Category Archives: The Child

In the Air

IMG_6776Spring is in the air! Let’s dance about it! Finally, Winter is receding and the flowers are sprouting! Sing a song, do a twirl! Hurrah for Spring!

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This of course, does not mean that we are in short-sleeve shirts every day. The garden is still quite swampy and we are still layering in hoods and toques, but not always.IMG_6826 IMG_6831

Spring also means Nettle Season. Stinging Nettles. It’s such a hippy thing so my hippy rating goes way up as I show you these pictures. We pick nettles, then we make pesto, stew, soup, tea, smoothies. You get the idea. And then all us Pender hippies take pictures of them and instagram it. I can’t even. For real.IMG_6833 IMG_6834 IMG_6843 IMG_6850 IMG_6852 IMG_6854 IMG_6860 IMG_6864 IMG_6868WWhen I get super busy and go to a bunch of births in a row, Gabrielle and Marc entertain themselves by woodworking. Now added to Brie’s ever-growing vocabulary are words like “tongue and groove” and “bevel” as well as “braxton hicks contractions” and “posterior baby.”

 

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And then I came home after teaching a class in Victoria all weekend and she had written me her first love note. I melted. I swooned. And I want to frame it forever. Below is the other side of the card. It has a sun, a moon, mountains, a rainbow, flowers and the sea. What more could a girl want?

The answer is nothing. I am complete.IMG_7019

Back to the grindstone

We got home a whole month ago now. And we were immediately thrown back into it. A couple days after arriving home, I got to attend a birth of a beautiful woman who was quite overdue. I like to think she waited for me to get home. Wishful thinking. But it was a beautiful birth and a great introduction to being home.

The first couple days being home was euphoric. I smelled the cold fresh air. (So sweet.) I performed domestic tasks which I actually love. Cooking food, doing dishes, doing laundry. When I get to putter around my house and my garden, I am in a happy place.

As a celebration for Marc turning 33 years old, and to fulfill my domestic inclinations before they dwindled and became regular life, I made pies.

I usually hate making pies. This time I didn’t mind so much.

IMG_6607 IMG_6608 IMG_6613 IMG_6614I’m excited to be back at ‘er. And when this birth storm passes, (who says that? really.) then I am excited to get planting some seeds. Because folks, Spring is here!!!

Happy March!

Brie’s Birthday and her Bonsais

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Brie turned 4.

She asked for a bonsai tree, a pinata and a stuffed Doozer from Fraggle Rock. I think my child might be a tad eccentric… should we blame it on the parents?

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She had a specific guest list with specific food items requested. The guests were mostly adults but some children. The food included hummus and veg, edamame beans, pie, black forest cake and cupcakes! When I was ordering her cake (yeah, I’m not making a black forest cake!) the lady on the phone and I were having trouble communicating. My first language was not Chinese and hers was not English. It was a struggle which I was relaying to Marc. Then when we picked up the cake, Gabrielle checked the spelling and said very loudly and much to my dismay, “Mom, she even spelled my name right even though you weren’t sure she would!”

Oh my goodness. Embarrassed.

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Turns out, Gabrielle enjoyed her party very much. But she asked that next year we invite even less people. My wee introvert.

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But thanks to Friends and Family, she got her bonsai tree, her doozer guy, and her pinata!

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So Gabrielle and her bonsai trees. It’s become a thing. She has three of them now. She religiously waters them, mists them, kisses them, sings to them. She has named them Spikey, Mommy bonsai and baby bonsai. She is excited to take them to the bonsai doctor for a soil change and a pruning. And as a result of these well-cared for little trees, she has been gifted other plants as well. A mexican hat plant and an aloe vera plant. She also has an air plant that she mists daily, and then soaks weekly for an hour in a pot. (Just like the internet and her daddy told her to.) This flare for botany has guests asking to see her plants when they come visit her. She proudly shows them her collection on the window sill. Soon, we will have a Japanese garden!

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On her actual birthday, she asked to have a quiet day. (Surprise surprise!) She floated things down her ditch.

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She opened some presents from friends away.

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She dug up some worms for her worm farm.

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And did some of her self-appointed chores.

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At the end of the day, she happily snuggled into her bed and asked me, “Mommy, am I really 4 now? For real? Or were we just pretending?”

No darling, you are four for real.

Happy Birthday Nut.

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As November slips away…

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As November slips away from us and we emerge ourselves completely in all things Christmas, we savoured the last moments of Autumn.

The winter sun is blinding in our house. The sun stays low all day and it shows off all the streaks on the window. Pervasive golden light so intense that I find Gabrielle at the foot of the stairs, hiding in her shadow spot away from the low piercing sun that hurts her eyes. We aren’t complaining about it, it’s just the shape of the house and the path of the sun across the field.

Gabrielle has become quite a serious bonsai tree-keeper. She waters them daily, she mists them, and sings to them and trims any failing leaves. It’s a serious business. Between the bonsais and her worm farm, she is fully employed. It is her work, as she reminds us often.

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The bees are flying. In the low sun, mid afternoon, the ground warms up enough for the bees to scoot outside for a quick pee. Then they duck back inside to their warm clump and go back to knitting each other socks. I always miss the bees a little through the Winter. I fret over them and hope they are surviving through the frosts. Sometimes I press my ear against the outside of the box, hoping to hear a soft hum to let me know that they are still there. That they are still telling each other stories of flowers, and spring and thick honey that they can soon gather. I think of you, Bees, hibernating in your little home while we do the same in ours.

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We gear up for Advent, and Brie’s birthday and Christmas, and we practice our numbers and letters to wile away the winter.

Like the bees, we tell each other stories of flowers and Spring and thick honey, while we knit each other socks.

Here on Pender Island…

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I feel like I should be saying, “Meanwhile down at the ranch…” But I want to impart small gift-wrapped presents that Pender Island has given me this week. And maybe these gifts were available to me last week but my eyes were open this week. Open to Pender Island. Oh Pender, I see you now!IMG_3554 IMG_3559

I encourage my child to do chores around the house. Call it what you will, but she’s three and a half, as she reminds me every day, and she is learning responsibility. Like cleaning windows. (Above) and carrying her own snacks and toys to the beach. And when my fellow mom-friend asks what’s in her backpack, I tell her that Gabrielle is carrying her own snacks now, she tells me that she makes her kid do that all the time. Pender Moms. I love them.

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When I eat at the sushi place on Pender, they put my name at the top of my bill. When I order pizza at the local pub, the bartender asks about pregnancy complications that her friend is suffering. When I vote on Pender and my address is wrong, the lady at the ballot box says to me, “Why does it say that address? You’ve never lived there! I know exactly where you live. I’ll get that changed right away.”

Oh Pender. You have my heart.

IMG_3568 IMG_3571 IMG_3585 IMG_3590On Pender, we celebrate an exciting adventure when we are down on the beach. And this adorable little peach is standing for the first time, with an empty *ahem* beer bottle in her hand.

Put another delicata squash on the barbecue! Tess is standing!

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And when the frost comes, she insists we go out and “Be in it, Mom! And Taste it!”

IMG_3641 IMG_3646 IMG_3648 IMG_3652 IMG_3655 IMG_3656 IMG_3657 IMG_3658My poor little garden is all put to sleep now. And so are the bees, in their tight little winter clumps where I imagine them all knitting each other socks, just to keep warm.

We have kale, leeks and carrots in the garden still and we are eating up our preserves now. This is rather the sad time of the year when it comes to the garden. The wood stove glows gloriously hot and we get to play in all our knitted accessories.

This is Pendering in November. Happy Winter!