Memoirs For My Daughter

The Gift of Words and Memories

Memoirs For My Daughter

When Rebecca was very small, I had to go to New York for work. I have never, in my life, been so acutely aware of missing another person.

While I was away, I bought a Mommy Journal to write notes to Rebecca. I don’t write in it every day, but just every so often when I have time or something special to share. I have read some excepts to her before, and when she is older, I will give her these writing memoirs as a gift to reflect on our life.

This is what I wrote that first night:

Nov. 6, 2006
I called home tonight and you said “Hello Mommy” and you kissed the phone! And when I said “I love you” you said “I love you too”. That made my night. I will be home soon. I can’t wait to see you.

Today (April 27th), Rebecca turned 6, and I would like to share with you some of the life milestones and lessons that we have gone through together.

We have had our bumps along the way, and these are the not so happy moments that I have written about:

April 28, 2007 (The day after her 2nd birthday and the day before we moved out of the house we shared with her dad) I’m packing up all our stuff today. We are moving tomorrow. It’s a new beginning. You will be going to a new daycare and we will be living in Georgetown. I hope you make the transition easily, baby. I only want what is best for us. It was a hard decision to make, but I think it’s right.  I love you more than anything, and we will be together, helping one another, through this difficult time.

Aug. 18, 2008
You keep worrying about the fact that you have brown skin and no one in your class has brown skin, but the colour of your skin doesn’t matter sweetheart. What matters is who you are inside, and you are a beautiful, kind, smart little girl. Not to mention, your brown skin is beautiful.
I love you just the way you are.

March 10, 2009
I went to the doctor’s today and had a blood test done, and it said that I am not pregnant. Still no sign of my period, so I don’t know what is going on. This is so strange for me; I had no trouble getting pregnant with you. It happened the first try. So, now I guess I just wait and see.

Aug. 8, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, Tom lost his job, so now we are a single income family. It’s going to be tight for a while, but I am convinced something good will happen soon... I hope, when you grow up, you choose a career that you love and whatever you do gives you great joy.

Aug. 17, 2010
This weekend you told me you didn’t want to be here. It broke my heart. There are going to be lots of times when we go through tough things. I hope you always want to be here because I always want you to be here... even when you are in trouble or we disagree, even when you have done something wrong. I will always love you.

I wrote about life lessons:

April 26, 2010
On Friday, last week, 3 of my very good girlfriends came over for lunch (Leanne, Tracy & Andrea). They brought over a wonderful lunch and dessert and a gift for me and the baby. They even helped me tidy the house. Always remember how important girlfriends are, sweetheart. Not girlfriends that judge you or try to control or pressure you to do things you don’t want to. A really good girlfriend will always be there for you... they will be there when you need them. They will celebrate the good times with you and help you through the bad.

May 9, 2010
I have been breast feeding Siobhan, something I was unable to do for you. I did breast feed you for 3 weeks, but my milk never really came in. When you decide to have babies, remember that not everything will come naturally to you and no matter what choices you make, they will be the right choices for you and your baby.

Monumental moments:

Nov. 4, 2008
Today Barack Obama was elected as the president of the United States. He is the first ever African American person to be president. Change is good! It just goes to show you, Sweetheart, you really can do anything!

And some very happy moments:

Jan. 17, 2007
You amaze me every day baby girl. Every day you do something new that shows me how smart you are and how fast you are learning. From singing your alphabet to putting on your own coat, you are fantastic.

March 25, 2008

Wow! What a day! Tom and I bought a house today. We are all going to live together - You, me, Tom, Ethan and Eleanor. You are very excited about your new bedroom. I am not sure you understand that this means no more living at Nana and Papa’s, I hope you are excited when we move in.

May 11, 2008
It’s Mother’s Day today, and what a lucky mommy I am! You are so sweet. This morning, you asked me to be your best friend. I would love to be your best friend... Thank-you for a wonderful mother’s day. I love you.

June 16, 2008
We are going to the mortgage broker tomorrow morning. It’s very exciting, but it’s a little nerve racking. I have never made such a huge purchase before. No turning back now. A new adventure begins for us at the end of the week. What really matters to me is that you are with me. My home is wherever you are, so I am sure this house will be great! 4 more days

Aug. 11, 2008
I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. You have been at Daddy’s since Friday evening, and I miss you so much. Daddy told you this weekend that Sasha is pregnant, but he said that he doesn’t think you understand. I will talk more with you when you come home.

