and her neighbours. I respect her very much for all her hard work.

My mom was still in the 1800’s with the idea of a perfect lady. Some of that I agree with, respecting a woman is a big one. But a woman is not needing to be absolutely dependant on anyone else to be considered a lady. And there starts some of our arguments. I want to trust a man, I want to have a husband. I just can’t settle for any man, even if that means I am single my entire life and die alone. I will not settle for just any man just because he’s a “good church member”. Or just because he is “her choice”. But I love her for worrying about me and telling me to “get a man”.

When I was raising my daughter I looked at my parents for “what not to do” and “what to copy”. I believe that once you are of an adult age, you choose what person you want to be and make those changes. I can’t blame parents for everything that is wrong with me, I am to blame as I have freedom to make changes. As a parent, I tried to give my daughter the good things I loved about my upbringing. Like Sunday dinners my dad would cook dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and mom would set the table and burn the toast. Like learning the value of hard work and the willingness to sacrifice yourself to help another person. Lick the cookie batter bowl. Playing games with my daughter. There are so many I can’t list them all, but as the years go by I learn to value what mom did all those years ago and even still. She is trying her best, to be her best parent she can be, best friend, best person she can be.

I love you for that mom, thank you for all you taught me, and thank you for all your love. It’s not easy to be a great parent, never knowing if the choice you made was right or if you picked the wrong battle.

Happy Thanks Giving to my mom and all you parents out there. Thank you for trying everyday to be a better parent and learning from your mistakes.

 

 

 

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Otaku Fest Calgary 2017

For those of you who don’t know what Otaku Fest is, it’s simply a gathering of people who love anime, manga and that whole culture that surrounds it. My daughter is one of them, and after watching Black Butler I have to admit, I am a fan as well. I think if I watched more Anime or red any manga I would probably be obsessed with it so I keep the reins pulled in tight.

It was held in the University of Calgary Science Theater, which I can tell you no one on campus knows how to get there. There were no signs to guide you to the location and even the advertising for it was barely out there, so if you wanted to go and didn’t know about it, I don’t blame you. My daughter found it because she was looking for the  big one that is coming in May 2018.  This was funded by the Calgary Culture and Arts I think it was, I am sorry I lost my paper to let you know for sure who funded it.

This was not hugely organized, it was basically three rooms that people moved throughout. While in each room there was games or Japanese foods such an awesome cream pop and a variety of steamed buns in shapes such as turtles.

I enjoyed seeing the costumes and trying to figure out what characters each person was trying to be. I was disappointed that Black Butler did not make an appearance, or even Ciel was not in the room. When I realized that Grell was not any place I could have cried a little tear. I mean come on, Grell is awesome, how could no one dress up as him. So think I found my costume plan for May 2018 at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre . I need to lose a lot of weight to look like him, but I have until May drop 80 lbs, grow my hair 2 feet, colour it bright red, file down my teeth, and get me a chain saw! I did see someone with a Black Butler bag, so the night was saved.

I really enjoyed watching the chess game with all the characters. The chess masters were slow and lacking in chess skills, but they are University kids, what do they know? They couldn’t even count five squares. It was funny to see how they got confused on how many squares they are to move. You know Alberta Education is top-notch when University Students can’t count 5 squares to the left. Heehee.  To see these kids act out the powers to kill other chess pieces was entertaining. Fake dying is always entertaining.

This was a fun day to spend in celebrating cultural weekend in Calgary. I will discuss the Culture Fest we attended in NW Calgary at the Genesis Centre in a different post.

I encourage everyone to join in the Otaku Fest in May 2018 if you have a chance to get to it. I hear it is supposed to be as big as Comicon, Look for Grell, it might just be me 🙂 Makenzie is going to go as her favourite character, Mikasa Acherman. If you don’t know any of these characters go ahead and look up the anime Black Butler and Attack on Titan.

I am not getting any funding for advertising for this, I just really like anime and want to share this culture with everyone I can. It’s a lot of fun to dress up and be someone else for a day, and to be with like-minded people. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to have to have powers and the freedom to behave as these characters do?

Do you like anime? who is your favourite character? what is your favourite anime, or manga?

Stay Positive. Venting

I know I must stand tall, I know I must always show strength, never show fear. Be brave and speak true. Speak only when spoken to, not judge, think positive, keep an open mind and always be kind. This past few years I have done my best. But yesterday broke me.

WARNING:
Today I am venting, there is no angle, just letting it loose and saying it. There may be language that is offensive, or something. But if you are not interested in reading my vent, you might as well stop here. For those who read on, please realize that I am hurting right now. I am EXTREMELY hurt, alone, scared and angry. If you like to comment please do, I can use some encouragement. But if you want to add to my misery, don’t comment, I am literally at the end of my point of … well, I’m at my end.

I have lived through rape, beatings, molestation, survived abusive relationships, raised a child alone, and never did I feel like I had any support. My father was my only support, now he has been dead for many years. I did it all alone. Really, I’m not kidding. My family did not help, more so they criticized, ignored, and abused me. So when I got old enough I gave them a choice. Here it was.

