I have moved my site to www.scotianwinemama.com, hope you can come by and join me there!
I have moved my site to www.scotianwinemama.com, hope you can come by and join me there!
If I were to complete on of those “What are your Favorites” lists, my favorite TV show of all time is Seinfeld, and based on the fact that you can still watch it any day of the week 15 years after it finished, I am not alone. When the shows were new there was very little that would keep me from seeing it on Thursday nights. Some say it wasn’t as good in the later years but I always liked it. There are classic episodes from every season in my opinion. I can remember when it first came on and I would watch it and no one else had really caught on to it yet, so I didn’t have anyone to laugh with about it. That changed though and how many of the catch phrases have become part of our everyday speech? At least in my crowd anyway!
Some of my favorites:
And so many more that pop into your head, sometimes at inappropriate times, but are so right on the money.
If you are in need of some original Seinfeld you have to start following “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, now in it’s second season. I wait every Thursday for the new online episode and have not been disappointed yet. It’s Jerry interviewing other comics one on one. Really worth your time.
Wonder if there is a repeat one now that I can catch…
The moving truck is coming tomorrow to shift all my mother’s belongings from our house of 35 years and move it to her new place, just a few minutes away. There is a very large dumpster parked in her driveway which holds mostly junk, but also some memories. My two sisters and I went from Halifax down to Sydney on the July 1 long weekend to do our part. They did all the heavy lifting, literally. My brother-in-law also stood out in his hauling and flinging abilities into said dumpster. We all have our talents, and while hauling things up and down stairs may not be mine I hope I was able to contribute something that weekend.
It is funny how the “value” of things change depending on how tired you are, or how much space is now left in your stuffed car trunk. We all got to take important things home, in some cases even when we didn’t know they still existed. Apologies to the new owners for leaving the early 1970 version of the Collier’s Encyclopedia set up there, we just couldn’t haul that downstairs from the attic! There were 2 old bridesmaid’s gowns of mine (both of which got turfed, just like both of those marriages are now turfed), my white grad prom gown, and various old papers etc. I actually had my grading certificate from Grade 4 and showed my son that I did in fact get straight A’s in Grade 4 (which he just finished). He then informed me that we only had 4 courses back then so it must have been easier to get straight A’s. Yeah, that’s it.
I have tried to do what I can from 400km away. I have found Mum her movers, a cleaning lady, sold some stuff on Kijiji, given advice (although I have never sold a house only bought one), and tried to be a positive voice for her when the house wasn’t selling and all this moving business was looming in front of her. I am so glad it is over.
I do hope the next owners are happy there but it’s more important that Mum is happy in the next part of her life.
It is our duty to care for the ones who once cared for us, and for us that is our Mum. And I hope Dad is raising a glass of Smuggler’s Cove in heaven and thinks we did a good job.
Things I know for sure:
Get the hang of this blogging thing or you will end up posting stuff before it is ready!
In 5 years of being the mother of a school age child I know that the vast majority of teachers/staff are wonderful and kind and have your kid’s best interest at heart. While I am glad that most elementary teachers are women (for the motherly type treatment when they are really young), it is nice also to have a male teacher/leader, they tend to put more expectations on the students, and as they get older that is always good.
I find it very hard to call my son’s teachers by their first names, even though for the most part they have all been younger than me. They encourage you to do that, and call you by your first name (which I have no problem with), but there is still that respect thing – and for sure they are always referred to as Ms._____ in our house, not sure if Alex even knows their first names!
I love being able to communicate regularly by email with Alex’s teachers. With my schedule I don’t pick him up until after 4pm each day, and only am able to take him to school one day per week. Most teachers are gone by 4, or if they aren’t they don’t want to chat at that time without an appointment.
Be involved in your kid’s school as much as you can with your schedule. In my experience the most actively involved parents are the ones with full time jobs and lots of other commitments. I guess it’s true that if you want something done, ask a busy person. I walked into the Parent Teacher group meeting in the first month that Alex started Primary. I knew no one, so that was out of my comfort zone for sure. I had been lurking on the school’s website for 6 months before he started, read minutes of meetings and tried to get the gist of what went on. In fact as he starts his last year in elementary I have already started doing that for his next school too!
I want Alex to be a good student (which he is) but you don’t really know they are good without a reference point. With no other kids I don’t know what is good or not good, and truthfully report cards are not a whole lot of help. Alex has gotten good marks in things I don’t feel he knows so well, but he met the “outcome” and so gets an A. Nothing wrong with the old way of teaching things in my opinion, and the schools should go back to a little bit of that in some areas. So I try to discretely ask him how other kids have done on a quiz or something like that, just to see where he may fit in. He doesn’t even know most of the time (or he doesn’t tell me) which is probably good.
