Friday, December 31, 2010

My sentiments exactly

It's not often that I read an article in the Toronto Star that puts a tear in my eye, in a sentimental way that is:)

This morning I was searching out the crossword and intrigued by the title "I resolve to stop time from flying", I stopped. This is such a wonderful story and embodies all that I feel in my own life right now. I really wanted to share this with all of you.

Many thanks to Vinay Menon for sharing his sentiments about time flying. It is also my biggest resolution for the New Year.
Stop time from flying....

Here is Vinay's column from The Toronto Star, New Year's Eve - Friday, December 31, 2010.

"It is Sunday night, just after 11 p.m. when I hear a pitter-patter of footsteps descending the basement stairs.

I glance toward the landing and see Charlotte, one of my 4-year-old twin daughters. Bedecked in princess pajamas, clutching her beloved Ariel doll, she pauses, spots me on the couch and then runs toward my outstretched arms.

“Why aren’t you in bed?” I ask, swooping her into my lap. “You should be sleeping.”

Charlotte smiles and crinkles her face, as if to buy some time before offering an explanation that never comes.

“I opened the gate and came down all by myself!” she says, with the breathless enthusiasm of someone who has just conquered Everest. “The hallway was dark but I wasn’t scared. Do you know why?”

“No,” I say, trying and failing to sound stern. “Why?”

“Because I’m a big girl!”

It breaks my heart but it’s true: In 2010, my babies turned into big girls.

One day, when my wife and I were too frazzled to notice, it just happened.

The girls started zipping up their coats. They started writing their names. They started opening the fridge. They started buckling their car seats. They started getting dressed on their own.

They started needing us less.

Is it really New Year’s Eve? Already? Wasn’t it just Halloween? And how did Christmas zoom past this month in a virtually undetectable blur?

Fatherhood, I fear, is distorting my sense of time.

The year in review? Okay, here’s what happened this year: The real world slowed to a crawl as my personal world spun wildly off its axis.

The Olympics, the iPad release, the G8/G20 summits, the BP oil spill, the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the Toyota recalls, the harmonized sales tax, prorogation, World Cup, Tiger Woods’ exit, Conan O’Brien’s return, the Chilean miner rescue, America’s health care reform, the British election — all of these events seem like a lifetime ago.

But the girls’ first day of kindergarten, I swear to you, it happened five minutes ago. They were in highchairs yesterday, I’m sure of it. Now they’re unwrapping bicycles from Santa. Weren’t they in cribs last month? Now they’re doing somersaults and cartwheels? They were just speaking in fragmented code and now they are regaling us with descriptive expositions about their friends and teachers and school, and why does my personal year in review feel so achingly fleeting?

I’m not one for resolutions. But with 2011 nearly upon us, I must find a way to correct this accelerated time-space continuum. I must find a way to stop the hours from turning into minutes. I must prevent the weeks from turning into days so the months stop vanishing with a blink of my eye.

After you have kids, does the Gregorian calendar ever return to normal? Or is this the new normal? Will the real world continue to slow down as my personal world makes me dizzy with its blinding speed?

Back to the basement, back to Sunday night.

I rise from the couch, carrying my big girl. I get ready to walk upstairs, where another big girl and their mother are sleeping.

But Charlotte attempts to defer this second tuck-in attempt. She buys more time by pointing at a picture perched on a bookshelf.

In the 2004 photo, my wife and I are sitting on a marble bench, in front of a reflecting pool as the Taj Mahal gleams in the background.

“Where am I?” Charlotte asks.

“You were not born yet,” I say.

“Where is Ava?” she asks.

“She wasn’t born yet, either,” I say. “That picture was taken a long time ago when Mommy and I went on an airplane to see another country.”

“Are you scared of the dark hallway?” she suddenly asks.

“No,” I reply. “It’s not scary.”

“Daddy, I also don’t think it’s scary!”

“Because you’re a big girl?”

“Yes, because I’m a big girl.”

Charlotte looks at the picture again and sweetly taps my chin. Then unable to wrap her head around the “not born yet” concept, unable to make sense of time in her personal world, she asks a question.

“Did you miss us?”

