Why Stories Matter

Stories and personal testimony can inform, inspire and be a lifeline to someone. December 1 marks the fourth anniversary of this blog and my first post, introducing T’s prognosis and our family. I started my blog as a way to process my thoughts on the FASD parenting journey and to raise awareness and advocate forContinue reading “Why Stories Matter”

Big Brother

This is the start of a beautiful friendship. Last fall, T’s child and youth worker made the excellent suggestion to look into a Big Brother-style mentorship program for T. I believe in mentorship and surrounding T with positive influences is important, because making friends is hard for kids with FASD. Despite best efforts, we haveContinue reading “Big Brother”

Love and Karma

The energy we send into the universe is the energy we invite into our lives. I found this belief challenged the past few weeks, because of T’s chaos – meltdowns, foul language, rude attitude, defiant behaviour at school. It was draining – and at one point, I told the hubby I did not have theContinue reading “Love and Karma”

Smells Like Teen Spirit

A creature is growing in our home that is more horrifying than the supernatural or undead. Saturday morning, I was enjoying coffee in the dining room when I heard the hubby say with alarm, “Oh my God, T, you’re turning.” It was a full moon on Halloween weekend. Did we have a werewolf in ourContinue reading “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

To Teachers with Love

The influence of a great teacher is longlasting. Thanks to Mrs Smith in Grade 3, who introduced us to daily journal writing, I developed an early start to expressing myself through words. Tough but fair and kind teachers, like Mrs Ezer in high school, were whom I learned the most from. I keep it touchContinue reading “To Teachers with Love”

Enjoy the Silence

I’m going to tell you a secret: It’s ok to say no, to put your needs first, to self indulge. It’s become a morbid joke that when I plan self care time, something bad happens. Christmas 2019: T got sick for a week. Christmas 2020: Ma had a nearly life-ending stroke on the first dayContinue reading “Enjoy the Silence”

Horsing Around

The best things in life are not free. Thanksgiving a year ago vs today, the dinner table is cozier and I am reminded how life flies by. Friday was a PA Day and I took T to a fun and free activity organized by Surrey Place, the amazing organization that has supported our family sinceContinue reading “Horsing Around”

Cooking for the Soul: A Second Helping

In Chinese culture, we eat noodles during birthdays as it symbolizes long life. When I watch T have instant noodles or spaghetti, two of the handful of things our selective eater will have, I joke it’s my life force he’s slurping away. I often write about the importance of self care in the marathon journeyContinue reading “Cooking for the Soul: A Second Helping”

Uplift through Testimony

There is power and purpose in sharing stories. One voice can join a chorus to make a difference. This week, I joined a director from the Surrey Place to make a deputation to our school board, the largest school board in Canada and one of the largest in North America. Our goal was to raiseContinue reading “Uplift through Testimony”

The Power of Yet

T asked the lifeguard if he could try the deep end test. It was his first-ever attempt. Would he make it? I thought about this recent outing at the community pool, as it’s goal-setting time for the school year. This year, I love how T’s teacher included the kids in the process, using the PowerContinue reading “The Power of Yet”

Fried Spam with Rice

Like many immigrant kids, I’ve experienced many “smelly weird” school lunches packed by Pa. But I loved them all and the one I looked forward to most was fried spam on a warm bed of rice. I would inhale the luncheon meat, its greasy goodness soaked up by the rice. This weekend is Pa’s deathContinue reading “Fried Spam with Rice”

Tree of Life

There is a special tree, that sways to the side like a painting, that serves as a route marker of time. Killbear is special because it is the first place we camped together at as a family. It is the first family vacation we took during the pandemic and we were so excited to getContinue reading “Tree of Life”

Community Rocks

As the sun descended over Georgian Bay, crowds started gathering on the rocks by the water. It was our second night of camping at beautiful Killbear and we were enjoying an after dinner walk to soak in our final evening. Sitting by the rocks to watch the sunset is a tradition and I love howContinue reading “Community Rocks”

Shooting Stars

Night hikes are a camping tradition and when darkness fell, we excitedly set off for the rocks. After our spontaneous sunset swim and jumping off beautiful rocks at Killbear, we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores at our campsite. T was now sugared up on s’mores and a watermelon slush from dinner. He was bouncing offContinue reading “Shooting Stars”

Leap of Faith

We were racing against sunset as we hiked up the rocky hill to get to the cliffs to jump into the bay. It was our first day camping at Killbear and we had just finished dinner. We had decided we would do cliff jumping the following day, but T was insistent, so the hubby andContinue reading “Leap of Faith”

Our Budding Influencer

“Hi guys,” T says sweetly and excitedly to his phone, on video record mode, to his imaginary followers. He goes on to narrate what he’s doing, emulating the online influencers and livestreamers he enjoys watching, like Ethan Gamer. It appears we have a budding influencer. T started doing this at his grandparents’ cottage during ourContinue reading “Our Budding Influencer”

Catch and Release

Kids catching lobsters washed up on the beach gave me a good reminder about abundance of gratitude. On the second morning of our recent visit to T’s grandparents’ cottage, we went for a walk by the beach, an activity T enjoyed several times a day. We stumbled upon three boys carrying buckets and excitedly catchingContinue reading “Catch and Release”

All That We Leave Behind

In the end, it’s about memories and we hang onto photos and things that remind us of loved ones. In a year of losses, our family experienced another loss – Ma moved back to Philippines at the end of July. We knew for over a year this day was coming – it was delayed dueContinue reading “All That We Leave Behind”

Has To Be

How do you best explain the concepts of faith, God, heaven and angels to kids? During bedtime on Monday, T said in a panic that he wanted to live forever and was afraid of dying because “what if angels aren’t real?” Since his Auntie, my sister, passed away after last Christmas, T found great comfortContinue reading “Has To Be”

Rain or Shine

When things don’t go as planned, like pneumonia ambushing vacation, I look for the silver lining. We had a nice 10 days visiting T’s grandparents in New Brunswick, despite me being ill for most of it. On our third day, I started to feel nauseous, had shaking chills and developed a fever – which reachedContinue reading “Rain or Shine”