I’m going to be honest, tomorrow is going to be my favouritest day of this year so far—I had two kids off school last spring figuring out some health issues and as of now, are good to go! …and my baby starts kindergarten on Tuesday, so ya, on Tuesday that’ll top tomorrow. All five kids will be officially in school and outta my mom hair. Oh I’ve loved these moments. But oh they’re beastly and difficult. 

Eighteen years of being home with preschoolers. It’s true. At no point, other than that two and a half weeks between kid 2 & 3, when Firecracker started half day kindergarten before River child was born, I’ve never had any time whatsoever to myself. At all. In eighteen years. 

I’m giddy and horrified at this next stage to my life. Both. Equally. 

Kawaii starts back to upgrade and take Mandarin. Firecracker is in twelve. River starts Junior High and the Spitfire & X-man in elementary! Yippee! 

Kawaii & Firecracker have awesome jobs too. So they will be busy between school and work and their first official experience with paying some bills, adult life is coming for them, and most days I can’t quite believe that. But especially for Kawaii, even tho she has that diploma officially in her hand, I want her to grow into this next phase. She’s been warned. After this year, she will be expected to actually pay rent. That’s tough  but so necessary. 

In my mother mind, now with part time school and part time work, she has this extra year to mature and sort out a little more in life. To maybe form a direction. She LOVES her job and the next year will probably give her the chance to decide if that’s where she’s going to stay for a while or if she’s going to pursue teaching English in a foreign country (as she is leaning towards now). 

Firecracker is grappling with how to fit Physics into her packed school schedule and is looking at a tech job in sonography or radiology. Both are competitive programs but quick education time, great pay and recession proof. But, she needs physics. Thankfully Alberta has some great secondary options. In fact, you get free secondary until age twenty. So, she’s taking everything she can for free—web design, programming, photography and her core including her bio & physics. She had so much she loves. 

I love getting to see these kids grow up. 

As for me, sometimes, I don’t even know who I am anymore. At all. I’ve spent the longest part of my life just being a mom to young kids.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but there’s a certain amount of trepidation involved in finding yourself in your forties and left to yourself for the first time in nearly twenty years. I knew who I was. I know who I was. But I’m not really her anymore. I’m less certain it even matters, ‘who I am.’ I’ve had so little time over the years to be anything but a mom, I worry I will bore myself. I want to spend the time this fall pushing ‘the reset button’ on my house and all those unorganized and neglected corners. That and having a family whether they’re here or not, will keep me beyond busy. But I kind of feel like I need to not forget to also, reset my mental mode. To spend time doing not just things I have to do but things I want to do. Sometimes I’m not sure what I want to do. I do a lot of various things with my time, but they are to relieve stress mostly, to settle and cope a little more quietly. Or to escape the craziness. 

This autumn, I’ll finally have a built in escape. A couple hours five days a week without any of the kids here. And I’m sure that’s not actually that much time with a to-do list every day of my life that seems endless, but, I’m hoping to just finally discover what it feels like, to breath without someone sitting on my chest. That is the way most moms of young kids feel. Like there’s always a pressure, always a weight, one we loved and placed there, time and again, but one that has for me, been there so long, the pressure has left me quite uncertain how to breath without it. 

I know life. Just as a thing like this changes, it’s like a boat leaving the water—the water closes seamlessly into the space the boat once occupied. The time will fill with all of what was neglected. I must learn now, to float. We are always getting thrown in the deep end. Over and over no matter how old we get. 

What a Month Plus of Bronchitis in the Summer Leads To…

So, the good news is, I’m allergic to nothing. According to a doctor. The bad news is, my immune system has been in crap shape which is never good going into fall and winter. Who knows why, but I am actually still coughing. Four and half almost five weeks in. I’ve been sick so long, I was a week off on my original count; that’s a long time to be sick in the summer. 

Anyways, so when I’m cabin fevered I tend to paint…

So a few weeks ago, my husband tried to refresh our front doors after eight years of grey (which is the colour it was when we moved here) and this was the pretty yet not complimentary colour he chose. I couldn’t tell him it wasn’t right. And so, I waited. And finally in the weekend he just out of the blue says, ya, so you can repaint the doors. Poor guy. It’s not his fault. Our house is in need of everything, new paint, doors, windows. Trying to spruce it up with paint—nearly impossible. 

