Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This language echoes in my soul, even as I never learned to speak it. My grandfather spoke Gaelic as a young man, but never taught his own children. I still remember him calling me "di dunn broayagh" or "little brown maiden" as a child.

I sometimes think it is a shame my children know little of their heritage as half-Cape Bretoners. Instead, they are wee Canadians to the core.

Minimize the window and just listen to Mary Jane Lamond sing my heritage.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From a stone to a fish

More than three years ago, I blogged about (then) Little I.'s near drowning experience during a swimming lesson. The experience left him with an enduring fear of water over his head, and a reluctance to be in the swimming pool. He was so reluctant that I pulled him out of lessons several months afterwards; he was not passing the first level after months and months, and he had asked for "a break."

However, last summer all of the older children asked to start swimming lessons again, so I enrolled them. I. and A. were in the same class in September; in January, A. moved up to Swim Kids 2, while I. repeated Swim Kids 1.

I took the boys to their last lesson of this set tonight. I.'s lesson is first, then A.'s. so I decided to bring the baby and swim with whichever boy was not in a lesson while the other practised.

I. had his lesson first, then received his swimming report card. He walked up to me, beaming, clutching the swimming badge in his wet fist. He had passed, with only two tries!

He hopped into the pool with me and Baby E. and we started to play in the water. As I watched him swim, splashing and kicking, confidently swimming underwater, I could feel my eyes pricking and my throat clenching. He was having fun, fearless fun, in the very pool where I nearly lost him. This was wonderful!

Fear is a terrible emotion to harbour; it's like a stone in your stomach, or like fluid in the lungs. It pulls you down, steals your air. And now Big. I. is free of it, free and floating. I've never been more proud of him.

New column: Back to work

Here's this week's column!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for Japan

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, by iconographer Daniel Mitsui
Dear Mother of God, I humbly ask you now to help all your children in Japan. Mother, please console them as they weep for their dead, search for their missing, and care for each other in this time of need. Protect them from further harm, from the dangers of radiation, aftershocks, and any other tsunamis. Especially, give them the strength you showed as you watched your Son die on the Cross. I ask this all through your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The  Red Cross is accepting donations for Japan, as are other organizations. Please, even if it's only $10, give when and what you can. The Japanese are a testament to fortitude, bravery and calm in this multitude of disasters. We all need to support them through these enormous trials.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead

Wow, oh wow, have you heard Adele's new album? Total aural bliss.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

29 days to go

I go back to work in 29 days. How I am going to leave this beautiful, funny and gregarious little guy, I have no clue.