Swimming Upstream

Watching salmon migrate upstream was unexpectedly calming and relatable. The hubby, T and I spent this sunny but chilly Sunday exploring Port Hope, located an hour drive from home. This scenic town served as the filming location for the recent two-movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It. The town has a historic charm with itsContinue reading “Swimming Upstream”

The Promise of a New Day

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the fresh start that each new day brings. The last two weeks have been rough with T. I don’t know if it’s because the honeymoon phase at school has passed or if he’s finding the transition period challenging but we’ve had rough patches on an almost daily basis. DuringContinue reading “The Promise of a New Day”

Honey Harbour

If it’s bitter at the start, it’s sweeter in the end. I reflected on this during a two hour drive home from Honey Harbour, a scenic set of islands along Georgian Bay, where the hubby, T and I spent Saturday with my aunt and two cousins. We woke up early to ensure we arrived atContinue reading “Honey Harbour”

The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older. This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.” Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’sContinue reading “The Nights That Never Die”

Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears

Our 6 year old was bugging out and we tried to help him find a new way to look at his fears. We first noticed this behaviour in July, when he’d hyper-focus on flying insects: everything was a “bumblebee”, including flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and yes, bees, wasps, hornets. He’d become frozen in fear, asking forContinue reading “Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears”

Silenzio, Bruno

What does your self talk sound like? How do you silence your negative internal dialogue? “Silenzio, Bruno,” is a line from the animated film, Luca. It translates from Italian to “Be quiet, Bruno” or “Shut up.” We’re gonna go with the PG translation, thank you very much! The two boy characters, who are a weeContinue reading “Silenzio, Bruno”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

“Never Let the Fire Inside You Leave.”

Fire has long served as a symbol of creation, destruction and rebirth. T’s latest song obsession is “Iconic,” from Madonna’s 2015 album “Rebel Heart.” Every August 16, M’s birthday, we listen to her songs. This triphop autotune-laced song appeals to T, because he thinks a robot is singing. If you try and fail, get upContinue reading ““Never Let the Fire Inside You Leave.””

How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent

Special needs parenting can be a rollercoaster and wonderful people can help along the journey. A crucial turning point came early on for me when I recognized and acknowledged that the stress I was experiencing with the challenges of parenting a child with a prognosis of FASD did not always match my capacity to tackleContinue reading “How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent”

The Child That Never Grows Up

I recently started reading Peter Pan with T at bedtime, his very first chapter book. It is a modified version of JM Barrie’s classic adventure, with large text and a large illustration page on every page – to help a new chapter book reader make their way more easily through it. We read one chapterContinue reading “The Child That Never Grows Up”

Why Struggle is Good for Kids

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” I reflected on this Robert Tew quote after a lifeguard at the public pool called us out after he noticed T struggling in the water. The outdoor pool has been our savior the last two summers. We are there every other dayContinue reading “Why Struggle is Good for Kids”

Childhood Summers and the Call of the Wild

We hiked along Nigadoo Falls and found an off-the-beaten-path swim spot with a gorgeous backdrop of jagged rocks, tall evergreens, a river current and cliff jumpers. It was a wonderful and refreshing way to spend a Friday afternoon, sharing this cozy private freshwater bowl with a dozen locals. With his lifejacket on, T explored theContinue reading “Childhood Summers and the Call of the Wild”

Reunions with Grandparents!

After a year of separation, T reunited with his grandparents from both sides of the family. Two weekends ago, we spent a Saturday with my uncle’s family, our Aunt and Ma – going on a nature walk and ending the day with a delicious bbq prepared by my aunt and cousin. It was Ma’s firstContinue reading “Reunions with Grandparents!”

Soaring to New Heights at Canada’s Wonderland

T visited his first amusement park last weekend and went on his first big kid rides! Canada’s Wonderland is like the Canadian version of Six Flags amusement parks – with big rollercoasters, spinning rides and a Snoopy-themed kids area. The hubby and I have gone many times as kids and together as adults. But thisContinue reading “Soaring to New Heights at Canada’s Wonderland”

Explaining Evil to Young Kids

During our recent roadtrip, T came across dozens of shoes left behind on a set of stairs. The stairs belonged to the Town Hall of Gananoque, where we spent a nice weekend exploring the Thousand Islands. Across Canada, citizens gathered and left shoes behind at government sites in recognition of the discovery of several hundredContinue reading “Explaining Evil to Young Kids”

Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy

I recently learned the word, Orenda, a spiritual energy believed by the Iroquois to exist in natural objects. Lately, I’ve been listening to the music of Ferry Corsten. His uplifting songs resonate with me during these challenging times. T is familiar with electronic trance music or as he calls them: songs with no words. ForContinue reading “Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy”

Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals

One recent win we had was helping T set daily goals that positively impacted virtual schooling. T’s Child and Youth Worker was motivated – as were we – to get him to participate more in class. Depending on which camp you fall on, you may find token charts useful or eye rolling in shaping behaviourContinue reading “Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals”

Graduation Day

Two years of growth, unexpected challenges, laughter and tears culminated in a virtual kindergarten graduation. I can’t thank T’s teachers enough for hosting a virtual ceremony this morning during the pandemic to celebrate this important milestone. They provided in advance a graduation kit – diploma, cardboard hat, fun sunglasses – to have ready for thisContinue reading “Graduation Day”

Your Disco Needs You

Our 6 year old’s quirky song of choice made me reflect on how we should live life like a disco ball. Enjoying music together with T is one thing I cherish in our relationship. For a long time, all he listened to was Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” I went on a recent binge ofContinue reading “Your Disco Needs You”

Coming Out… Again and Again

I came out in my teen years. Decades later, I am coming out again as a special needs parent. As the world celebrates Pride Month and the importance of inclusion, love and tolerance, I am thankful for living in a part of the world that is, for the most part, progressive and inclusive. I cameContinue reading “Coming Out… Again and Again”