Thank you Dad…

Thank you for horsey rides and piggy back rides
Thank you for around the world kisses
Thanks for teaching me how to ride a bike and to stand and pedal
Thank you for family bike rides
Thank you for sharing chips with malt vinegar
Thank you for letting me ride in the truck with you to the Motorola picnic
Thank you for teaching me how to skate. I might skate like a hockey player but I skate.
Thanks for our cat Spotty
Thank you for toboggan rides
Thank you for scratchy kisses
Thank you for swinging with us, even if the swing broke once (darn cheap swing)
Thank you for letting us put barrettes in your hair, you looked so pretty at the gas station
Thanks for walking with us on Hallowe’en
Thank you for the camping trips
Thank you for explaining glaciers and why bedrock has scratches in it
Thank you for campfires
Thank you for barbecue dinners
Thank you for your motor-sickle song
Thank you for nights watching tv in the bunny hole
Thank you for taking us to work with you
Thank you for teaching me how to dance
Thank you for listening
Thank you for teaching my kids how to ride a bike
Thank you for being there for us
I love you Dad

Happy Father’s Day

Dad and I

Thank you Mom…

Thank you for teaching me not to eat funny, melted looking ice cream
Thank you for my gold Sea Wee mermaid and my Mandy doll
Thank you for building me a cool “college student” bookcase out of cinder blocks
Thank you for teaching me about centrifugal force, in the basement, with a bucket of water and a rope.
Thank you for teaching me the times tables, especially nine. I understand nine thanks to your tips. Seven still eludes me.
Thank you for bedtime stories. Even if you had to read The Pokey Little Puppy way too many times.
Thank you for reading The Secret Garden, complete with accents.
Thank you for understanding about the worms… and the spiders… especially the spiders.
Thank you for tree climbing, and fence climbing, and goal post climbing. And for understanding my need to climb.
Thank you for taking us camping and letting us run wild in the woods. Thank you for marshmallow roasting and teaching us not to fling the burning ones with gay abandon (and mild terror).
Thank you for hours of campfire songs.
Thank you for showing us the stars at night and pointing out the big and little dipper and Orion’s belt. I still have no clue who Orion was but I know his belt when I see it.
Thanks for showing me how to hold a baby, raise a child, and sew a button.
Thanks for teaching me that sometimes things will go wrong and you just do what you can to fix it as best you can.
Thanks for teaching me the earth revolves around the sun and all the planets, including Pluto.
Thank you for trips to look for tadpoles and walks to look for fossils. I may not know any others but I’ll always recognize a trilobite.
Thank you for summer bike rides and winter toboggan runs.
Thank you for trips across Canada and many repeats of our favourite songs.
Thank you for all the repetitions and variations of “car games”
Thanks for huge batches of chocolate chip cookies, perfect both warm from the oven and frozen
Thank you for home made Barbie outfits
Thank you for all the little playdough figures that magically appeared at night and for the shells that magically appeared in our garden
Thank you for home made spaghetti sauce, which took all day to simmer and taunted us at lunch.
Thank you for not strangling Dad when he brought home a kitten while we all had the chicken pox
Thanks for teaching me how to swim and dive
Thanks for giving me a camera and a microscope so I could explore my world
Thank you for being there when I need an ear and when I need advice
Thank you for being you. I love you Mom

13177225_10156915761590434_592454299676472021_n

Mother’s Day 2016

Saying goodbye to 2015…

“Is it the new year yet Mom?” Jeremy asked.

I flipped over the last of the fries and put the tray back in the oven. “It depends on what year you’re talking about,” I mused as I started the timer. “It’s the new year compared to 2014 but then 2016 starts in a couple more days.”

“Oh,” zie sighed. “I wanted it to be the new year now. Everything I ordered off Amazon comes next year. How about now? Is it 2016 yet?”

According to the timer, about 25 seconds had elapsed. I sent zir out to buy a fuse and pizza dough after the fourth “how about now” question. We don’t need the pizza dough until tomorrow but I need a bit of quiet writing time and zie needs some fresh air (and a chance to redirect zir thoughts to something other than parcel delivery times).

I figured this would be a year of change and it has definitely lived up to that title. Within the first month of 2015, I had a friend walk out of my life; a friend I thought would be there for life. The second month had me almost lose my Dad to an unknown infection. And to put it as vaguely as possible, living with my daughter Emma for four months caused a huge setback for our relationship. Then I found out that a friend of mine died suddenly… or not so suddenly considering she’d been dealing with medical issues for a while that had been ignored with the advice to “lose some weight”. She shows up in my Facebook memories regularly and it’s a blow to the heart each time.

