April 2008


Spring Wildflowers.

Spring hasn’t wasted any time. It has been warm (hot even!) and sunny. Sadly, even the smog has arrived. :/We spent Earth Day at the RBG. Jordan played games and made lists and made a filtering system for water – all part of the “Helping the Earth” programme – then went for a hike along the trail.

The first wildflowers were out in clusters on the forest floor, brilliantly white in sun. There were also bunches of daffodils, transplanted by squirrels from area gardens, all sunshine and yellow. The chickadees came, peeping and looking for seeds and a squirrel watched us intently from his tree.

Chives.

We also celebrated Earth Day by planting a tree in our front yard and eating the first chives from our garden. They were tender and mild and satisfying :)
Today is my birthday and it is cool and rainy, which I love, so I’m considering it a birthday gift. I woke to the sounds of soft rain and singing and to kisses and gifts. A pretty good day, I’d say ;)

Chives.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been busy with a new project that I’m really excited about. It is, as is almost everything we do, a work in progress, but it is far enough along now, that we can announce it’s creation to the whole world. I’m excited about the whole idea and about all the plans how they are coming together. Please have a look and let me know what you think.

Brothers.
Brothers

The weather has been gorgeous: warm and sunny. The Baby has come to expect at least one trip to the park each day. He enjoys the trip there and back almost as much as the playground itself. The back road is a long stretch of paved path so he can Walk! By himself! Outside! hehehhe :) Those little legs don’t look like they could carry him nearly as far as they do. He is determined and undeterred by stumbles or distance or the longer legs of his travel companions. His favourite companion is always Jordan. The two of them have formed a Society of Intense Mutual Adoration. I like to watch as The Baby’s pair of little eager legs trot along beside Jordan’s long athlete’s legs that stride with confidence, both boys travelling down the same road, but each with experience and motivation so uniquely his own, that if it were not for their companionship, they could be on different roads altogether.

My favourite goalie.
My favourite goalie in the whole world. Photos by my dad.

Last weekend, Jordan’s team played in the championship game for his hockey division. It was a nailbiter, with our team looking like it would take the win until the very last minutes, when the other team came from behind to take it. It was a great game, with both teams playing hard. The champions were undefeated in the playoffs and second place is nothing to sniff at. Jordan played well and made some great saves. And we celebrated with family for the whole day.

I don’t know how he does it. Being the goalie is so out there. You are One. You don’t blend in with the rest of your team. And your mistakes are counted on the scoreboard for all to see. Only I count all the shots kept out of the net. People tend to see the loss and think, “if the goalie had only stopped more shots…”. But in this game, like many others, the losing team’s goalie had a higher save percentage than the winning team’s goalie. It its truly a team sport, but the goal tender is right out there, in plain view. He plays the whole game and knows that the less informed blame him for games he didn’t lose. There are a lot of things that are difficult about being a parent, and parenting Jordan has had it special challenges. But one of the hardest things about my role as Jordan’s Mom, is being a Goalie Mom. It isnt’ the schedule or driving to games and practices. It isn’t even that we have to hemorrhage money every year for new equipment (but being a regular player would be WAY cheaper)… it is the stress. I know how much pressure he is under – from himself, but mostly from his teammates and their parents. I know how bad he feels when a goal goes in. I know that he knows that sometimes people blame him when it isn’t his fault. I know that some players intentionally charge the goalie trying to injure him. And while he seems to actually ENJOY all that… I sit in the stands wondering vaguely if I’m having a heart attack and feeling my hair going grey and mouth going dry and I try to remember why I didn’t sign him up for choir or something instead.

The answer of course is, because Jordan has always loved hockey and from the time he was two years old, he said he was a goalie. To a parent, this is a Sign – not that your child is going to play in the NHL, but that you really need to make room in your family life for hockey, and a lot of it. And yeah. We’ve done and are doing that, but I am certain it has shortened my lifespan significantly.

Glove save!
Glove save! Always a crowd pleaser :)

A few weeks ago, Jordan got out the ministicks and taught The Baby to play. The Baby took to it right away and brings sticks to us, especially to Jordan, so we play stick hockey in the kitchen with him. Jordan insists that he will be a goalie too but I find myself saying, very firmly, “No”. This is contrary to my parenting philosophy – that you must follow your child’s lead, take cues and listen. That you must do what you reasonably can to give them the opportunity and tools to explore and experience what interests them. But I don’t know if I can do this again. Hockey Mom, yes. Goalie Mom, I’m not so sure. I know parents whose kids played goal for a while, then the parents found it to be too much and told them no more goal tending and that was it. I know parents who have an older child who is a goaltender and then didn’t give the option to their younger children.

I know that it is too soon to decide. I know that some of the biggest and proudest things Jordan has ever accomplished are part of being a hockey goalie. I know that it is about him and not about me. But I also know that when The Baby picks up a ministick to play hockey in the kitchen, I’ll often remove from his hand the goalie stick he chose and give him a player’s stick instead.

We’re into week two of the new regional waste management plan and I still think it’s pretty nifty :) The first week’s collection didn’t exactly go off without a hitch, but those things rarely do. I remember the prof in my waste management course in my final year of engineering school telling us that after designing your landfill and your recycling programme and your composting programme and educating the public and getting them behind the plan and ready to participate… the hardest part is working out the curbside collection. The variables are endless: the number of houses, how far apart they are, how much of each type of garbage each house will have, traffic patterns, road construction etc etc etc…. and then all this has to be put together in such a way as to minimize the distance travelled, the distance travelled with an empty truck, the number of left turns etc etc etc. I remember praying that we wouldn’t be expected to design a collection route.

According to the local paper, the pick up during the first week was complicated by participation in the new programme that was much higher than expected – unprecedented, they say. Yay! So, there was some delay and the blue boxes and green carts sat at the curb for 1-4 days. Also according to the paper, some people were infuriated and called the paper to complain.

Really?

I mean…. REALLY? People get “infuriated” over stuff like that? That seems pretty ummm.. small. And if you are going to have unrealistic expectations (ie: perfection right off the bat in a new and complex venture), then you must spend a lot of your time being infuriated, I guess. And I feel sorry for you.

Also… why would you call the newspaper? How about the waste management offices instead – you know, to be helpful and informative rather than just whining at somebody who might quote you in print? Or… why not take a crazy leap of faith and leave your stuff at the curb and not worry about it because you know that somewhere, someone is working on it and a whole bunch of people are doing their best to make this work in the best way possible. You could even take pictures of your stuff at the curb and post it on your website.. err.. nevermind ;)

So.. up there… those are some of the blue boxes and green carts on my street last Sunday. They were supposed to be picked up Thursday, but soon after I took that photo, someone came in a really big truck and picked up the recycling, and later, someone in another kind of really big truck came and picked up the compostables. Note that those someones were working on a Sunday, after days of overtime, trying to work out the kinks in the new collection scheme all while being thrown by over the top participation. That’s a win in my book and not something I’d ever be infuriated about. I feel really good about it, actually :)

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