1) I want a positive relationship. Start to be positive, supportive, and stop abusing me, stop criticizing me and stop being assholes.
Now I am not completely stupid, I know family goes through hard times, but what I want is for them to stop being selfish, to stop putting me down, to stop everything negative. I know family will have arguments, my family… I am a chew toy for them.

2) Be an active roll. No more neglect, no more “pretending” to be the perfect family in public and behind closed doors its a nightmare. No more neglecting me and only saying hi at weddings or funerals. I want an active role. Every month take 10 minutes out of the 720 hours in a month and write me a hello note with something positive, something they want to share with me so we can know each other better. To respond to my stuff, to be a real family. Seriously, 10 minutes to send an email, or a phone call or something and be positive. Try to be a friend.

If they can not do those two things, I want them to know they are off the hook. They don’t need to be in my life at all. Be kind, or go away.

Pretty harsh some may think, but by putting yourself in my shoes, all that abuse I listed, and more not listed, most was from family! Right now I am all but homeless. And still family doesn’t help. I have 6 siblings, and not one of them have offered to help. NOT ONE.

I was adopted, and that seems to have made a problem with some of them. I am not their sibling they feel. Yup, said it they did. So, how is that supposed to make a person feel. They grew up in a family and even though it was a not so good relationship, you find out you are not wanted? Not welcomed? Not a part of something you thought you were? I have read a lot of other adopted posts and notice a pattern. They too get siblings claiming they are not. These siblings are grown adults acting like selfish children. Bad enough to be born and not wanted, but raised in a place you are not wanted, and they let you know it.

Here is a good one, when I did something as a child that may have been bad or maybe it was not bad but needed some addressing, sometimes I would not get beat. Sometimes my dad would talk with me and explain what I did and work through with me. Sometimes. My siblings did not like this. they said, that they got hit, and so will I, so they would beat me. Like wow! My father was trying to change his ways, to learn, to be a better person, and my siblings wanted, desired and craved for me to suffer what they thought I should suffer. Just because they wanted it.

So, back to what I was saying, yesterday about broke me. This past 7 years my daughter and I have had an extremely hard time. Now we have been sleeping in our car. I managed to find a room for us to sleep in, but that is about to be gone. Last month I asked the landlord to verify the rent amount, she flipped out. You see she is renting this place without a contract, so there is nothing written down. So she said that she can’t have a renter who is going to question her. And she texted me to leave in 30 days.

Now in Alberta this is not legal of her to do. So I served my refusal letter and there was nothing more said about it. Yesterday she served me a letter to leave in 60 days because her sister is moving into my room. When I talked to her, I told her that that is not legal again. You must give 90 days notice and the family moving in you must evict the entire home. Plus she already has one bedroom dedicated to her sisters. Plus, there are three bedrooms that are empty, not rented. I told her I would talk to the landlord and tenant act and get back to her.

Then she arranged to have the other tenants in the house to start treating me badly. If they don’t they are gone. So yesterday I had 4 people and the landlords attack me, insult me, mock me, and on top of that speak with racist criticisms. They are all Filipino except one and one highly manipulative Russian who just paced in the other room happily. One of the tenants refused to join in, she sat in the other room and refused to be a part of it. She later told me that they are wrong and she wants to support me. But with 6 people attacking me and my daughter, it was just too much.

I lost my family that I tried to get to be a family, no church, lost my father who was my only support, lost our home, our cat died, lost my job. My church actually told me that they would let me sleep in their parking lot, that was their support. And now in the winter, I am dealing with this. My daughter is numb now, she feels nothing she said. My daughter closed out the world because of all the hurt. I injured my spine and am in constant pain and because I can stand, the disability funds are refused, so we have no money, just what is last left from being laid off. There is nothing in me left to fight.

Holy fuck! What am I supposed to do? I have looked every single day for work, I try to just let it all run off my shoulders but right now, a fucking pistol is looking fucking better than standing out in that freezing snow. I can’t sleep, I have electric pain piercing my body all the time, I can’t eat, I try to eat something and there is no taste. So why bother eating it.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRTRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGG FFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

What am I supposed to do? I just wanted to get it off my chest. Just, yell it out that I don’t know what to do anymore.

I’m tired, really tired. It takes all I have to get out of bed, sometimes I if I managed to get a couple winks, it feels like it is all dream, none of this is really happening. I mean if you went into more detail you could make a movie on it, because it all doesn’t seem like it would really happen, but oh no, it IS happening to us.

 

 

Can’t I just get a pet instead?

Well our lives have not improved much since my “Hell Month” post I am sorry to share. However, I still want to continue writing and creating stories that hopefully inspire, so here is one I made up. Of course this did not really happen to me as I have no home. This did happen in my mind. I dreamed I lived in a two-story home in the good part of the city, that I’ve had more children, a great job and a busy life. I tried to imagine what it would be like to go on a date at my age. Sometimes I think we write from what we know and some of this is truth but not all. The truth is I have not been on a date in many, many years for the reasons in the story, so what would my date be like? This is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

 

Can’t I just get a pet?

