Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just a piece of my heart...

November 10, 2011 - with my baby girl
17 years old and she can't wait to hit the world! I remember the day I found out I was pregnant; the joy and excitement I felt. I had waited my whole life for that moment, dreamed about it and now it had arrived. I was scared! How could I take care of another human being? How would I know how? What if instinct didn't kick in? What if I hurt her? Wasn't good enough? What if?
And yet I was mesmerized by her. Every change in my body; every kick; every new sensation. I would spend hours watching her roll around at night in my belly. TV? Didn't need it! I had supersonic mama vision on and it was more exciting than any sci fi show or episode of Law and Order. I only hoped I would be worthy of her... or him. (At the time I was convinced she would be a boy and was stunned when the doctor said she was a girl! I actually argued with him and he assured me he would NOT KID with me about such a thing!) 
2 years old

I had a great doctor. I was 27 years old when I became pregnant and was fortunate to be surrounded by an office full of women who all had the "best advice". They told me what to eat, how often, what to wear, how to care for a baby, parenting tips, medical advice, on and on and on, until I thought I would scream! (Clearly I knew NOTHING!) BUT Dr. Fike told me "Sarah, you are a smart woman. You can read. You have common sense. DON'T listen to those women. You and I will figure it out and I have complete confidence you can do this." Thank you Dr. Fike! I am afraid I have not lived up to your expectations but I have tried.

This little baby was so small, 7lbs 2 oz and so dark (turns out she had jaundice, I just thought she had more colour than me.) She had a beautiful little head of dark hair and she loved me. I knew it right away. She just looked up at me with such trust in her big brown eyes. I promised her that no matter what I would always be there; I would stand up for her; protect her and be the best mom I could be. I haven't been able to protect her as much as I wish and there are times where she stood up for and protected me. My girl, she is amazing, smart, beautiful, world wise, instinctively understands people, is so much more than I could have hoped for. 

She isn't 7lbs anymore, but at 17 and just over 100lbs, she is still my little girl. I can lift her up and hug her; swing her around;  hold her; and kick her ass when she needs it. I have learned it is not my job to be her friend, but to be her mom and help guide her. I have to make her face difficulties head on - especially when she created them. I have to help her gain the strength that I didn't have at 17 and that it took me until I was 37 to achieve. She is strong though and she is a survivor. She has learned what IS important and what is superficial. Yes, it hurts sometimes, but she will move past those hurts and make her a strong independent woman. 

This baby has become a big sister and although she fights with her little sister (often!) I know they would die for each other. This baby has turned into a woman. I think about the life she has been through and I know that I have made many mistakes; I only hope that those moments have shown her a better path. My fear is that she won't want a family and will miss all the joy in order to avoid the pain. She will do what is right for her and I will support her emotionally during her journey.

This baby, child, woman, has moved 6,000km from all she has ever known and everyone she loves except this little core family. She has tried to fit in and been pushed away repeatedly, but she keeps on trying. She won't be stopped. She will get lonely, sad, depressed but I can still make her laugh and smile. She is studying hard and plans to "get out of this place" and forge her own future.

What path that will be, time will tell. I know that it won't be easy and I am realistic with her. I tell her you will fall down, but you WILL get back up. AND there is so much more out there in the world than high scool! If anyone says high school is the best time of your life, it is only because they never did anything after that. High school is only one small piece and for most people, their real life starts after they leave home.

At 10 years old - the age her sister will be soon

I will always be by your side little girl. 
I will walk next to you and pick you up, 
then I will push you forward to start again on your own. 
You are all I wished I could have been. 
You are a fighter! 
You are in my heart, 
a piece of my soul 

One last thing! Tomorrow is Remembrance Day 11.11.11 Please take a few minutes to thank those who have fought for our freedom and our country. I spend the month of November remembering and being thankful for those in my life and what I have loved and lost. Take just a few minutes tomorrow, ok? Thanks!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

And the beat goes on... And the beat goes on...

I haven't felt very motivated to write in recent weeks. Nothing overwhelming has captured my thoughts and made me feel compelled to share. Days are busy, weeks flow into months and time goes on. I don't seem to be moving ahead a great deal but I don't think I am moving backwards either. 

I don't see much of the news except when I sign on to my computer at the beginning of the day and my home page for CTV pops up. At times I am grateful for the lack of world events, at others I feel as though I am being an ostrich and need to pull my head out of the sand. I have let friendships out West slide and been poor about keeping in touch. While in the East I have insulated myself with people around me who are positive, affirming and avoided as much drama as I can. So life goes on...

