Writing Birthday Messages to the Future

Sometimes, you’re blessed with a day overflowing with love that you bottle it up for the future. We had one of those days this week when our dearest T celebrated his 7th birthday. T excitedly counted down the days till his birthday since it entered single digits. If you want to teach a kid aboutContinue reading “Writing Birthday Messages to the Future”

Cousins

Magical moments in parenting happen when you watch your child connect and click with another. As much as I’m still complaining about not having a quiet break to myself during my time off work, it was nice to have given T time with his grandparents, Aunt and cousin in the East Coast. He was particularlyContinue reading “Cousins”

Motivation

Fans of long-running reality show Survivor will be familiar with the term “dig deep.” It’s what host Jeff Probst says to motivate contestants to tap into their inner strength to get through a physically-grueling challenge. The last few weeks have been very challenging with T at home and school. We’re not sure if it’s theContinue reading “Motivation”

Losing Like Halle Berry

Having a sense of humour about when things do not go as planned is generally one of my instinctual responses in life. Dealing with loss and feeling like you’re failing is part of being a special needs parent. In the last few weeks, it’s been harder to find levity during the challenging moments. We’ve beenContinue reading “Losing Like Halle Berry”

Circles

Circles appear as symbols of power, movement, change and balance in our lives. Some see circles as a symbol for the wholeness of self, timelessness, infinity and God itself. Circles represent the passage of time. A year is a full orbit of Earth around the sun; hours pass in a circular motion around a clock.Continue reading “Circles”

“Oh my God, is that a coconut?!”

My six year old and I started a new bonding ritual: Friday night grocery runs. After a long week, all I wanted was my weekly 90 minutes of freedom: going to the supermarket. “Oh, can I come?” T asked chirpily. “Oh, fuck no,” I said to myself in my head. But I simply said, “No.”Continue reading ““Oh my God, is that a coconut?!””

Light Up the Dark

The colorful ghosts of Christmas past emerged this weekend, sparking wishes for future memories. After I did my Friday night groceries, I returned home to Christmas cheer thanks to T and the hubby. It’s only mid November, but it’s family tradition to put up the tree, decorations and lights after Remembrance Day. Christmas is withoutContinue reading “Light Up the Dark”

Golden Hour

Nature reminds us that magic exists before and right after the darkness. Golden hour refers to the hour after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is softer and redder compared to when it’s higher in the sky. Also called magic hour, it is a photographer and filmmaker’s dream. I first noticed this in aContinue reading “Golden Hour”

Pumpkin Pickin

Sunday blessed us with a fun Papa and T date with animals and witches at a pumpkin farm. On this beautiful autumn morning, T and I went on a morning drive, 45 minutes out of the city, to Knox Family Farm in Clarington. Along with Christmas and birthdays, Halloween is one of T’s favourite timesContinue reading “Pumpkin Pickin”

Love Is Half the Battle

“Love is a wonderful healer but it cannot undo brain damage.” When starting the FASD journey, I came across a parent’s testimonial that struck a deep chord. Sarasota-based Kathryn Shea wrote a compelling story about raising her adopted son Seth. Stories like Kathryn and Seth’s made me feel part of a larger whole, less lonelyContinue reading “Love Is Half the Battle”

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”

Bringing An Animated Italian Dish to Life

Thanks to Disney, I’m discovering the joys of Italian cooking with my family. I recently wrote that T loves the movie Luca, a wonderful animated coming of age story about accepting what makes you unique. The film is also a love story to Italian culture, from its beautiful seaside town setting to the delicious cuisineContinue reading “Bringing An Animated Italian Dish to Life”

Low Tide

One great advice I’ve received about finding balance in life is a metaphor about tides. Tides are described as “the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth.” My colleague’s advice is deceptively simple butContinue reading “Low Tide”

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”

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!”