My toddler Max is a funny little fellow. Lately he walks around all day humming songs out loud. I guess he is actually singing, but to us it sounds like humming because he doesn’t actually use real words. He just loves — LOVES — songs. So, if he is feeling a bit grouchy, or if you are changing his diaper and he is not impressed about having to lay still, all you need to do is start singing a song. Immediately, he is captivated.
So last night, while he was in the bath, I was folding up the clean towels (gawd, how domestic does that sound??) and this song just came to me. I started singing it out loud to him and I haven’t been able to stop since!
If you’re of my vintage, I thought you might enjoy this little walk down memory lane too.
So, just sing! Sing a song! (It will help you get through “hump day” – promise!)
People I know who don’t read my blog often ask me what it’s about, and why do I blog. But since you’re here, you likely already have a good understanding of the answer to those two questions. What it really comes down to is that blogging allows me to observe the human experience — in ways that I will never experience personally. There is simply no way that I can experience everything in my life. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to soak it up and explore it a bit anyhow. And I think that’s why so many bloggers are avid blog readers. It’s all about sharing stories. Giving stories a voice.
You might recall me telling you that I signed on as a writer with the Life As A Human e-zine. With only two months under its belt, the team anticipates that the site will hit more than 100,000 page views for March alone. And I’m definitely one of those page viewers! Although I can’t claim to have read every single post, I rarely miss a day of checking-in and reading at least one.
And in this spirit of sharing stories, I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you:
Grandkids: You just have to wait I’ve been really enjoying the writing of Terry Hume. He’s a heavy duty mechanic with a knack for humorous writing. Try out this post and see if you laugh like I do!
Why I’m Really Running this Marathon
Victoria Klassen shares her grief and how it lives on within her. Try out this post and see if you don’t have tears streaming down your face like I did.
Coming Out: Revealing Secret Passions Now that I’ve led you to laughter and tears, I’ll leave you feeling inspired! Schmutzie shares how it feels to finally take ownership of the label “writer.”
If you’ve got a post still ringing in your ears or scratching at your heart that you’d like to share, please leave a link in the comments so we can all enjoy it and add a new blogger to our reading.
The whole concept of hyper-parenting is never really far from my mind, actually. It’s something that I consciously, actively want to avoid doing to my children. And yet, it seems we live in a world where hyper-parenting is almost becoming the norm. Or at least that’s how I felt when I just completed this registration form for my daughter to play soccer this summer. Here’s some of the verbiage from the waiver I just signed to release the organization from any liability:
The risks and hazards include but are not limited to injuries from: [...] Grass, turf and other surfaces including bacterial infections and rashes; Falls to the ground due to uneven or irregular terrain or surfaces; collisions with walls and soccer equipment; Extreme weather conditions which may result in heatstroke, sunstroke or hypothermia; Contact, colliding or being struck by other participants [...] Experience anxiety while challenging himself/herself during the activities [...]
Surely, I’m not the only one laughing – or at least rolling their eyes – when filling out these forms, am I?
Oh yes, those nasty grass hazards! Good thing they warned me about that. Oh, wait — my child can trip and hurt themselves while playing a sport? — no way, I’m not signing her up now!
You know, I feel bad that this organization has had to protect itself in this manner from the parents of its participants. So, it seems like nice timing that my Hyper-parenting post has just been reposted on the “Blissfully Domestic” site on the same day that I’m signing these ridiculous forms.
I’m really interested to what comments come in because the majority of readers for this “coffee with Julie” blog are Canadian, whereas the majority of readers on “Blissfully Domestic” are American and likely did not see the documentary … will they agree that there is hyper-parenting going on in their country? Will they recount similar experiences to ours? You can follow along with the discussion too by clicking here.
So, all the Ontario kidlets are now back to school. I hope most of you were able to enjoy some March Break relaxation.
Things here have been busy for me (as I’m sure it is for other Ottawa local readers since government fiscal year-end = lots to do and all on by an immovable deadline of March 31st). Wouldn’t it be great if the kids’ spring break started on April 1st?
