How My Baby Let Me Off the Hook

As we enter the last few hours of November 2015, I’m thinking about all I’ve been through this year…

  • Maternity leave
  • Returning to work
  • My daughter’s 1st birthday
  • Ending my relationship with her father
  • Losing my job
  • Navigating a new job as a parent
  • Losing my home

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In the span of two weeks, I went from being a bridesmaid at my child’s godparents’ wedding , to having to force her father out of our home, to losing my job two days later. I had a friend visiting during the move-out and losing my job. If she hadn’t been there, I’d have handled things very poorly indeed. She reminded me that I needed to grieve for the life I had lost: the somewhat traditional family, the coworkers I loved, financial freedom. All of it, gone in two weeks. I felt like I’d lost control of my life and I was grateful that I had the safe cocoon of my home to heal in.

It took two very long months and a lot of hard work to find my new job. In the first month, I had to call in twice due to anxiety. I’m able to do a lot of my job from home, so I was paid for one of them; the other, I said I was sick and unable to work. I might have been, I don’t remember anymore. About two weeks ago, a tree fell in the windstorm and fell on my little townhouse. It destroyed my daughter’s bedroom window, my roof, and my dining room. It smashed all the glass on my balcony. Important items were unharmed. A few things need to be replaced, but they’re just material things. The toy chest – the Tickle Trunk – my great-grandfather built me bore the brunt of the damage and came out unscathed. I can’t begin to describe how low I felt. I felt like my life had spun out of control and it was a terrible dream. All I wanted was to go home and heal, but I couldn’t. I still can’t. I might be out of my home until March.

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The top two floors are mine.

My daughter and I have moved in with my aunt, which means I have a lot of help. It also means I don’t have the space I’ve grown accustomed to. It’s lovely to have in-home laundry, though! Almost all my clothes are in storage now, and if it weren’t for an Old Navy order that arrived the day before the storm, I’d have had a few shirts, dirty jeans, wet socks, and compromised boots. My little lady and I, blessedly, had clothes. Hers were warm, mine weren’t. I’ve re-learned the art of layering – the warehouse I work in is COLD.

I feel like I can’t get back on my feet. I feel like I’m doing horribly, like a tree fell on my house because I don’t have my life together. I feel like 2015 is dragging me down to the bottom of the ocean and I don’t want to fight it anymore… I feel like I just need to ride this out and wait til the storm passes.

Tonight, I went to put my very stubborn 18 month old dictator to bed. She didn’t want to be put into the playpen next to my bed in my aunt’s spare room. I put her in my bed instead, with the sunflowers on the duvet cover. I climbed in next to her and let her play with my old iPhone that’s been re-purposed for her to play with and play her lullabies at night. It played Brahms’ lullaby with soothing underwater sounds to lull her to sleep. I gave her her beloved bear, Bernard, and she flung him aside and wrapped her arms around my neck to hold me close. She covered my face in her little, loving kisses and reminded me that she is the only thing that matters. She is safe, happy, well-fed, and so incredibly loved. I’m doing that.

I might not have my life together, but I have her life together and she loves me for it, no matter where I work or where we live.

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Our very, very close quarters

Oscar Night in Canada

Things I loved about the Oscars:

 

– James Franco, according to Dane Cook, looked like a security guard who sees you stealing and just doesn’t care

– Best Supporting Actress dropping the F-bomb (and the look on her face when Kirk Douglas called out her name)

– the orchestra trying to play the non-actor winners off the stage.  Ever notice how there are 2 hours of the award show and only 4 categories for actual actors?  Play off the actors, not the people who do EVERYTHING ELSE.

– Anne Hathaway acting like, well, me, in front of about a billion people.

– making my mother laugh with my insights and Jewish mother impressions

The King’s Speech.  Enough said.

– Kirk Douglas.  “You know…”

making fun of Celine Dion

James Franco’s grandmother.  “I just saw Marky Mark!”