Depression permeated my life for most of the year and I’m still slowly digging myself back out. I realized this summer that I had stopped reading, which was horribly shocking since I’m the person who couldn’t make it a day without reading something. I’m working on incorporating books back into my life and even bought myself two new novels the day before yesterday.

I posted a brief bit of information about my family history on my personal Facebook account, along with a plea for people to not vote for Stephen Harper, and lost one of my uncles (who declared me to be the rudest, most arrogant person he’s ever met) and my sister Amy. She responded to my yearly, family Christmas card with “fuck off” and a request to never speak to her again. Love was written at the bottom in quotation marks. My uncle didn’t respond at all.

On the flip side, Jeremy had an amazing birthday celebration with one of zir good friends and we both had an incredible time at our Unitarian Universalist campground. We painted our rooms this year and love how they turn out; now we both have a safe place. And we went on some amazing walks. Never underestimate the power of a good walk.

I found two labels that fit me after years of feeling like I simply didn’t fit in anywhere; asexual and autistic. Asexual doesn’t need anything more than a self diagnosis. Hopefully I can find someone who can help me sort out the autism puzzle. I’m on a wait list for a psychiatrist and, presumably, he can help.

This year I took a chance and accepted a whole lot of friend requests with the end result of several new good friends. They make me smile every time I see their posts and I enjoy chatting with them.

And, just when I figured that 2015 was going to end with more bad times than good, my best friend L asked me if I wanted to be in a relationship with him. That definitely pulled 2015 up into the positive 🙂 Jeremy really likes him too.

My goals for 2016 are simpler…

  1. Focus on the family I have. We had a huge family gathering on Boxing Day and it was wonderful. Then, today, Jeremy came with me to work and walked over to zir grandparents’ house. Jeremy’s cousin specifically asked if zie could hang out today. Family, and I’m including L in this, needs to be treasured.
  2. Relax and get back into writing. I have not written or edited a novel in over a year and I miss it terribly. One thing I’ve stopped doing is carrying around a notebook and I need to get back into that habit; that way I have somewhere to jot ideas and conversations. I found I’d do that on the bus then hurry home to add it in on the computer. And I have the cutest journal for that too.
  3. Take time for myself. I need to scrapbook, read, and take the occasional bubble bath. I can’t see myself lying on my deathbed saying “I should have done more dishes and mopped twice a week”. I’ve picked up a lot more frozen veggies so I can pare down cooking time. Hopefully this will increase my free time.
  4. Encourage Jeremy to find something to do outside of surfing the net and browsing for products. This one is going to be tricky considering Jeremy has very limited interests beyond the computer but I’ll work with zir and see what we can come up with together.

Tomorrow is the very last day of 2015 and then we’re on to a bright, shiny new year. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!

Jeremy's rainbow unicorn snail

Jeremy with zir rainbow unicorn snail from Karen

 

And my heart melted…

“Mom! You have to look at our tree!”

Jeremy announced this as soon as I walked in the door from work. I headed into the living room and eyed the tree nervously. The was no smoke or frayed wires. Nothing other than the TARDIS was spinning. Actually I couldn’t see any difference.

Jeremy sighed. “Look down at the presents.”

Oh. There was a new one there with Jeremy’s name clearly printed across the front. My Mom had volunteered to drive twenty minutes each way to pick Jeremy up and take zir to counselling then suggested taking Jeremy out for lunch. Apparently a shopping trip had followed their meal.

“I bought you a present,” zie added. “Well, Nana bought it but I picked it out and I know you’ll really like it. I can’t wait until Christmas when you open it.”

I gave the present a curious look. It’s small and skinny… too small to be a book. Maybe a candle? Goodness knows I’ve got enough to light our entire apartment in a power failure but one more wouldn’t hurt.

“Mom, when I get my inheritance money from Grandpa, I’m going to give Nana and Grandad a hundred dollars. They’ve done so much for me over the years. Taking me places… buying me things… every single present I’ve ever given you was paid for by Nana. They deserve to have something given to them for a change.”

And, with that my heart melted.

Jeremy’s in love…

Zie fell in love at Target and it was infatuation at first sight. At least on Jeremy’s side, I’m pretty sure the toaster was indifferent.

It wasn’t just any toaster though, it was this…chevrons
… an expensive, chevron coated toaster. Jeremy stopped so suddenly, I almost walked into zir.

“Oh wow,” zie breathed. “Mom! Look at those!”

“Yes, that’s a lot of chevrons.” I blinked rapidly. The patterns were blinding.

“We have to get them! At the very least the toaster!”

