Canadians and Americans have many common interests and traditions - Thanksgiving amongst them. However, we are two completely different countries with our own ideas of how things should be done ....cough cough ...Donald Trump... cough cough... so it's no surprise that the same holiday is experienced in unique ways in each nation.
There will never be a time when the Queen of England, Beyonce, and The New York Times food critic converge on your doorstep for a formal dinner party, so stop the bullshit excuses about not having company over "until you've got your shit together."
I don't consider myself a snob of any incarnation. I enjoy food which has been passed to me through sliding windows, music made from eclectic assortments of household implements, and clothing meant for someone decidedly not my size, age, gender, or biological classification. Because if I can find a sweater in just the right colour, what does it matter if it was meant for a dog? Sew up the extra arm holes, or keep them for easy bathroom access. It's all good is what I am saying.
Sex is always in the news because we're human and sex is awesome and we've got a 24hr news cycle to fill. This past month sex has been a particularly hot news topic in relation to teenagers. One story recommends parents put sexually active teenage girls on the pill, while another says you should get them an IUD. Have you seen the boxes those things come in? Thankfully, it turns out they are 99.7% packaging.
Parenting is hard, and as I’m finding sixteen years in, it only gets harder. If you’re a new parent, may I say “Congratulations!” But I am sorry to tell you that being up all night for feedings will soon seem like Super-Duper Supremeo Fun World Extravaganza Good Time Park compared to teenager problems. I’ll give it to you straight — you will love that baby always, but you won’t always like them.
You won't meet many people who don't want or like a clean home. Though not a necessity, clean homes are conducive to more pleasure in your life: you're more likely to have friends over, more apt to enjoy time with your children, and you'll be more into climbing your partner if you're not so concerned about climbing a laundry mountain in the basement.
Parenting a child is a daunting task. No matter whether you give birth, adopt, find one in some reeds somewhere, or otherwise legally procure a infant human being, taking on the responsibility of parenthood is not for the weak. Not only are you responsible for raising a person who other persons can tolerate, but you are also in charge of giving this person their first identity marker: their name.
We all have emotional baggage we carry with us throughout our lives. Some of us are lucky enough to cart our feelings around in Louis Vuitton, others have department store duffles or plastic bags from Longos. My luggage is a blue plastic basket, and lately it has become too emotionally weighted to lug around any longer. It doesn’t hold broken dreams, or lost loves, or resentment for my parents, but rather a huge tangled pile of mismatched, odd socks.
Mother’s Day is coming, and greeting card aisles marked “For Mom” are crowded and picked clean. Finding the right card was always a challenge for me, because my relationship with my mother was unconventional and cordial at best. When she and my father separated in 1978, I was five and although divorce wasn’t rare, that my mother left (and left us with) my father was.
There is no lack of writing fodder when you have a teenager, and no lack of things that will drive you crazy. It's hard to tell ahead of time what is going to irk you, and even those amongst us with patience to rival the saints will straight up lose their shit at the 27th apple core pulled from under a bed. Hey, at least they're eating fruit, I guess.
Every year as the holidays approach, the inevitable panic sets in. As sure as my neighbour's 37 light-up inflatable snow globes will be shining in my bedroom window at midnight, I'll also find myself frozen in fear at the thought out "getting it all done." And surely "getting it all done" is not the spirit or point of the season, no matter which holiday you enjoy/endure with your family.
There are several universal truths amongst parents, and I'm no different from you when I say I love my children more than anything. I want them near me always, but not necessarily with me always. That is because another parenting truth (albeit, relatively unspoken universal parenting truth) is that one day, we'll want the space they occupy back. I have big plans for the two bedrooms my kids currently use.
Only a few more sleeps until Halloween, and if you blink, it's going to suddenly be October 30 and you’re standing in the department store with a sobbing child forced to choose between “Ugly Troll with Wart” or “Super Ugly Troll with Multiples Warts” costumes. This is a busy time of year in Canada and while many of us still have leftover cranberry sauce in the fridge after Thanksgiving, there are now also pumpkins to be carved and candy treats to be bought/hidden/consumed and bought again.
Who doesn't love music? I know I've never met anyone who thought "Music? Nope." except maybe that jerk dad in Footloose, and frankly, he was sort of an asshole. It's a universal language and humans respond to it on a primal level like no other stimuli. Even before babies are born they respond to music. Children learn effectively from it (hello, Schoolhouse Rock); teenagers lie to their parents and board trains headed for large cities to hear it (Ozzy; CNE Grandstands, 1987; good times), and then...and then? What about the adults?
Can you imagine being born into a world before television existed or having a car wasn't common for the average family? And then living to experience all the technological advancements the modern digital world affords? Seventy years is not a big segment of time, historically speaking, and yet many seniors — like my own Grandmother — have lived across these two parallels. Contrast that with people born in the last two decades, and this is the only world they know.
Finding a suitable name for your baby can be an overwhelming task, and one that may come in second only to "push human infant from soft parts" in the pain factor. Everyone wants to weigh in, and you may even have pressure from family members to choose a traditional family favourite, like Ralph or Bumstead. (Sorry; NOPE.)
Instead, why not start your new baby out with some edge? There are no pablum-flavoured names here in this list.
There are many things common convention tells us under the guise of keeping us safe and happy; things like “stay away from a Mama Bear with her cubs,” or “avoid small patterns if you’re pear-shaped,” or “Jeni, for the love of God, please do not wear that crocheted beer-can hat to my parents' anniversary party.”
I bet you’ve even told your kids such things. We’ve all told a child to watch their fingers in the car door, lest they be chopped off, but we know that never happens.