Archive for October 2008

Happy Hallowe’en (roar)

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Costumes by Duncan’s magical godmother Michelle.

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travelling and identity

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Living this far from where we grew up means that we make an annual pilgrimage back to Toronto every October. We go in October because it’s when Ontario is at it’s best, visually dominated by fiery red and orange leaves against bright blue skies (I love that my kids see where I grew up under ideal conditions; not too hot or too cold). Duncan raked leaves and jumped in them, visited an orchard and rode on a tractor, played at parks across Toronto and beyond, and refused to try sushi (more for me) – I couldn’t ask for a better vacation for him.

Travelling with Fraser was a challenge though. Just like his brother at six months, Fraser found the time difference and new surroundings stressful. We spent a lot of time with him in bed with one of us, while the other cuddled up to Duncan in the next room. I’m more exhausted than any time since the first few weeks, but it’s worthwhile to give Fraser the chance to cuddle with his maternal grandparents and two of his great-grandparents. He may be too young to understand who these people are, but I think he can understand the unconditional love they have for him and that’s got to be a lovely feeling.  

Going home each year is a strange experience though, as each year Canada feels less and less like home, and more like a foreign country.  This city I grew up in has changed and I’ve changed, and like any couple that fails to communicate regularly, we’re no longer on the same wavelength.  Jules wrote about the mum uniform in Dundee last month and I identified completely. This month I noticed that the contrast with the mums in Toronto was startling – no Next jeans and floaty tops? What are they wearing? (Lululemon of course – they must eat less cake than we do here).  In a thousand trivial ways I’m turing into a Scottish mother and my boys will be Scottish first and Canadian second. The question is how do I retain our Canadian identity and pass on its strengths to my sons without taking away from embracing the identity of where we live now, the spirit of the place? Answers on a postcard, or in the comments please! 

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Nana, Papa, and Bompa with the three cousins (!!!) Fraser, Duncan and Carson 


4. slings and smiles

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Because Fraser’s smile is the first thing I see most mornings, and his giggles follow close behind, the fact that we’ve been up many times a night seems to fade in my memory…

Days are great lately, with you coming everywhere with me in one of the slings closebabycarrier.com, see here, or babyhawk.com). I’m totally into baby wearing, it means that you get to see stuff from my perspective and it means I’ve got my hands free to run after your brother. Everyone wins. You nap in the sling, play in the sling, and check out the world from it’s lofty perch. I’m amazed that everyone doesn’t carry their babies, and yet when we go anywhere, people are always checking us out. What could be better than cuddles all day long?