“Yes,” I say."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When you just need to dance

You must have some proper dancing music.

A real, soft, pink Tutu is such a wonderful addition

Wiggle your toes to get ready!

Head for the perfect spotlight.

A nice ballet stretch

And take it away Zoë

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Afternoon at the Symphony

A couple of years back the Toronto Symphony Orchestra did a production of Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman". This year they repeated the magic with another of Briggs' stories, one of which I was totally unaware..."The Bear". Same format, huge screens with the orchestra playing all the music and an orator telling the story. It was just wonderful.

Helen and I attended as "Grandmothers-in-waiting". Waiting until our little ones are old enough to sit and enjoy the many aspects of the symphony and the story and the fun. At intermission, the children go out into the lobby and construct polar bears from modeling clay. Seeing all the kiddies in their Christmas finery and the sheer excitement of the season in their eyes is worth the price of admission. There is nothing quite so sweet as a red wool coat with a velvet collar and black patent leather shoes.

It is very difficult at the moment to get a copy of the book, "The Bear", but one can watch all parts of the video on line. Here is a sampling and if you like, you can complete the viewing with parts 2 and 3. I think Zoë will like this...soon.
If you have a moment to sit down with your cup of tea and hear a story, this is a great one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

The countdown begins

One week from today, Zoë arrives in Canada from Belgium!
[Her parents are coming too] :)

This is my version of the dress her mother wore on her first birthday.

Jane and Puppa celebrating her first birthday in Ottawa

Judith Marquis my teacher was very patient with my hysterics and memory lapses as to what comes next???

Now all we need is the baby!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heavily into "Crocs/Crocks"

I had to visit my doctor today to get my prescriptions renewed and happened to mention that I had self diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis. After congratulating me on my medical breakthrough, she welcomed me to the club.

It would seem that this is a very common ailment. Due to inflammation, the advice that I got from the gym ladies, [who have now become my life consultants], to take Tylenol and limp was indeed what the doctor ordered, except for one small helpful hint ...CROCS! Only the name-brand "real" Crocs. Now I have to find a Croc Shop. Last week it was a "Crock Pot" and this week Crocs on the old heels.

Not sure if these fetching numbers will be what I choose. They are $5.00 more expensive than the same pair minus the Canadian flag. Go figure. They are fleece lined and if they work, it may help me to walk and sleep without pain.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Watching the time

While wandering around Ellicott City, Maryland, I spied Father Christmas checking on the time....not a minute to waste these days!

He really was a sweet guy just waiting in front of the toy store for all the little boys and girls.

This one little girl in particular was not quite so sure about her encounter with the jolly old elf. She was chattering away to herself, finger in place and NOT going to let go of mommies skirts, no matter who he was!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Art and Utility

This is the cutest little piece made from vintage images and recycled materials.
It can hold your keys and sunglasses or change when you come in the door, anything you wish to place or hang.

I recently met artist Erika Rubel in Baltimore, at the Visionary Art Museum. There was a craft show in the upstairs gallery which this weekend, assuaged my missing the One Of A Kind Show here in Toronto, and Judith missing an equally traditional art outing in North Carolina.

The Hadmatter

It was so difficult to choose. There were photos of old 50's cars with 50's arborite table top bases surrounded by silver metal diner table edges. Parisian photos were spectacular. I just loved this particular piece. We have had our first stay-on-the-ground snow today, makes me think.... it's time to dig out the skates!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm feeling.....

I'm feeling like I'm reverting a bit. Reverting to the "olden days". Despite the fact that The Professor and I are empty nesters, the gym ladies made crock pot cooking sound so wonderful, that I am reverting to the days when I had everyone around the table, every night.

Couldn't resist the new digital version at Costco. Tonight we are having fall-off-the-bone spareribs. They are in there now, doing their magic! I'm hopeful that I can use this over the Christmas holidays when the house is full and the kitchen so small. Now I have to find new/old recipes!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Public Service Announcement

I tried this and it truly is perfect. I always do the over-the-shoulder check BEFORE changing lanes, but this really is helpful. I had to drive around town trying to get someone into my blind is it...when they are there, you never see them, when you want them there, they are somewhere else!

Thanks Helena!