When Hannah was born, I immediately had arts and crafts on the brain. I couldn't wait til she was old enough to hold a crayon, a glue gun or scissors. Granted, six months may have been too early but give me points for trying.
We spent endless days with paper and glue and every other item we could find to create something out of nothing. This was before the internet and pinterest. We used our imaginations and imaginations we had. Some days we were exploding. And so did the mess ;)
Fast forward to 2012, when Miss Hannah is majoring in Chemistry at Mount Allison University.
Huh? Whaaaaaaaaaat?????? Yes I know. No graphic arts, no commercial arts, no photography, no arts and crafts, no fine arts career.
Chemistry: the study of matter and the changes it undergoes.
Well wait a minute....WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE : that kind of , sort of, sounds like arts and crafts to me.
So, as I wrap Hannah's gift this year, I say, 'Hello Chemistry! I'd like you to meet arts and crafts. It's a pleasure to meet you.'
or finish at the beginning?
June was the busiest time of my life....weddings,babies, and most importantly, one of the best days of my life.
Hannah graduated from highschool. It was a proud day for me as it seems just yesterday that she marched in to nursery school at age 3, insisting on going in by herself.
She had a fantastic experience of high school, thanks to many people. She made up her mind when she started grade nine, that high school was going to be a good thing. Martha would be proud. She poured her whole self into it.
It was great to see all her friends, graduate with her. It was awesome to see them all dress up for prom and safe grad. What a fantastic time in their lives. And bittersweet as they embark on their futures, leaving this life as they've known it for the majority of their lives so far.
Of course I didn't get a single shot of Hannah alone in her prom dress. Good thing her boyfriend Mike is cute:)
I have three years to settle down before I go through this again with Jacob. And I"m thinking there will be just as many tears;)
What a wonderful life....
Here it is December 1st. The beginning of a new month. The sun is shining, it's a beautiful day.
It's a beautiful day to celebrate a birthday, don't ya think?
This past May I was very lucky to have the trip of a lifetime. I had been dreaming of my trip to the UK, since I was little. So, with airmiles, and some generous friends, I embarked on a journey that was so much more than visiting the UK.
I finally got to meet someone who I had connected through FACEBOOK. I know I know...it's become a somewhat nasty word....the other F word!
Joelle and I met on Facebook through our mutual friend Dana Pugh whom I met in SanFrancisco. It truly is a small world. Joelle and I connected immediately online.
So when I debated a trip to England, she invited me to stay with her family. For real. Without ever meeting me in real life.
I have to admit, I was a wee bit nervous. What if she didn't like me? What would her family think of me?
A warm hug and a cup of tea soon calmed any apprehensions I had. We hit it off immediately.
And then, and then her son came home from school....
Anyone who knows me, knows I would immediately fall in love with this kid. Six years old. Full of life, of humor, of sweetness...plus he has a British accent:) Hello???????? I wanted to move in and stay forever!
And then I gave him a checkboard I had made....
He loved it to say the least. And unfortunately for me, became very good at it, very quickly.
This past week he celebrated his 7th birthday. Sweet. Wish I was there to make him a lemon cupcake. But honestly, I could make him anything and he would love it. He's that kind of kid.
And today, today is his mum's birthday.
I would love to me there to walk to the village and indulge in a sweet treat, and a cuppa....or maybe to the pub and have a pint.
But I am with you in spirit Joelle. Today I celebrate Joelle's birthday, and I celebrate friendship.
Happy Happy Birthday my friend.
Once upon a time on March 5th 1995...
a beautiful baby girl was born. Greer Kathleen.
Beautiful in every single way.
When Greer was 2, her parents found out she was autistic.
From that moment on, their lives changed forever. In every single way. In every single way that most of us take for granted.
This beautiful baby girl and her family were about to embark on a journey that was full of pain, of heartache, of frustration, of financial desperation, of health issues, of challenges that most of us will never know in our lifetime.
Being a parent myself, I know that I only want the best for my children. I wanted a happy, healthy childhood for them. I wanted a fulfilling education that met all of their needs, intellectually ,physically and emotionally. I want a future that is bright.
Of course. Duh. Of course, that's what they deserve. All children.
Afterall, we're all human beings, weren't we all babies once....born into a life full of opportunities?
Then how come, how come Greer's parents have had to fight for the last 13 years for basic care and programs for Greer.
Their battles started early and have escalated through the years. They have worked tirelessly to get the best for Greer. They've had many many meetings with various schools, and government officials. They've done the research. They've written the letters. They've had to fight to get every little thing for Greer.
As a parent, I've never had to fight for anything for my children. I just take it for granted that my children will get the best education and opportunities. I take it for granted that I don't have to lobby the government, or write letters or plead for funding.
And I don't have to live day after day with the physical and emotional needs of an autistic child.
I love Greer and her family. Greer is a beautiful soul who has given so much joy to everyone around her. She is smart, and sweet.
And she is on the verge of losing funding for the ABA program that is vital for her physical and emotional well being. When I say verge I mean by tomorrow.
Cutting Greer's (and many other childrens') funding is not acceptable to me. And it shouldn't be acceptable to anyone else.
In my opinion, the government is saying that one person's life is more valuable than anothers'. NO family should have to go through what Greer's family has had to. No person should be treated with such disrespect.
Greer is a human being. Just like me, just like you. Just like the politicians who have made this choice to cut the funding.
I wonder...I wonder if the person who ultimately made this decision would think differently if he/she was directly affected by this funding cut. I wonder if their son/daughter or grandchild's life would mean enough to change the decision.
There shouldn't even be a question of cutting the funding.
Greer deserves the best ,in every single way.
Because in every single way, she is a human being, just like me and just like you.
Let us reflect on what is truly of value in life. What gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that.- The 14th Dalai Lama
Thankyou for reading this, it is very important to me.
I became a mother. The first words out of my mouth were, "OH NO, she's gonna be a teenager soon." While the doctor assured me I had time, I knew the time was fleeting.
These past seventeen years have been sheer joy with that baby girl. I've watched her grow from a rolly polly baby to a chatterbox who never stopped singing, to a toddler who spent her days dressing up and watching over her younger brother.
I've watched her walk into preschool for the first time, without even a wave. She was so excited to get through those school doors. And she hasn't stopped loving school since.
I've had the honor of watching her grow up, of watching her find herself, in her own way. I've watched her become the person she is today. And while she doesn't sing all the time anymore, and talk in her own little language that only she understands, inside her 17 year old self, I still see my little Hannah.
And while I have tears as I write this, I'm so incredibly happy, that she has become her own person (although let's face it, she was from day one!)....that she is becoming ready to go into the real world. And she's done it herself. I was just here to guide her gently along the way.
Well, sometimes not so gently!
She came into my life for a reason. And I think that reason was to teach me. And among the many things I've learned from Hannah....the main thing was how to really love. How to love one's self and how to love others.
Hannah always dressed herself and not always in the most stylish way shall we say! She wasn't afraid to express herself. When she was about 4 or 5 she asked me why clothes had to match. I told her that they didn't really have to match, that it was society and marketing that says they should match. So when it came to an important Christmas Choir concert when she couldn't find matching shoes, she wore mismatched shoes. Of course she was in the front row. Did she care? Nope.
That's one of the million reasons I love that girl.
So Hannah, my dear sweet girl, Happy Happy Birthday to you. And Happy Happy Birth Day to me....for your birth changed my life and made me a better human being.