Where did all the time go? Once I was a mother and wife. After the separation, I focused on raising children and work. Now the kids are almost out of the house and about to take on their own lives.  My house is getting more lonely and quiet. Now in my midlife I’m dating again? A blind date even, how nerve-racking is that? I didn’t even get to pick if I wanted to go on a date with this guy. I know nothing about him, what he looks like, where he works or even if he works.

I call my daughter on her cell. “Can’t I just get a cat or dog? I mean when the grandchildren come along the house will be alive again right?” I said.

My daughter won’t tell me anything so we would have something to talk about at dinner.

“This will take all of two seconds. Where do you work? I’ll ask. After getting released from jail and the doctor put me on some new trial drugs to keep my homicidal tendencies at bay, I decided to travel the world and really find myself. He’ll answer. There, now there is nothing left to talk about.” I said.

My daughter laughs at me and hangs up. She won’t tell me anything, I could use a bit of some information, my mind is running wild.

Looking into my closet I ask myself, what do you wear when you are about to go on a date with an experimentally doped up, homicidal maniac, freshly released from prison? With that in mind I’m reminded of my old girl scout motto, “Be Prepared”. I’ll wear a switch blade, pepper spray, panic siren, thigh pistol, mace, knock out gas, key lock iron chastity belt, and four armed guards. Yes, that should about cover it. Oh, don’t forget my cell phone.

You must know that I have not gone shopping for anything fashionable in at last 20 years. Yes, that is sad,but with work and trying to be the best mom ever I lost touch with myself. That is the reason my daughter is putting me on this date. I tear through my closet and dresser, getting more discouraged as I try on the last few items I own. Glancing around my room, I see that my grandmother’s closet has exploded, I have nothing to wear on a date. In despair, I sit on the side of my bed and cry, I can’t do this.

My daughter comes home to help me get ready. She finds me in my destroyed room, in all my nakedness, sobbing. I’m in misery and she walks in with this cheery, bright-eyed attitude, it makes me sick. I mean really, can’t she see I’m crying here?

“Come on mom, lets take another look at these clothes and get you ready for a great night out.” She said.

Oh, great, she is dressing me. Have I come the age where my children are dressing me? Is it time for me to enter the retirement home? In my miserable grumbling, I look in the mirror and admire her handy work.

“Dam girl, you should do this for a career. How’d you do this? I mean, wow.” I said

I look good, I feel good and I have the worlds greatest daughter. Tonight, is already fantastic. I don’t need to go on a date, this night is so good we should do a girl’s night. But she wouldn’t let me change the agenda, apparently, it’s prophesied that I’m going on this date.

Unable to argue with a prophesy I finish my make up and hear the door bell ring. I feel a lump in my throat, my stomach has twisted, I’m sweating and I think I’m going to throw up. My daughter bounces down the stairs and lets him in. I try to listen from the top of the stairs but she is whispering that little brat, she’s doing this so I can’t hear a thing and curiosity will get the best of me. I take a few deep breaths and head downstairs.

All I can think of as I walk down the steps is, do I have knock out gas? We are now standing in front of the door and he is good-looking, doesn’t look doped up or homicidal at all. Not that I would know what doped up homicidal maniac looks like. I figure I can leave the body guards at home.

“Hi, I’m Mike, your daughter has told me so much about you. You look very pretty.” He said

Well that is not a disadvantage at all, he knows a lot about me and I just found out his name.

“Hi, and thank you. You look good as well. Shall we go?” I said. Gee that didn’t sound like a robot at all. I feel like such an idiot.

I have decided that sharing the vehicle ride to the restaurant is just not a good idea. I think that the awkward silence should’ve been at the dinner table, so we could shove some food in our mouths.

While at the restaurant things start to relax a bit, perhaps it’s the bread sticks? We start to talk and find a few things in common. We are both parents, both separated and both have not been on a date in years. The night is going so well so he asks if he can take me dancing. I love dancing, not that bar scene type, I’m talking the tango, or even a country square dance is great too. He said he knows just the place.

We danced the whole night, there was a beautiful woman asked him to dance with her, he told her he was on a date with me and declined the invite. Wow, what a guy. He wanted to dance only with me, talk about make a woman feel like she is on fire.

Like all good things, must come to an end. Both of us not knowing what to do on the first date we kept it casual and just said good night with a kiss on the cheek. We are going out again. I decided blind dates aren’t so bad.  I entered my house to find my daughter standing at the door waiting for me.

“You’re home late.” She said

“yup” I said

She started jumping around screaming and yelling, “moms got a boyfriend, moms got a boyfriend”. It felt really good to feel like I was 16 again. Who ever said dating later in life is unnecessary is a loser. I strongly any one of you singles out there to get out and go on a date. It brings you to life again, maybe even a few years younger.  Maybe if you find the right match, it could be something more.