We had a good dump of snow last weekend and had fair warning so I ensured that I was prepared on Saturday. Jess and I made a quick trip across (slang for over to Maine, USA) and fueled up, got milk and a few necessary items and headed home. Everyone we talked to thought we were being silly. Snow? Nah! Or hardly any! The border guard always ask's "What is the purpose of your trip?" Me "Going to Danforth, fuel, milk and getting ready for the storm!" Him, "Ha! Nah, it's all good." Well, we made our fastest trip yet, less than an hour there and back including 3 stops! (I MIGHT have been speeding... shhh!) When I got home Len and I proceeded to spend the next 3 hours winterizing the joint. Put all planters, odds and sods away - anything that could get in the snow plow's way. Tape the plastic around the base of the house and bring some wood inside. All set! HIT ME SNOW!

All night, nothing. I heard rain dripping on the plastic outside my window but no snow. Imagine my surprise when I got up to get Jess ready for Sunday School and to spend the next 4 hours prepping for the community Halloween party for the kids - there was at least 5" of snow in my dooryard! (Dooryard means front yard) Needless to say I was stunned! I guess the dripping I heard was the snow melting off the roof.

First - a call from the church - cancelled today. Second, call to the Rec Council President - let's cancel the party. The power then went off at least 6 times but we did fine. We were warm by the stove and I cooked my first meal - pot roast with veggies from start to finish on the woodstove and boiled the water for hot chocolate! Pioneer ME!

Halloween came and went. The snow melted so the kids could go out. Jess went with the neighbours and I handed out candy. Rachel stayed in Canterbury - but decided that the haul was much better in our neighbourhood - and at 17 maybe this should be her last year trick or treating - you think? 
Jessica's pumpkin - Nightmare Before Christmas
Rachel's vomiting pumpkin
My little Zombie

Len has been having mousy issues, so I spoke to Glenn about a barn cat. He has been holding one for us, sort of and it was a matter of picking it up. So on Wednesday, Jess and I picked him up - a beautiful little orange and white tabby - who I knew had proven himself to be a mouser and brought him home. Well, doesn't our little farm seem complete now? We have a cat! Dog! Goat! Chickens! I feel like an animal collector now.

Rachel with Finnegan 2
The girls are starting to love it. Even Rachel, she has moments of frustration and loneliness which as a mother breaks my heart - but she is finding out her priorities. She is learning that popularity, labels, money - are not good values. (Yes she still likes those things but knows they are not the MOST important things in her life.) She is studying SO hard! She has school Monday, then 2.5 hours of drivers education. Tues & Wed she has 2 hours of tutoring after school and Thurs always has homework. The girl is exhausted by Friday. Yes, she would like to get out more on the weekends and sometimes it happens, but she is also bonding more with the animals. 

Freya and her pumpkin
All of us think we got the BEST animals! I really believe that Freya the goat is pregnant too, so expect an update on Sarah the Vet and the birth about mid February! That will be a Kodak moment for sure! We have discovered that the goat and chickens are great at recycling pumpkins too. I don't think I throw anything out these days. If it is meat or protein - dog. Veggies - chickens and goat. Breads - all farm animals! Coffee grinds and egg shells - compost.

I really enjoy my community and I am working hard with my good friend Anita to set up a 4-H club for the kids. I really hope that we get the 6 we need to get started and believe it WILL grow after that. There are so many positive opportunities for kids in 4-H and potential experiences that we are rural parents can't give them. The kids out here need to have activities and we need to stop driving 30 miles or more every time they want to do something.

It is cold today, it is 9:30am after the clocks went back an hour and it has warmed up to 0c degrees. We have prepped for the winter as mentioned and now need to start work on birthdays and Christmas. Both of the girls have November birthdays and it is a struggle to make it all work. I know I need to help them celebrate those days but it sure doesn't fit well into the budget. Christmas is around the corner and I vow to have a living room and some furniture for us to enjoy while we gather round the tree. This means making money appear out of my butt - as I so eloquently tell the girls. (I don't say money doesn't grow on trees - because it does - but we don't cut down our forest.) 

Rachel turns 17 this Thursday and as I recall what I was doing 17 years ago, I realize how far I have come. My baby is a young woman - she is smarter and more mature every day - she makes more of an effort to help me and is exploring her future - I am very proud of her. As you can see she is gorgeous and is starting to realize that she has to create her own value system, not what the world tells her it is. This is hard, she still wants - and I believe she should get SOME of those wants. It is the needs, that she is really learning. As we sit and talk about the world revolutions, I know my baby is going to be OK. Although she has struggled through the move, she still likes our home and farm.

Have a great week everyone. I need to go make some money appear out of my butt to give my girl a birthday to remember. Her sweet 16 was very sad for her so 17 has to at least be somewhat memorable for good reasons. Brr! Time for another log on the fire!