This past school year (Grade 4) is the first full year that Alex has been walking to school with friends anytime the opportunity is there. Now, we only live 10 minutes from school in a quiet neighbourhood, but I was nervous about it when he started walking at the end of Grade 3. When I was in Grade 4, I walked from our house to downtown Sydney (probably a 45 minute walk), got my ears pierced on my own, and walked back. If you let your child do that now you would be considered a negligent parent! The safety and security back then is a real loss in today’s world.
I am extremely envious of parents who live in the same place as their Mother! To be able to call her to help out with your child sometime would be such a blessing. If you are that lucky – be grateful! This summer Alex is going to 7 weeks of camps, all different themes etc. He is envious of his friends who get to stay home with a parent or other family member, even though he is interested in all the camps he goes to. When you are in a position that you have to work all summer (!), the guilt of hauling your child to another location all summer is no fun. When I was a kid that’s all we did, stay home all summer. Oh wait, that was fun…..the neighbourhood was full of kids and if you didn’t even come home for lunch I don’t think your mother even noticed. I guess I can see where he is coming from – unfortunately not doable in our world. Maybe all this Science/swimming camp stuff will pay off one day and he will be a Lifeguard/Microbiologist! Come to think of it he does have some of the traits of some of the guys on Big Bang Theory….
Changes can be good, bad, unexpected, inevitable. Mostly inevitable in life I think. The simple passage of time means change.
This week has brought lots of change in our lives. I have often thought when things are going badly sometimes it’s good to have a bunch of things going badly at the same time so I can’t focus on one thing.
In the past week my mother has sold our home of 35 years, finally after a couple of almost sells. The closing is quick, mid-July. So that means on the long weekend next week we will all head down and pack boxes and fill the dumpster in the backyard, and drink some wine and likely shed some tears. The house has been on the market for a few months and I was fine with it being sold. It is without a doubt the best thing for Mum. My mother is a pessimist, so the entire time I have had to encourage her and say it was all going to work out fine, and voila, it has! She is moving into a brand new, single story duplex close to where she lives now. So that part is wonderful. But leaving will be hard, and it’s hitting me in the last few days that it will be hard for me too. That surprises me to a certain extent. I haven’t lived there for a long, long time. But it’s still home to me. It’s the only place Nanny & Papa have lived for all the grandkids, and some of them have actually lived there too, so that’s emotional. But it’s only a building, I don’t only remember living there when I am actually there, so that’s my defence and I guess I am trying to convince myself that it won’t change my memories.
Also this week the powers that be decided that elementary schools in Lr. Sackville will only go to Grade 5 and middle school will be 6-8 and High school 9-12. This one is tough. Next year when Alex is in Grade 5 he will be done, and their class and the Grade 6 class will be finished at Hillside at the same time. I want Alex’s class to have the chance to be the oldest in the school, and I want them (all 21 of them) to have the chance to be in the same actual class again. Because it’s a small school and their grade is small in number, they have been in split classes for years. Next year will be Alex’s third straight split class. He has been in a ¾ split, a 4/5 split, and next year all the Grade 5 kids are in a split again. The one and only year they have all been in a class alone without any other grade was in first grade. It’s like I want them to have the chance to all be together again as a strong army going forward to Jr. High! Not going to happen. And no one else really seems to care, which makes me think I am nuts. I don’t care; I am the first to admit I don’t want Alex to grow up too fast.
Yesterday we went to visit Peggy, who was Alex’s first childcare giver besides Derek & me. Peggy is also Derek’s aunt, so she looked after him as a kid too. Any Mum out there will know how it feels to be sick with worry about going back to work and who will look after your baby. Once I set everything up with Peggy about 4 months before I went back to work I was so relieved. And she and I didn’t really know each other very well back then; I had only met her a few times before that. Seems funny to me because we are good friends now and we go and visit and Alex takes off and plays with the dog and cat and we just sit and chat for hours if we have the chance.
So we went to visit Peggy because she has sold her house, and is moving back to Sydney next week. Now granted, it has been 5 years at least since Alex went there full time, but it really is the closing of another chapter for us. We will still go visit her when we are in Sydney but the house on Denneb Cres. will belong to someone else. Alex hadn’t even celebrated his first birthday when he started there. He was just starting to walk; that’s where he learned so much – how to be someone’s friend, how to be helpful and do your part. I remember the little ones who were with him at the beginning – Maya, Maren, and then Aiden came later. They all go to different schools and never really see each other anymore. I wonder if their paths will every cross at a High School dance or something like that and if they will even remember each other. When I was leaving yesterday and was in the front porch it really hit me. For almost 10 years, on the door jam of Peggy’s porch door there are little marker lines with “Alex” written. That’s where it is recorded how he got taller each year. And he took a marker yesterday and measured himself when we weren’t even watching. It was like he was leaving his final mark there. I just wanted to go and get a crowbar and take that piece of wood and figure out how we could fix it before Peggy’s house closes next week. But the new owners will come in and paint it and maybe start measuring their own kids in the same spot.