 

Tina Curtis

 

This year I wanted to do something special for mom, she is in her 80’s and I wanted to maybe make her feel young, to remember some of the great days of her life. So how could I do this? I stumbled upon Finnabair Art,  she does multimedia style art and it inspired me to make mom’s birthday gift. I also wanted to make it a little more special, more for mom directly and no one else so I made it kind of like finding Waldo with hiding special items in it that she has to hunt for. Also a great mental exercise for seniors to keep the mind active while triggering memories.

This picture is a photo of my mom I am told between the ages of 16 to 18, no one seems to remember. The textures are to create depth and touchable response that helps with mental focus and stimulation of seniors mental health. My mother is miles away from me but I hope she felt like I was right there with her through the personality splashing out from this art project for her.

Mom birthday gift
Mom birthday gift

Here is the Letter I wrote her that goes along with this multimedia picture.

Happy Birthday Mother

Good and wonderful birthday wishes to you on this special day. Today we celebrate your life and here is my gift to you, a multimedia art that I designed so when you read this letter with it, it is in hopes that you will feel me there with you and that you can interact with this unique gift. Firstly as you read this the words that are in a different colour are the ones that you will need to find in the art. (Kind of like finding Waldo game) Let us begin!

I remember those blue eyes that would watch over me, to keep me safe. I loved the days that you, me, and dad would pick pine cones all summer, so we would have money. How we would listen to the waves in our living room with a shell. Strengthening our imagination.

You would teach me to crochet (knit), and sew, so I would never be without. And the large tin of buttons I would play in. You and father would spend hours gardening, teaching me how to grow food, so we would be healthy. Then at harvest we would pick fruits and can food all week-long for the long cold winters.  You would teach me how to care and love the animals from thechickens to the cat, to all creatures big and small.  We would feed the blue birds on the landing every summer. I remember you chasing the cow away from your tomato plants, and how the cowwould love it when you would chase him, so much love with all our home, you and dad gave the gift of love, like a flower made of hearts it bloomed all year-long, so precious like a diamond heart.The time our family would take to read the scriptures, and sit together as a family and talk, play games on family night every week. Every summer we would wash our clothes in the old wringer washer and hang them with clothes pin on a line to dry in the sun. When I got stung by bees you would put an onion on the stinger to get it out and make it feel all better. You would teach me about the butterfly, the ladybug, the bees the birds and the flowers, all had a job in the circle of nature. You even taught me proper etiquette, manners matter and how to use my knife, spoons and forksIt is because of you that I am who I ­­ today, I am thankful that you are my mother.

Love and miss you

Tina

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

 

Sometimes I think child psychologists don’t have children!

My daughter of age 18 emailed me this article she read, she was shocked at some of the advice and could not believe the advice these people were suggesting to new parents or any parent for that matter. The article is titled 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids they state that “These everyday phrases may actually do more harm than good.” It was written by Michelle Crouch from Parents Magazine.

My daughter and I have an amazing mother daughter relationship, I have had mothers ask me how we did it and can I give them advice on how to fix their relationship with their daughter. Ha-ha but easier said than done, I worked hard over the years to understand how to do this with my daughter. Mother daughter relationships can be a challenge, my own relationship with my mother is fire and ice, no more like a volcano eruption. It is very hard to have a conversation with my mother as it almost always ends in feeling getting hurt or anger or something of a negative effect and definite boundaries stomped on.  I have tried to build a relationship with her, tried as hard as anyone can and sometimes I have come to the conclusion it is just not possible to have a close loving and embracing relationship so I just try my best to keep the peace and leave when it starts to get bad.  To be honest the main reason for our problems I think is boundaries are not respected, my boundaries are not respected and she stomps right over them like a tank and respecting each other’s boundaries is very important.  Another very important thing for moms is to remember that your job as a mom changes as the child grows up, as a parent we must back off more and more as they grow up so they can be their own person and so you both can have a great relationship. You will always be mom and when she needs you to me motherly she will ask for it and never should we push our motherly smotherlyness on them. So to the article that I read, I tried to keep an open mind but to me it was load of s**t for the most part.

Let’s talk about the 10 things parent.com says we are never to say to our children. In the article it tells you were these ridiculous ideas came from and their reasons so I will not repeat the location again in my post, you are welcome to go to the web post at parent.com and see for yourself.  In the blue ink is the parent.com idea and the green ink is my rebuttal or response idea on the topic.

