We say we'll do anything for our kids; that we'll love them unconditionally. But few of us are ever put to the test like you, Ms.Ghomeshi, and you have been tested.
Your grown son has been charged with sex crimes. People all over the world are talking about him. Innocent or guilty, it doesn't matter. His punishment—and yours—has already begun. His passport has been revoked, his bail met, he must live in your home, under your roof. You must take him under your wing. Canada's pariah, stripped of accolades, has been damned by public trial. Your Jian, who made you so proud... I can't imagine how that feels.
Of course you stand by him as he loses the job he loves. You stand by, even as he confesses on social media to enjoying "adventurous" sex. You love him. You will handle it. It's the nature of fame, you say. They build you up, only to tear you down. Then the women start coming forward, and the accusations of abuse pour in, one after another... This is your boy. The one whose diapers you changed. The one you kissed goodnight.
Maybe people stare when you go out shopping. Their whispers scratch at your ears. That's his mother. You can almost taste their pity, their contempt. Are they thinking that somewhere along the line there must have been something you could have seen as a parent that made Jian the child into Jian the man. You may be seen as guilty by association. So often a mom is accountable for what her baby does as an adult. Alcoholic? Blame your mother. Autistic? Blame your mother. Sexual deviant? Blame your mother. It's such a dull refrain, yet we tune into it. We can't help ourselves.
So while everyone is thinking of him right now, I am thinking of you. You, drawing the blinds against the glare of so many flashes and bodies camped out on your property. You, trying to shut out all the ugly words that will nonetheless play over and over when you close your eyes at night while your boy sleeps in the next room. The way he used to, all those years ago.
And I will watch over my own boy as his chest rises and falls, so peaceful asleep, thinking of you and what it means to be a mother.
Although at first glance making your own formula sounds like a healthier option for babe, Health Canada, the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society have all warned against the practice in a joint statement.
I didn't even know this was a thing, yet apparently DIY recipes for formula are widely available on the internet. Far from being an elixir replicating breast milk, homemade formula can cause sickness and malnutrition in infants.
Commercial formulas get such a bad rep, it's no wonder some moms are turning to Google to create their own concoctions. But at least commercially made formulas are vetted by Health Canada and other quality control bodies. They are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure they provide the vital nutrients (including detailed energy, protein, fat and vitamin content) infants need. Suffice to say, homemade recipes don't have to adhere to those standards.
Parents shouldn't be fooled into thinking that making your own formula is somehow more 'organic' or natural. No one wants to endanger their baby; we get that. And I can see how some parents would be sorely tempted. It's crazy expensive and not without recalls and problems of it's own. When you have a baby, 99.8% of parents just want to do the best thing, and no one means to cause illness. There are problems to solve with the formula industry, but it's not the safest place for DIY-ers to throw their hat into the ring.
I was gobsmacked when I came back to Canada after living abroad. My son wasn't yet a year old, and he wasn't nursing. I couldn't believe the cost of formula in my native land. My husband had a good job, but simply feeding my baby cost a fortune! It was disgraceful.
What are parents living below the poverty line supposed to do? What about single parents? Feeding your baby is no more a luxury item than sanitary pads, but I digress. There will always be moms who use on formula, as is their option or need. And until it becomes more affordable, there will be parents out there who (albeit unwittingly) risk the health of their children by making their own.
Read warnings from Health Canada and the Dietitians of Canada/Canadian Paediatric Society in their entirety.
Some men may not have a clue when it comes to what women want, but some boys sure do. Take this viral letter from Reddit, penned (ok, transcribed verbatim by mom, Jennifer) from four-year-old Bennet to the object of his young affection, Baily.
This Dad's Note To His Son Will Bring You To Tears
The kid's got poetry and verse that will make Shakespeare roll in his grave. Take note, Jeopardy! This is how you charm the preschool set:
"Will you please come to my house? Let's play together. I think you are pretty like a horse or a ladybug. I'm not sure which," said the budding Romantic.
"You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me. I love you and I lost a tooth last night. I think I would like to do a magic trick for you and then let you watch me battle robots."
Sounds like a date. Really, who in her right mind could turn down an offer of magic tricks and nibbling on "cheeses?" But the heart strings get tugged even harder once you learn that Bennet has had cancer ever since he was a six-month-old baby. His family hopes for a clean bill of health on his next checkup.
Apparently the scribe is a character who splits his mom's sides daily. As for Baily, well, thus far she hasn't noticed him. And an appearance on Ellen can never hurt. Just ask this kid.
A career at Hallmark is on the cards, methinks. Meantime, come Valentine's Day, men all over the world will be looking to Cyrano de Bennet for cues.