So, what I figured was, if I’m dealing with forty year old doors, they should embrace their old age. 

I found a wild colour palete and decided to experiment. Yep. On my front doors. Had never used exterior paint with stain, but hey. If you don’t try you won’t know. 

The plan, deep coloured inner doors. The outer doors, green-blue. Because that wouldn’t clash with the old brown brick or stucco. And hey, I love green. It could go wrong, but, like I said, you don’t know if you don’t try. 

So this is them last night after the deep blue undertone I’d picked. Frankly, at this point, I was tempted to not continue on with The Plan. But, I kinda hate this old door fresh perfect coat of paint look. A lot. So, I honestly, cringed as every car that rounded the corner probably looking at me like, what is that crazy old lady doing now, seemed to ring in my ears. Several neighbours walked by—seriously, torture, this whole public eccentricity thing. But I can’t be boring anymore. 

I layered the other three colours over the deep blue, creating a personal front door canvas. Then, walnut stain, brushed on, wiped off, muting all the tones into a strange mingle of blue-green. 

I think it turned out so close to what I wanted I’m a little freaked it worked. I would love to say I watched some DIY video and had the confidence this was going to all work, but I didn’t.  I totally experimented. I took what I knew and applied it and hoped. And well shucks! It looks a thousand times better so, ya. I’m super proud of it. It stil looks like it needs a few touches here and there to me, but that may be me being overly critical. I should probably just leave it and let it cure. 

Anyways, that’s what a month plus of bronchitis conjures up—a bored lady with a vision and just enough pent up energy to do it. 

dawn’s cool breath—
the way wonder always fills
that small moment
til it bursts

but still now
i am cold
my feet curl in
under me
as i breath in
the coffee steam

these little moments
where i am allowed
to not be starved
or at war
or homeless
or screaming in disease

i thank God
& pray for thw peace
of just one
one more day

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

7. The day becomes more solemn and serene

When noon is past: there is a harmony

In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,

Which through the summer is not heard nor seen. 

As if it could not be, as if it had not been. 

Thus let thy power, which like the truth

Of Nature on my passive youth

Descended, to my onward life supply

Its calm,—to one who worships thee, 

And every form containing thee,

Whom, Spirit fair, the spells did bind

To fear himself, and love all humankind. 

(verse 7 of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Hymn to Intellectual Beauty)

We gaze these years when young

With some angled eye, tipping. 

But see, this exquisite loveliness;

Our spring was a turmoil and summer

A hard sweat heap of exhaustion & strange open torn agonies—
And then comes the Autumn. 

We lie down, where once we ran, 

And the sky opens up above us. 
I will stay here, breathing in, ever so quietly, waiting—

Watching these winds, watching the young

As they run

Waiting—for that is what autumn is

The realization of inevitabilites & a soft, shaky breath in, loving all

This tranquil fired beauty

Before you go. 

Autumnal Hymns & Dirges Never Get Old

I will write a million times, the agony of the dying summer, but truly Autumn is a harmony of my heart. How the green slowly slips into the cold with a shattering of colour and the dawns & dusks again emerge out of the night to inhabit the day; the bold beauty and unapologetic screaming as nature gives way to the sleep of winter—that final burst before the long silence. It’s truly lovely. 

autumn’s heaviness; how cold
the awful shadow creeping
tree to tree
winter awaits me

the harmony of the north
thrown into the flats
every shard of light
a half note too low

i’m walking with the wind
hand in hand
& some strange agony it whispers—
i can’t find the plying pity
the soothing soft
it’s all howling in a dribble
of snot and spit

the din splitting forth
the grey mourning
i feel that last moment
when all await
the last breath
when all know the burial plot
is welocming the coming cold

the butterfly of the lip—

once crude
the way beauty can emerge
from such a strange thing
& eyes catch eyes
& silence becomes a song
that no one can hear
soft & sweet