  1. Great job – It says that you shouldn’t say it when the child masters a skill or they become dependent on the external affirmation instead of self-motivation. I disagree 100%, what is the one thing that encourages people to do better? Hearing they did a good job! What is the one and most effective way to get more out of people? Telling them how they are appreciated or the work they did was wonderful and that you would love to see more of it! If you hold back the praise then the child is more likely to feel they are not good enough, they are more likely to lash out because they never feel that all there hard efforts are passed over and they are less likely to keep trying to please you, themselves and less likely to try to overcome obstacles.
  2. Practice make perfect – It tries to say that if you make mistakes it is because you didn’t try hard enough. Disagree 100%, no place in the words practice makes perfect does it say you made a mistake so you are a failure. It does tell the child that if you want to be good at something you need to work for it, earn it and you will be rewarded for your hard work by becoming good at that thing you practiced. If there ever is that giant leap to “I’m never good enough” and if you are parent with your heart and not image in mind then this leap will not be there you can easily encourage your child to understand that when they first started how did they do? And then look at how they are doing now after trying so hard? Show them that they are improving and with some things in life we just may never become the best at it but are we at our own personal best at it? Practice makes perfect has nothing to do with comparison to anyone else, it is our own personal best!
  3. You’re okay – this one is saying that the child is not really badly hurt and their feelings are irrelevant or dismissed. I disagree 100% again! When you say to a child that’s hurt themselves they are okay or going to be okay it is reassuring them that they are being taken care of and you are in a sense saving them. Reassurance is a powerful tool to help keep a child calm and to put into perspective the situation. As a child the world seems to revolve around them and telling them they are okay and you are there to help them is a big deal, if you coddle a child too much you are giving them no benefit of how to talk to themselves when you are not around. They can care for themselves by telling themselves they are okay and be able to put things into perspective to be able to move forward and passed the injury or hard times in their future. For example, I fell through the ice all alone and managed to climb out myself thankfully. I was freezing, scared and half drowned, I kept telling myself “I’m ok, I just have to get home.” I told myself this over and over again and it gave me strength because I was able to put into perspective my situation and be able to focus on what was needed. If I had never been told “you’re okay” I would have sat right there on the ice and cried and died of hypothermia because I would have been overly coddled and not been taught to put into perspective the situation that I am in and I am ok right now and if I get home I will be able to get help.  
  4. Hurry up – They are saying this adds stress to the child. Oh my goodness do I disagree 100%. Since when is a little stress a bad thing? We actually need a little stress not a lot just a little to stimulate our senses, and saying hurry up is not adding stress it is actually teaching time management and respect for those around you. The world does not stop because you want to doddle, in fact if you doddle you will miss out so really hurry up! It is not right that you tie up the line with your desire to take your time, it slows down others and really it creates bad emotions towards the slow person as the years go on. I personally have troubles keeping an employee that takes there time on the job, if I can have someone who can do the job faster than they get the job and the slow person is let go. So teaching these lessons very early in life is a benefit to the child for years to come.
  5. I’m on a diet – They say keep it to yourself. Ok this one has a point. If you are trying to lose weight you really do not want to pass your negative self-image onto the child, they get that already from every direction in media, school, friends etc. It is true though that an overweight parent you have a higher chance to have overweight children. So as far as “on a diet” should really be a family affair and we are now eating healthy and all of the family learn how to eat healthy and be active together. The key here is together.  If you make activities that you all can play and join in together you teach a healthy lifestyle and you will lose your weight in the same time without causing negative self-image.
  6. We can’t afford that – This says that you are not in control of your finances and scares the child. They said that instead you should say we can’t buy that because we are saving our money for more important things. Ok my daughter lashed out at this one, so disagree 100% here. My daughter cleverly said that if you say what the article wants than you are saying that the child’s needs are not important. True, true, that is what it is saying. We need to teach our children how to manage finances and when you cannot afford something this is a great opportunity for a lesson. Go ahead and say you cannot afford that but also add the lesson and knowledge building of difference between needs vs wants. When my daughter was 4 we started to talk about the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things that keep us alive like healthy foods, the house we live in, basic clothes, light and heat etc. Wants are things we want like junk food, toys, fancy clothes, fancy house, vehicles, junk food, etc. As time goes on you can say we cannot afford that because it is a want and not a needed item and right now money it tight so only needs are what get purchased and wants can be purchased when we save up the money for it. By the time my daughter was 6 she fully understood it and would as me do we have any money for wants today? And I would tell her I can afford up to $5 today or not today sorry maybe next time and she was perfectly okay with that because she too was learning how to manage money without touching money.
  7. Don’t talk to strangers – This says that it is too hard for children to understand this concept. I worked for Kid Safe Canada (has now changed) and taught safety classes to children. It really is not a hard concept if taught properly. Yes don’t talk to strangers but explain what a stranger is. What is a stranger? Anyone you do not know is a stranger, even if they tell you their name they are still a stranger. Teach them the good people to go to for help, they are police officers, firemen and firewoman, teacher, etc. The other thing is to never teach the words or idea stranger danger, this gives the impression of a monster and that is not right. So here it is -the slogan to help keep things simple for children is: Never go with anyone unless parent/guardian gave permission. Most abduction are by people they know or see on the street or a family member. So the child is familiar with them so just saying stranger is not enough. So the rule is this; Never to anywhere with ANYONE unless parent/guardian gave the child permission. The child must phone you to get permission. Have a pass word to know they have permission to go with them even if it is a family member. The child should know before going to school or activity who is picking them up. So again the rule is: NEVER GO ANYWHERE WITH ANYONE UNLESS PARENT/GUARDIAN GAVE PERMISION!
  8. Be careful – This they say is saying that it makes it more likely the child will fall or hurt themselves. Oh come on seriously! I disagree. There are those that if you are being supper hovering of a parent then just back off, really no one like that, no one! And hovering over your child definitely makes them think that everyone everyplace is going to protect them. What a horrible wake up call for your child when they see this is not the case, you just made more problems for them you super hovering parent! But if you see that the child is in potential danger then say be careful of that bar it is getting close to your head! Then go ahead, but again if you are a parent that is pointing out every possible booboo potential just back off, go sit down and let the child get the small booboos as it is a good thing. They learn to be more careful. You hit your thumb with a hammer, that sure smarts don’t it? So the next time you use a hammer you learned something right? Right! You learned to move your thumb! Same with your children. DO NOT HOVER OR SMOTHER YOUR CHILDREN, LET THEM GET THOSE LITTLE BOOBOO’S! You can point out the occasional potential accident or as they leave the house tell them be careful crossing the road! Acceptable absolutely.
  9. No dessert unless you finish your dinner – this one says it diminishes the enjoyment of the meal. You definitely did not listen to Pink Floyd did you? So what! Who does not look forward to the occasional dessert? And eating all that the child put on the plate teaches balance and the importance of the meal over the dessert. If parent plated the meal then it really is not fair as the parent does not know how much the child is hungry or not. Let the child learn to plate the meal and they will learn to plate only what they are going to need and eat.
  10. Let me help – jumping in too soon will cause child to give up too early. This goes back to the super hovering parent I spoke about in #8. If you are hovering then you will be asking to help them all the time and yes this is not good. But if you are seeing the child is struggling you can look at it and ask them would you like a little help? If they say yes then offer a little help, little being the key here. Such as the puzzle in the parent.com example. Say where is it you need help with? Let the child guide you to where they feel they are needing help, then tell them I wonder if that piece will fit can you try that one? If it fits say ok you are on your own again because you helped and now they can try other pieces for themselves. If they need more help let them know you are not going to do it for them but will give advice here and there. They need to try for themselves first. This is great as with my daughter she would try to get me to do things for her. All kids try it, it is human nature to get someone else to it for you. But teaching them the benefit of doing themselves is a far more beneficial.