My 7-year-old, Stella, and hubby, however took some time off for quality pursuits. Yes, you’re probably thinking about this. But I’m not sad to report that that never materialized. Instead, she achieved this:
Yes, she climbed her very own mountain!!! As you can imagine, we are crazy proud of her. Hubby gave her plenty of opportunities to turn around, but she was really determined to make it to the top.
This peak is one of over 100 different peaks, ranging in height from 1200 to over 5000 feet (370 m to over 1500 m) in the Adirondack Mountains, which surround beautiful Lake Placid. And the mountain peak that she is facing is actually Mont Cascade, the one I climbed earlier this season.
So now we have both tackled our first mountains!
One little difference, though. After I climbed my mountain, I returned to a nice cozy hotel room. And Stella? Here’s where she and hubby chose (chose!) to stay:
We’re about the same age, the National Arts Centre (NAC) and I. It would seem that, like most of us, the NAC’s biggest fans are its parents — the generation that created and brought this centre to life.
But there’s no doubt about it, its biggest fans are getting older. The people who are their most loyal subscribers will soon be retiring from their seats in the audience. Fresh bottoms will be needed to fill these seats.
Bottoms like mine.
That’s why I’m so pleased to see how hard the NAC is working to keep itself relevant to my generation. It’s not easy to keep an arts centre of this size and breadth alive, especially during any kind of economic downturn, when people stop spending and start staying home.
So here’s a clever little initiative that the NAC has started: blogger nights.
The centre now has an e-markting officer (Jennifer Covert), a Twitter handle (@CanadasNAC) and a blog. And sure, lots of organizations have these things, but the NAC is really doing them quite well.
Consider that the Le Cafe now has a new chef — Micheal Blackie, who many of us Ottawa locals will know from Brookstreet’s Perspectives restaurant in Kanata. My hubby (who was invited to join me) is a bit of a foodie, so he was quite taken-in with Blackie’s offerings. We wanted to hear more, so we asked Sarah — a woman who introduced herself to us and explained that she works to help market the orchestra — what she knew about him. She told us that one of the interesting things that Blackie has started is a Brunch. Huh. Who knew? And how great is that! A brunch along the canal would be a wonderful way to spend a morning. Hubby immediately suggested that we do this with my family on Sunday. (See – it works, doesn’t it? And now I’m blogging about it too – double points for the NAC.)
A number of other thoughtful details went into this blogger night too. Peter Herrndorf, NAC President and CEO, came to mingle with us bloggy folks. And in the lobby, a special table was set up with wifi and laptops so that we could tweet or blog on site. Beside this table was a poster welcoming the bloggers with a list of our names and urls. How special do we feel, now? Yes, smart engagement yet again.
Then we got to see the show Mysterioso: Music and Magic. I never in a million years would have bought tickets and gone out to see this show. For one, it really wasn’t my style of show (as I suggested here). And two, people my age often don’t go out much — we’re so used to being home and caring for our babies.
And that’s precisely the point: I did go out to the show. And even though I still wouldn’t call it my style of show, I had a fabulous time. The performers, acutely aware of magic shows’ slightly cheesy reputation, played it up tongue-cheek all night. I howled with laughter at the Les Anrold and Dazzle performance! Dazzle is the magician’s assistant, and she was so funny that she stole the entire night for me. Here’s a clip if you feel like having a little Friday fun break:
Hubby and I walked out of the NAC feeling like a million bucks last night. It gave us an opportunity to remember how much we enjoyed going out before the kids came along. And it proved to us that the organizing required to get ourselves a night out was totally worth it in the end and that now that our children were no longer babies, there’s no reason not to treat ourselves to “date nights.”
We’re exactly the market that the NAC wants (needs?), come to think of it. We’re old enough to have the income for a season subscription and we’re young enough that we can fill seats for years to come. And you know, we might just do that.
I’d love to keep our national arts centre alive and well — thriving! What suggestions do you have for the NAC to keep relevant?
Disclosure: I received wine, appetizers and two tickets to the show — with no strings attached. Thanks Jennifer and thanks NAC — much appreciated!