I guess that’s what change is. Sometimes change sucks.
We are coming to the end of Year 5 at Hillside Park Elementary in our house. Just a few short years ago I went to the Primary Orientation for our school and politely said hello to strangers who have now become friends. Alex’s friends, who started out as wee little kids holding tightly to their parent’s hand, are becoming the leaders in the school. We had a parent teacher night last month and as we walked through the school younger kids were yelling out “Hi Alex”, and it’s hard for me to believe that my boy is the one the little ones look up to now. For Reading Buddies he is now the older kid reading and helping the younger kids, when is seems like yesterday he was the smaller kid getting the help.
Each month we get a calendar sent home for the month with all the activities for the school. In the month of June Alex has no less than 3 field trips, a Fun Day, and a reward event as a Peer Mediator – all during school hours! So the fact that I don’t even want to make sure he reads at night anymore this year doesn’t make me feel one bit guilty. After all, I know he can read…When we go over what went on at school that day I find myself asking “is there a quiz on that?”, because if there is no quiz I am not too worried about it right about now! I am normally the organized one who fills in the forms and the orders right away and makes sure they get sent in. With only 3 weeks left I am digging for quarters for Hot Dog day and hoping he doesn’t miss the deadline.
The summer break from all that stuff is almost better now than when I was a kid.
And Thank God it’s finally shorts weather in Nova Scotia! Everyday just need clean socks, underwear, t-shirt and shorts – that’s the life. Doesn’t matter if it’s gym day or not! Life is easier in the summer that’s for sure.
The problems may start when school is over and I have to remember where he is that week though. Alex is registered for 3 different summer camp groups this summer, plus a fill in sitter for a few days. So I will be dropping him off at 5 different spots during the summer. For sure I will have a hard time remembering where he is that day and if I am the one picking him up….
For the first time ever really we are taking a nice long 10 days off at the end of July into August and I can’t wait. It is amazing how my perspective on the summer is different when I know I have a nice break half way through. Subconsciously I always find myself wishing the summer away so I can get to my vacation in mid-August, but not this year! Okay, it’s still 7 weeks away, yes I am counting, but so looking forward to the family reunion in the Boston area at the end of July. Lots of quality time together with my favorite people. There will be at least 100 people there. I can’t imagine people who come from small families. That’s one of the best things about social media. Otherwise I wouldn’t even know who had how many kids, never mind what they looked like.
So before I get too caught up in the Summer countdown I have Alex to remind me of all the end-of-year gifts/cards we need to do by Grading Day. In 5 years he has had 2 homeroom teachers from Glace Bay… we will get all of Halifax calling it Grading Day if it kills us!
Let me start by saying, I am not here to complain.
I have a 10 year old son and a 76 year old mother, who lives 4 hours away. So I guess I am the sandwich generation. My mother and her cat live in a way-too-big house that costs what should be an illegal amount to heat for about 8 months of the year. Thankfully she is healthy and is fine to live by herself. We lost Dad two years ago, and he NEVER would have moved, I am sure of it. I am happy that it is my father I got my stubborness from, not my mother, so she is starting the process of minor fixups and then listing the house. I am praying this goes well! The time we spend worrying about “what if she falls, what if she leaves the floor heater on overnight etc.etc”. And being far away makes it so much worse.
I so wish I had lots of money, could buy her the ideal place, and then fix up the old homestead and sell it. Unfortunately I have neither the time or the money for that. I know some others, some very close to me in fact, have to worry about distance and health issues with their parents. It’s such a big worry, and it is so true that it becomes payback time, it’s the child’s turn to worry about the parent.
On the other side of my sandwich is worrying about after school care, summer camps, and when is he old enough to be left at Home Alone. Just had a flash of that annoying blond kid from the movies…I remember being his age and in charge of the three younger than me! Imagine. I don’t mean being left alone, but I wasn’t much older than 10 when it started. So in this day and age we have to worry about schools closing, merging or grades being reconfigured so 10 year olds are going to Middle School. It really could keep you up at night if you let it. And I have lost sleep and trudged to public meetings about it, and time will tell what will happen.
I think I am too old for this stuff…can I have a nice bottle of wine with my sandwich please??