 

Parenting is not easy, but I would never trade a second of it. I love being a parent and over the years my role as a parent changes and I embrace this change. The changes in my role proves I did my job right, she is ready to spread her wings and see the world in all its glory and misery and be able to tackle it wisely no matter what comes her way. We all want to protect our children or even shelter them but that is not helping prepare them for their future. Our job as parents is not to shelter them but to prepare them, and guide them to be the best them they can be. That is my views, my lessons learned and as always, take what you want and leave the rest.

 

T.C.

Mothers Day

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.

– St. Therese of Lisieux

 

Thinking of what to write about for  Mother’s Day is hard for me, I have written and re-written this entry but have had a hard time deciding exactly what I want to say about the wonderful day of Mother’s Day. You see to be honest my mom and I are like fire and ice, we can’t seem to be in the same room longer than a few minutes, but we love each other. I have so many stories that I am thinking about that I would love to share as they are funny, but being a mom myself it started me thinking about what a mom really is, and that is why it is hard to write this post. I think about my mom when I was growing up and what influences she has had on me. What really qualifies you as a certified parent or even the right to say “I’m a parent”? Just giving birth or fertilizing the egg is not making you a parent! I feel the actions taken and the raising of a child is what makes you a parent. My mom and dad opened their home and their hearts to me, an unplanned child that had no place to go but foster care and they adopted me; to give me a chance to have a better life. That is a certified parent!

Thinking back I realize that mother was always there, we may not have talked or even saw each other but I knew she was always there. Mom was a stay home mom and I am grateful for that. I would come home from school and the house would smell of fresh baked bread or cookies or dinner on its way, she was always there. Even if I ran in the front door dropped my school bags said “hi mom” and ran out the back door, “bye mom” and hopefully stole a cookie on the way out. If I fell down and scraped my knee she was there to put on the Band-Aid and tell me I’m alright. She’d show me how to make cookies and let me lick the spoon. Tuck me into bed, get the gum out of my hair, and put an onion on my bee/wasp stings; she was there. Take me to music lessons or tap dance or whatever else I was in she was there. Every time I would be bullied at school even though she did not know what to say, she was there to wipe away my tears.  Every time I missed the bus, she was there to take me to school or bring my lunch I forgot, she was always there.  As I am older and a mom myself I still know she is there, just a phone call away or a short drive if ever I needed her.  A mom’s job is endless, and the sacrifices made as a parent I understand now why as a mom we do all these things, because we love our children so much that it not a sacrifice at all, we are happy to be there for them, we want to be there for them. Taxi driver, cook, seamstress, baker, nurse, nutritionist, spiritual guide, moral guide, story teller, counsellor, educator, caretaker, janitor, maid, are only a small amount of the things a mom does on any given day, let alone her job as a wife on top of that.

