Day 326 – Heart Head

I’m currently experiencing the glee (pardon the pun) that is teaching musical theatre camp at Orleans Young Players Theatre School. For two weeks, I am helping nine amazing young ladies ages 8-11 create characters, write a script, learn choreography and eventually sing their little hearts out during a 20 minute performance at the end of camp.   I could write an entire week’s worth of blog posts about how amazingly creative these little ladies are, but this post is a bit simpler than all that.

The youngest student of the bunch,  8 year old Ella, came to me on the first day of class with something seemingly very important to say.  Our conversation went like this:

Her: I like your hair.

Me: Oh.  Gee, thanks. 

Her: I like what it does in the front.

Me: What it does in the front?

Her: Yeah.  Your bangs.  They make your face look like a heart.

Me: Oh, well, that’s because I’m full of love.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I laughed at myself, thinking that it was the cheeziest thing I had said in a very long while.  However, judging by the huge grin I saw on Ella’s face as she turned and skipped away, she thought that it was a completely acceptable answer.

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Day 325 – The Lonely Nail

Spousal separation does strange things to a home.

There’s a wall on the top floor between DD2’s bedroom and the bathroom that I walk past too many times a day to count.  That wall is completely bare, except for a single nail.  It has been in this state for 6 months now, but I’ve been too busy to really notice until today.

I stopped, looking at it, remembering the gorgeous print of a ballet dancer that used to be there, a treasured gift my ex received as a child.

Bittersweet, but…

It’s a blank slate.  Newness.  Mine to play with.

Potential.

 

Day 324 – Why This Old Thing?

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I was having a family picnic/backyard camping adventure at my parents’ place when I noticed the garage. This structure has been around for as long as I can remember. I even have vague memories of it being moved from the south end of the property to east of the house when my parents wanted a new paved driveway. I also remember thinking that it was weird to move a garage. That old thing? Why bother? Wouldn’t be cheaper to build a new one?

Yesterday I stood in the garage, looking up at the underside of the roof, at the walls, at the electrical wiring. There’s proof the building has been moved and updated: window frames have been reinforced, garage door opener is shinier than the last, garage door frame is a clean white (minus the black scuff I made with the driver’s side mirror last year…shhh). The ceiling now has makeshift storage for extra bits of wood, insulation, stuffs. But it was when I was looking past all of that that something really grabbed my attention. The dark brown wide wooden planks that make up the original structure aren’t particularly pretty to look at. They really stand out next to the more pristine modern plywood, 2x4s and vinyl siding.

A quick conversation with my dad over wine revealed a lot. It turns out my grandfather built the garage over 40 years ago. Those planks of wood may even be from the old family barn. My dad remembers parking his first car in that garage.

I still don’t know if they moved the garage because it was cheaper than building a new one. I didn’t ask. It’s more fun to think my Dad chose to keep it for memories’ sake, sentimental value even. The family barn and farmland are long gone, but a bit of family history still remains.

Day 321 – Boo boo

This isn’t beautiful because DD3 gave me the plant for mother’s day.

This isn’t beautiful because it combines some of my favourite colours (red and purple and pink…. ooooh)

This is beautiful because it solves a mystery.

I use masking tape to hold down paper on the dinning room table, so my kids can paint.  On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed the tiny bits of tape have gone missing.  I never paid much attention to it, until I noticed this today:

Turns out the culprit is DD3.  When asked why the vase has tape on it, she replied: “He has a boo boo.”

Mystery solved.

Day 320 – Cows Don’t Scare Me… Much.

Many households had to deal with power outages due to the nasty storm this week, but my house was one of the lucky few spared.  All A/C and overuse of technology all the time for us!  Hooray!  So I was surprised to find out on Tuesday morning that both DD2’s home-carer that lives 5 minutes away *and* DD3’s school daycare didn’t have power.   My plans to go to the office and have a productive day were foiled… and this did not please me to say the least.  Alternative arrangements needed to be made.

Intro an impromptu trip to the Experimental Farm.  A quick call to a girlfriend of mine, looking for another parent to commiserate with, and (bingo!) I had plans to keep the kids entertained for the morning.

Things were going swimmingly.  The girls were happily playing in the play structure.  A lovely picnic was had in the shade.   Then my friend suggested we go to the Dairy Barn.  Since DD2 was clambering to see pandas and monkeys, I figured I should appease her by showing her more than just the Experimental Farms slides and sand box, even if the animals weren’t particularly “exotic”.

So in we went… and all at once I was struck with a fear I hadn’t felt since I was a child.  I wanted to back up slowly.  No, correction, I wanted to turn around and run away as fast as I possibly could.  All I could think was “Holy f*ck those cows are HUGE!!!!”

Though I was raised in the country, and my Dad was raised on a farm, I was quite the “nervous ninny” as a kid.  From the time I was  a 2 (or 3?) year old running away from a tiny yappy dog trying to nip at my heels, to my mom trying to get me to pet a goat at the mall petting zoo, to my uncle putting me on a horse when I was crying not to, to my mom putting me on a freaking elephant at the circus  against my will… I’ve been nervous around animals.  However, I haven’t had much reason to tap into this fear as an adult.  I generally like animals.  I love cats. I’ve grown accustomed to dogs.  Though this visit to the Experimental Farm triggered hidden fears I’d forgotten I had.

I didn’t run away.  I didn’t even back up slowly.  When I saw that DD3 was clearly freaked out by the cows too, I knew I had to be strong.    Well, maybe not too strong.  I crouched down and said “Those cows sure as big aren’t they, but they aren’t going to hurt you.  I understand they make you nervous.  They make me nervous too.  Just hold my hand… let’s go say hi to them together.”  And while DD2 was happily being held by my friend and screaming “COWS!” with glee, DD3 and I cautiously walked down the halls.  We talked about what colour the cows’ spots were, what they were eating, what they were drinking.  I explained how these cows produce milk, and showed her a calf that had just been born the day before.  Eventually DD3 let go of my hand.

An hour later, when it was time to leave, DD3 cried.  She wanted to go see the cows again.

And I smiled… because maybe I did my job “right”… at least at that moment anyway.