I couldn’t manage to stifle my sigh. By this time we’d been through all of Dollarama and half of Target with Jeremy begging for “just this” every few steps. If I’d bought everything zie wanted, I’d need to rent a U-haul to take it home. Besides…

“I bought a toaster this summer,” I reminded zir. It was zir turn to sigh.

“Our toaster’s boring. You have no sense of style,” Jeremy retorted. Zie gave the toaster a longing glance. “This is fabulous. We need it. Look! It has a bagel button.”

“Our toaster already has one.” Which was pointless because we might have two or three bagels a year. “I’m not spending $40 on a toaster we don’t need.”

I snapped a quick picture than we left with Jeremy muttering under zir breath about my decorating skills. I ignored the comments. I also didn’t remind zir about how much zie liked our toaster when I bought it.

And if this is a taste of how Jeremy’s going to decorate when zie has a place of zir own, I’m going to need to stock up on sunglasses.

This is wholesome… this is love…

My friend Lenny shared a video with me this morning. It’s a response by Honey Maid to the comments they’ve received for their “This is Wholesome” video… which I forgot to share here a couple of weeks ago.

Umm, I guess better late than never works here:

Also, if anyone’s interested, they have a mini documentary on “Dad and Papa”:

Now, Lenny sent me a link to an article on Slate titled Honey Maid ad responds to homophobia with love. It contains this video and it’s well worth watching:

Second guessing myself

I couldn’t stop giggling yesterday while walking home with Jeremy. He had a full can of iced tea and was talking animatedly about some show he was watching on YouTube. Every gesture sent another wave of soft drink flying onto the pavement. At home he’d have put the can down before gesturing wildly but that’s not really possible while walking outside. He insisted he got most of his drink, I was looking at those splashes and wasn’t sure about that.

We got home and I began making dinner while Jeremy moved onto the computer. He was playing something to do with Doctor Who, either a mod added to a current game or a mod of a Doctor Who game. It involved the TARDIS and the theme song, and some irritation from Jeremy because it wasn’t modded enough for him. I couldn’t find the jalapeno pepper and Jeremy, who’d put the groceries away, promptly informed me it was in the right hand crisper. He went in and pulled it out. Then showed me where the creamer was (on the bottom shelf). I was duly impressed. Usually he just shrugs and says “I dunno”. Even if he was the one who put them away moments earlier.

Jeremy leaned against the fridge as I diced the jalapeno pepper.

“Mom? If the TARDIS showed up, I’d jump into it right away. I’d let you on too but you’d need me to drive it. Then we’d go through time and space and I’d pick up all sorts of women.”

With that he walked back into the living room, leaving me watching him in confusion. I washed my hands and followed him out.

“So, does that mean you’re 100% interested in women?” I asked, trying to keep my voice light and amused instead of sounding like I was drilling him.

He shrugged then quietly said, “No”.

“Do you know who you’re interested in?”

Another “no”.

I crouched down, leaning my chin against the back of the chair, then rested one hand on his chest.

“I bet you do know,” I commented quietly. “Jeremy, don’t worry so much about gender. Love who’s in your heart.”

Then I wandered back into the kitchen and started a round of self-guessing myself. Am I being overly supportive to the point of being mushy, leaving him no real support at all? Or, even worse, could I be subconsciously pushing him?

I took a psychology class in college years ago and the teacher talked about a portion of the brain that contains thoughts the rest of your mind knows nothing about. That confused the heck out of me at the time. If the thoughts were entirely unknowable and undetectable then how would anyone know about them? It seemed as likely as claiming there’s an entire alien civilization on the dark side of the moon, the proof being we haven’t seen them and know nothing of them.

But if that teacher was right, could I be influencing him with thoughts I don’t even know I’m having? And why would I do that anyway? Unless… maybe it could be a way of making him less like his father. I don’t actually see a lot of his father in him but people who knew his father years ago, often comment on how much Jeremy looks like him. Then again, since I already don’t see much of his father in him, why would I try to influence him to be different? That thought circles back around to those unknown thoughts.

The thing is, I really can’t picture Jeremy in a serious relationship with a woman. He’s had two girlfriends so far and pretty much kept them at arm’s length. He wasn’t rude to them, he just didn’t seem all that interested in them. I didn’t see any difference in their relationships before and after they broke up. And I’ve seen Jeremy with his male friends. With them there was a lot more casual touching and Jeremy seemed a lot more involved and interested in them. Maybe that’s normal for boys, I grew up with sisters and have no real idea how boys act with their friends.

As it is, I’ll keep raising him as I already have and I’ll just keep hoping I’m not screwing up too much. Which, come to think of it, pretty much sums up all my parenting so far.