We then have only one day a year to show mom that we appreciate all these things and more about her. What would mom like to do on this day? If anything in the world could be given to mom on this day what would a mom want? Awe now that is easy, to be with her family, to see their smiling faces, to hear there laughter and feel their warm hugs. Being a mom is not easy but it’s not that hard either, I mean really! Being around people you love how hard is that? I know my mom will not be here forever, but she will always be there. I mean her lessons, her love, her memory will always be there whenever I need it, I can just stop and remember and she will always be there. The gift of a parent does not end when they die, it continues on through all the people they met and the children they raised, they are always there. Her smile, her warm hugs, her lessons, has always been there and will always be there. Thank you mother for always being there.

I love you mom, thank you for everything, thank you for who you are, and who you helped me to be. Happy Mother’s Day.

T.C.

Write your own eulogy

Writing your own Eulogy

 

One sunny and happy day my daughter tells me “mom, I want you to write your own eulogy.” Just said that straight out, what a shocker, what is she talking about? What? So I responded as any good parent would and said “what the hell are you talking about?” She laughed at me and said, “ya I want you to write your own eulogy, if you write it then I don’t have to when the time comes.” So we talked and yes I am writing my eulogy.

Why write your own eulogy? There are many reasons, you could get in the last word, you could tell people in your own words how much they cared about you and you can share your own story through your eyes. Why not write your own eulogy? If you are a jerk you would probably be telling people off and if that is true there probably will not be anyone at your funeral. Telling a lie about your life or a fairy tale of what you lived would just leave people not liking you, so if you can’t write an honest eulogy I would image letting someone else write it for you, but you could still do that and review the eulogy and have it edited before you die, that might be an option as well.

Is this strange to write your own eulogy? In my research of how to write a eulogy I found that more and more people are writing their own. So this isn’t just a strange thing, I did not even know that this was done to be honest, if I had known earlier my eulogy would definitely be different than what I am planning now. I am older, more mature and hopefully wiser and there are things that I appreciate far greater now than 20 years ago. So with this in mind I would advise to revisit your eulogy ever 5 years or so to make sure it is still relevant and not an extinct purpose. How confused people may be if the situation is no longer relevant or how they may feel if you had some grudge or harbored feelings you really do not anymore. Is there anything I want to tell people? First of all I personally make sure I tell people what I want to say to them in person, that way I can look back and never have any regret of not telling anyone something. I don’t mean telling people off, but tell them I love them, what they did hurt me and work it out with them or parted ways. I never want to have more regrets than I already have, a clean slate sort of speak or no good deed undone. So what is there to say?

Here are some suggestions I recommend to start with this process if you decide to write your eulogy.

  • Jot down some memories of your life, some funny stories, your career path, accomplishments, where you lived, your education, marriage and family, and so on.
  • Now that you have some ideas on paper, it is not in order and it is nowhere near done. Now you can write an outline. Think through your life to this point and picture all you have achieved in these years, the people you loved and your behaviour over the years. Answer these questions to help you create this outline.
  • Where were you born and where did you live? Did you move a lot? Where was your retirement?
  • What kind of life was your youth? Were you a busy kid or focused on a hobby?
  • What hobbies did you have over the years, like what was most enjoyable in each decade for your hobbies of what you did for enjoyment?
  • If retired what did you do during retirement?
  • Did you marry? Have kids and how many? Did you make friends easily or find it hard and did you have many friends? Lots or a few really good ones that meant the most to you?
  • Education? What did you study? Where did you attend? Did you have more than one career in your life? More educational interests?
  • Accomplishments – what awards did you win? Talents you developed? What books did you love to read? Were you ever in a newspaper or on T.V.?
  • What were some funny stories that people would remember you with? Did you have a funny sense of humour or a humour people really did not understand? Did you cook? Could you cook? What memory of cooking would people like to hear about? Such as your most amazing dish or how the smoke alarm always went off when you cooked.
  • Did you have a passion for the outdoors? Hiker, jogger, nature painter, adventurer, bird watcher, camper, a rock climber? Anything that you enjoyed doing outside. Perhaps you liked crafts – what did you enjoy making? Crafts for the home or gifts? Needlework or crochet or maybe sewing?
  • Where did you work? What type of jobs did you have? Do you have a funny story about working at one of those jobs? Did you get injured at any job?
  • Now this one I want you to be completely honest with yourself. What type of friend were you? Were you loyal or a friend of opportunity? Were you honest, ethical, and compassionate? Were you a good listener? If you had family did you love them? Were you patient? Were you a leader? Did you try to help the needy and offer service to others without desire for payment, recognition or thanks in return?
  • What was it about you that people admired? What will people most miss about you? Such as the way you could turn a bad situation into something that can be laughed at and helped others overcome hardship? How good of listener were you?
  • What did you love the most about others, spouse, children, family, friends, and strangers? What was it that you loved about the people around you? Perhaps a favourite restaurant and the waiter who always forgot your drink? Perhaps the sound of your children’s laughter? Your neighbour who always stubbed their toe on the steps? Those little things that made you laugh, the bigger things that made you appreciate them more.