June 19, 2009

Tom and I met with our wedding officiant this evening. We are very excited now; only 2 weeks to go. It’s kind of cool, the wedding officiant is going to ask “Who gives this woman to be married?” and you and Ethan and Eleanor will say “we do”, and you guys will sign part of the wedding certificate - not the official part, but the part we keep. We just want you to be part of the ceremony. I hope you guys are as excited as we are.

Sept. 11, 2009
This morning we are going to meet your Jr. Kindergarten teacher. I am excited for you and a little sad. You’re going to school! You are growing up so quickly. I think you will enjoy school

Jan 4, 2010
Happy New Year! Well, 2010 has arrived which means your new brother or sister will be arriving soon too. We still don’t have any names picked out, but we might be reconsidering Naomi for a girl.

April 8, 2011
It’s been a while since I’ve written. Our house has been pretty busy with the new baby. Siobhan is almost one now, which means you are almost 6! You have grown up so quickly. Soon you will be in grade one. You are a beautiful, smart girl and I am proud of you.

I hope these memoirs that I will pass along to her, help her to understand herself and her mom. I hope she learns from them and gains strength from them.

I know that I have always wondered about my childhood, and I have so many unanswered questions. I hope that this gift of all of my memories, will be something that Rebecca treasures.



Easter Celebrations

What Does A Rabbit With Eggs Have To Do With Jesus?

Easter Celebrations

I am not a particularly religious person, but my parents grew up catholic, and I do celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter. Mind you, there is very little religion involved in our celebrations.

Call it commercialism, call it what you like; I call it fun with my family.

I often question the ritual of holidays, like how a rabbit who hides eggs has anything to do with the resurrection of Christ, so I decided to do a little research into how the two went hand in hand.

It turns out, the easter bunny is a pagan symbol that predates the Christian celebration of Easter and was adopted by the Christians to try and gain followers (and you mocked my commercialism).

The pagan celebration was that of Eostre (the maiden godess of fertility) and was a celebration of fertility and rebirth which is why it happened in the spring. The rabbits were considered sacred because they are very fertile animals.

Over time, the Christians adopted the rabbit as more of a symbol of a sacrificial animal representing the sacrifices that Christ made.

So, why the eggs? Well, that part of the celebration was adopted from a German celebration dating back to the 1500’s where German children believed that, if they were good, a magical rabbit would bring them a nest of coloured eggs.

Also, and I suppose this is where the resurrection part comes in, eggs are a symbol of rebirth. In the 600’s, Pope Gregory forbade eating eggs during lent, making them a special Easter treat.

So there you have it... The Easter bunny does make sense after all!

*If you Google “Jesus and the Easter Bunny” you will find some pretty funny, highly inappropriate images, so instead I offer you some chocolate bunny humour.


Turning Vegetable Oil Into Fuel

Zuraw Technologies: My Friend Is Saving The Planet

Turning Vegetable Oil Into Fuel

So, it’s Earth Day, and I wanted to write something that celebrates the day. I wasn’t exactly sure what that would be because our house is a pretty generically green house. We recycle everything from plastic to clothing, we use water and energy during the off peak hours (when possible; there is a lot of laundry in this house!), we have litterless lunches, and we try to make green choices whenever possible.

Sounds like every other household in Canada, doesn’t it?

So, I started looking outside my home for something that really embraced the meaning of earth day, and I didn’t have to look very far.

I have friends (I actually consider them relatives, but that’s a whole different blog) who are making a difference... a real difference.

Now, I am no scientist (my friend Michael Zuraw is), but fuel made from recycled vegetable oil sounds like a means to an ends, doesn’t it? Good bye big oil companies, hello grease traps?

Zuraw Technologies in Acton Ontario makes fuel using 100% recycled vegetable oil. The oil is collected by a local farmers co-op that grows edible oil crops. The oil from these farmers is used in local restaurants, and the waste oil is collected and brought to Zuraw Technologies where it is made into biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a fuel that can be used in diesel cars, trucks, farming equipment and home furnaces.

This fuel reduces pollution not only in the air, but also keeps waste oil out of drainage systems and in return keeps it out of our lakes and rivers.

In our house, we often have discussions at the dinner table about what we can do to help save the earth. This weekend, while we are munching chocolate easter eggs for dessert, I will share with my kids how our friends, the Zuraws, are helping save the planet.

What are you doing for Earth Day?