An explanation

Two weeks ago, Taylor Mali, who has already made an appearance in these “pages,” was the keynote speaker for our annual ped day. In the afternoon, he led a poetry workshop, and the previous entry is the result of that session. Having had two weeks to digest, I have made a few changes to the lines, and they appear in a different order than that in which they were written.
For many of the lines, Mali gave us a prompt, such as “I remember…”, and our task was to complete the sentence. Many of us shared our work at the end of the workshop, and it was a wonderful experience.
I was a big fan of Mali’s before the ped day, and he did not disappoint.


Once when I was naked I became utterly fascinated by the undulations of my belly as my unborn son moved within me.
You should probably know that I constantly promise myself that I will be a better parent tomorrow, and I constantly let myself down.
I remember when we moved, and I rode in the backseat of the van with my mother driving, and my infant sister strapped into a dresser drawer on the front seat.
Before I knew how to drive, I used to devote a lot of time to figuring out how to get my mother to drive me places she didn’t want to go.
My childhood was an elegant orange ten-speed bike that pinged as stones hit the spokes as I raced down dirt roads that really were better suited to a sturdy mountain bike.
I remember the awful pause after the minister said “as you stand before us, about to be married, think again…”
I’m not interested in how many times you jumped out of a plane before we met; what I want to know is will you still hold my hand, after all these years, as we walk down the street.
I remember the first time I felt a baby move inside me, and the hum he used to make when I fed him.
You should probably know that your commitment to learning will take you a lot further than any one thing you actually learn.

Progress, whether we like it or not

After a month of trudging down to the basement to answer every call of nature, we finally have running water and a fully-installed toilet in the upstairs bathroom. This coming week, the vanity cabinets should be installed, after which the granite counter goes in and we’re done (save for the painting etc., but we’re not expecting that to take us long).
We have also managed to reset all the clocks, now that we’ve fallen back, and appreciated the extra hour of sleep, if not the inexorable march of time, even with a step back. It’s officially fall, almost winter – our snow tires are on, the heat is on, even our winter duvet is on…
We celebrated Robert’s ninth birthday yesterday (a week and a half late, due to various other engagements), and as I write this, Dr. T is taking Colin shopping for his own deodorant and shower soap. On Friday, he had an interview at Royal West Academy, because he’s starting high school next September. This morning, he got out of bed and made himself a fried egg.
I am, despite what the preceding may have implied, inclined to count my blessings:
– We’ve “struggled” with that long walk to the downstairs toilet because we’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful house and can afford to indulge in luxuries like finished basements and second bathrooms.
– We spent ages resetting clocks because our house is filled with appliances and electronics that make our home life easy and entertaining – and in fact it didn’t take all that long, since so many of our devices now reset themselves automatically.
– We have a wonderful new car, which is great, and we were astute enough to get our tires relatively early, thus avoiding the rush that will no doubt occur on December 14th (the day before Quebecers are required by law to have their winter tires installed). Even better, we live in a city with a pretty good, relatively cheap public transport system, which means we can be a one-car family that rarely uses its car.
– We have an efficient heating system that is relatively ‘green’ and keeps us cozy all winter, and we’re spoiled enough to have seasonal bedding!
– We have two amazing sons, who are becoming increasingly interesting people, with very defined and distinct interests, personalities, styles and temperaments. They’re doing well in school, which they both love, and we’re immensely proud of them.
So yes, we like progress.