Once this is done you can look at all this information and turn it into a eulogy. There are many types of eulogies but this is a starting point for anyone, once this is done you can tweak it into any type of eulogy you desire people to hear at your funeral. I recommend starting at the beginning, rather a step through your life from birth to death and how you lived each moment. It is similar to a biography without the biography part. A biography covers so much of a lifetime that it can take some time to tell the whole story, if you want to tell your life story write your own biography, your eulogy is not your entire biography but rather a summary of your life. I would not recommend making people sit through a eulogy that runs for an hour or more but a short one, no more than 30 minutes to 40 minutes is a good amount of a eulogy speech time I would think. So to put things in order I have jotted down some ideas of how to go about doing that as I am doing this for myself. I do not at all think you should follow my steps and nothing else, be creative. Try new designs and ideas and I do recommend running them passed a friend or family member who you feel would be honest. If you are not getting a good support in that sense talk to a librarian or English teacher and ask them to please read it and give some feedback. Allow those to give the feedback as you are the one who is asking, their opinions may not be yours but it lets you know if you are rambling, or if you are not making sense. For example, if you are trying to describe a funny story it can sometimes be hard to explain on paper, you may need to change the story or change how you wrote it as it comes across not how you intended. So be open, and allow for feedback. This is your last word, you want to be clear and understood, or at least I would.

This outline is what I started with but then changed it once I was done and decided that I wanted to write it in first person not third person as this is. This is written so the person that reads it is like they wrote it about you. I wanted to have the person reading it like I was standing up there telling my story in my words.  So like I said, change it up how you would like it to be done, this below is for third person version. Feel free to search the internet for examples of eulogies there are a lot of them, some are quite poetic.

  • Beginning –birth (parents, date of birth, town or city, etc) through childhood. Be brief you do not want to drone this on too long, quickly state your birth and hometown and perhaps one or two funny kid stories. Remember this is not a genealogy, it’s a summary of your life.
  • Education- where and what you studied, your careers, etc. any awards you won in school, or sport and any accomplishments. If religious add your devotion to the religion.
  • Hobbies-interests-adventures-funny story of any of this, memorable story of this. A camp trip that turned into a story.
  • Family and relationships and friendships. A story that describes an example of what you were in life to be a parent, friend, member of the community, etc.
  • About your personality and self – your qualities as a friend, parent, spouse etc.
  • You will be missed- this is the wrap it up section where you tell the part of you that will be most missed about you.

In first person style.

  • Eulogy is written by the deceased… I was born….etc.… and story
  • I attended…. And graduated from… a career in …. changed careers because…. etc.
  • I have ….family and …. children… married to… etc. story that describes my nature….I remember when….
  • I really enjoyed to play…. and always got into trouble because…. I loved to …. etc.
  • I love and appreciated …. I will miss… I loved my life and …. story….
  • Thank you for being a part of my life and …..

 

By Tina Curtis

The New Cinderella Movie

I recently read an article from The Telegraph about the new Cinderella Movie written by Victoria Lambert. (Click here for link to the article.) She states in the headline that she will not allow her daughter to see the new Disney movie, upon reading the article it is revealed the reason is the main actress Lily James is too skinny. In reading the first two paragraphs I was taken back by this ridiculous reason. The first thoughts that came to my mind were, first women are too thin and people complain, then women are too fat and people complain, and then they are too ugly or too pretty or too of just too much of something and people complain! It brings out a fire inside me that makes me feel like no one any were is ever good enough for anything because someone some place is going to complain about it!

I take a deep breath, count to 10 and ask my daughter to come and read this article with me and let me know about her view on it as I am already angered by it. I finished reading it and there is not a single point in the article that gives just reasoning as to why this beautiful actress is too skinny and how it may damage our young children’s minds and views.  If Victoria Lambert does not want to let her daughter go to a  Disney remake movie by all means that is her parenting prerogative. I know as a parent I do not put so much attention on how thin, fat, ugly, pretty anyone is, I look at the content of the movie and I use whatever lessons I can as a parent to let my daughter know that being too thin, too fat, too ugly, too pretty is in the eyes of the beholder. Seriously, there is someone for everyone and when we over analyze each other and everything we miss the big picture all together. That picture here is a young girl loses her father and mother and is abused by her step mother and step sisters, and still there is hope that in the end life will get better, and for Cinderella she finds that prince that sweeps her out of the ashes and into the star light. That is a fantasy I think anyone would want, I encourage fantasies, I encourage imagination and I discourage at any point the analysis of the physical body of whether they are good enough or not by how they look.

My daughter finished reading the article and stated without any influence from myself, “the writer completely over analysis the physical and does not take into account the movie story itself.” I feel that our children are intelligent and can make a decision on there own, and only need guidance not sheltering. I allow my daughter to see the world around her and when there is something that is questionable we talk about it and what lessons can be learned from it. I am not in favour of sheltering our children from things, I am not going to be there all the time and she will face these things once I am gone. If she is not prepared how to deal with such issues then she would succumb to the negative effect of these issues. I for one can’t wait to see the new Cinderella Movie with my daughter.