– Anne Hathaway’s mother.  “Stand up straight, Anne.  Mr Steven Spielberg is here!”

– the pretty dresses

– the ugly dresses

– being able to throw things at the TV without being escorted out of the building by security

– that the saddest part of the tribute reel was learning Celine Dion is still alive.  Seriously, how did they get her to leave Vegas hidey-hole?  I don’t think that woman knows where Canada is anymore, thank God.  She might try to come back and live among us.

– that every Canadian film in the “foreign film” category is in French.  This is why Americans think we all speak French.

– explaining to my mother that because we live in a world where Marky Mark’s film is nominated for Best Picture and Christian Bale beats out Geoffrey Rush for Best Supporting actor, we can’t have nice things.  Bad things are happening, people.  Someone has time-travelled to the past, changed something, and now we’re suffering the tiny consequences.

– tearing up for no real reason other than the fact that I’m elated that a person I’ve never met has had a life-long wish come true and won a little golden man.

 

 

After the show, mi madre and I made grilled cheese for dinner (because we’re classy… and the roast beef was on Saturday) and watched Letters to Juliet.  Yes, I made fun of it the whole way through… still managed to somehow tear up towards the end, though.

 

Oscar night is a good night.

My First Love Letter

I’m a Christian.  I’ve been a Christian since August 2003.  Before January 2002, I believed in God, but wasn’t sure what the deal was with that Jesus guy.  I didn’t get the whole “died for our sins” stuff, or that God could be down-to-earth, not stuffy and surrounded by pomp and circumstance.  Between January 2002 and August 2003, I decided God just didn’t exist.  He wasn’t real and he certainly didn’t give a flying frack about me.  My great-grandfather had passed away, on his 97th birthday, and I was royally pissed.  We were close, he and I.  I had so much more to learn from him – about him, me, our family.  That summer, my mum sent me to a Christian summer camp (which made me really angry), but I left there feeling like there might really be something to the God thing.  He had let me venture out on my own and was letting me find my own way back.

The next year, possibly earlier in the very day I decided to follow Jesus for realsies, our counsellor read us a letter in bible study.

“It’s a love letter,” she said.  “From God, to the world, about you.”  Me?  There are roughly 3 billion women in the world and God has an opinion about me.  I was all ears.

I made her… she is different. She is unique. With LOVE I formed her in her mother’s womb. With LOVE I fashioned her with great joy. I remember with great pleasure the day I created her. (Ps. 139: 13-16)

I LOVE her smile. I LOVE her ways. I LOVE to hear her laugh. And the silly things she says and does. She brings Me great pleasure… this is how I made her. (Ps. 139:17)

I made her pretty, but not beautiful, because I know her heart, and she would be vain. I wanted her to search out her heart and to learn that it would be Me in her that would make her beautiful… and it would be Me in her that would draw friends to her. (1 Peter 3:3-5)

I made her in such a way that she would need Me. I made her a little more lonesome than she would like to be… only because I need her to lean and depend on Me. I know her heart, I know if I had not made her like this, she would go her own chosen way and forget Me… her creator. (ps. 62: 5-8)

I have given her many good and happy things…. because I love her. (ps. 34:11 and Rom 8:32)

Because I love her I have seen her broken, hurt… and the tears she has cried alone. I have cried them with her, and had a broken heart, too. (ps. 58:6)

Many times she has stumbled and fallen alone only because she would not hold My hand. So many lessons she has learned the hard way because she would not listen to my voice. (Isa. 66:2)

So many times I have sat back and sadly watched her go her merry way alone only to watch her return to My arms, sad and broken. (Isa. 66:2)

And now she is mine again…I made her and then bought her… because I LOVE her. (Rom 5:8)
I have to reshape and remold her… to renew to what I had planned for her to be. It has not been easy for her or Me. (Jer 29:11)

I want her to be conformed to My image… this goal I have set for her… because I LOVE HER! ( 2 Cor 2:14)