Friday, November 26, 2010

The Christmas Tree

"Mommy, the neighbours put up their Christmas lights and decorations. When are we going to put up the tree?"

Good question.

"Are we going to the Santa Claus parade? Are we going to watch Elf later?"

I told J.P that I'm wasn't feeling well but when I feel better, I promised we'd decorate the house.

In the evening, he inquired again, only to be given the same answer.

I thought watching a holiday movie would soften his disappointment. Instead, it made him hopeful that I would change my mind.

On Monday, when I took J.P to school, he pointed at all the houses that were decked out in Christmas decor. I just smiled and nodded as we walked along.

And can you believe the same question was uttered every morning and night? Is this kid persistent or what?

"When are we going to put up the Christmas tree?"

Oh dear.
I couldn't rest all week. Let alone think. I've been going crazy! It's difficult to get in the holiday spirit especially when you're under the weather.

Finally, I took out the decorations, ornaments and of course, the beloved Christmas tree. The boys were excited and eager to help. My little elves were fast at work!

When the tree was up, lit and embellished with all the trimmings, it was a magical sight to see.

"Are you happy now, J.P?"



"Yes, mommy. Thank you!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Night Out

You know you're old when you leave a rock concert before the main act ends.

Sigh.

Last month, my brother won tickets to see Canadian rock band Bedouin Soundclash at a local charity event. He kindly asked me if I would like to go with him. I told him I would love to go even though it has been years since I've been to a concert. I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to see this band for the first time. And besides, a night out away from the kids would do me some good.

Mr. A picked me up at 7pm on Friday night, and we headed down to The Docks where the concert was held. It's a relatively small and intimate venue but with a perfect view of the Toronto skyline. When we arrived, my brother scanned the line that had already formed outside the club. Being forty-something, he was becoming too self-conscious about his age.

"Look at all the young people. One look at me, they might think I'm your father."

As we lined up; received our wrist-bands and passed through security, I told him not to worry about it and just enjoy the evening. Inside, we made our way to the stage; it was standing room only and for the next two hours we watched the two opening acts. We were particularly impressed with Charlie Winston - a talented British musician. He rocked!




I enjoyed the music, and the festive atmosphere. However, I was wary of the three young fellows in front of us. You could say they had one too many beers, and were very intoxicated. I affectionately called them "the three stooges". Mr. A said they were harmless but I couldn't avoid the awkward situation when one of the guys wanted to shake my hand. Reluctantly, I shook his hand and then maneuvered away from him!

It was almost 11pm when Bedouin Soundclash took the stage. At this point, a larger crowd appeared, and the mood shifted to a heightened state of musical ecstasy. We watched and listened for the next half hour but when Mr. A let out a wide yawn - a sign to go home. Besides, I was tired standing for three hours, occasionally going on tippy toe to get a better view! I was more than happy to call it a night.

A night out with my brother was fun but I have to admit, I'm not so young anymore.

And I can't believe I'm sick with fever, and still recovering.

Sigh.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crossroads

Lately, the voice inside me has grown quiet. I have retreated in solitude, and reflection.

Things are fine at home, my relationships are good. I can't really complain about anything.

My boys are getting older, and I'm slowly letting them go. They're changing, maturing faster right before my eyes. And it's incredible to see them transform.

Whatever happened to all the mentors for young boys? There's not enough of them these days.

I've already told my husband that he will have to play a more active role in their lives. I can only encourage it.

I feel like I'm at a crossroads. And that change is coming.

Or maybe, I just need a good long break.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

On the 11th day of the 11th month, on the 11th hour, people all across Canada will honour the thousands of men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for peace and freedom. My sons along with many school children will take part in Remembrance Day ceremonies - red poppies will be distributed and this poem will be read:

In Flanders Field
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
But more importantly, children will be able to express their gratitude to the veterans for the life they have today. J.P will read a special prayer -
Dear God,
We pray for the soldiers who fight for peace and keep us safe. Thank you to to the fallen soldiers. We honour you today on Remembrance Day.
Let us not forget those who served and died. And remember all those brave soldiers who still serve around the world.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Reading

If there is one thing I love to do in my spare time; it's reading books. I try to read a book every month, and for the month of October I read Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. As I was moving onto my next book; my husband gave me the Millenium trilogy books by Stieg Larsson - I had just finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (it took me one week to read), and started the second book, The Girl Who Played with Fire. I was instantly hooked - what a compelling story! And there's still, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Thank goodness for daylight savings time - turn back the clock one hour. You'd think I'd enjoy that extra hour sleep.

No.

I was up until 4 am, reading my book- I just couldn't put it down! I slept for a few hours, rising at 8:30 am. Luckily, it was Sunday, no need to make an early breakfast and pack lunches. I stayed in bed a little bit longer....doing what else?

Reading.

Not bad for the month of November.


- What are you reading? What's on your list?

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Little Dose of Music

There's nothing better than hearing Here Comes The Sun on a cold, and rainy day. Luckily, the boys have no school today; and we're having a lazy, cozy morning. A.R is strumming the blues on his guitar - last night, he came down with a fever so it must be disappointing to spend his day bedridden. However, a little dose of Tears in Heaven, Blackbird, Time of Your Life, and More Than Words can do wonders. I love hearing music being played inside the house, and I especially love when my boys sing! This week, A.R announced he joined the school choir and he came home with a folder of Christmas songs. What do you think we did on a Wednesday night?

You bet.

We sang to our heart's content. Imagine what we'll do today. Hmm.

~ Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Life Lessons

"Don't forget your jacket, your lunch, your hat."

These are some of the daily reminders I give my son before he heads off to school. Lately, I've had several talks with him about taking care of his belongings, and being more responsible. A.R knows that I'm not impressed with him whenever he comes home to tell me he lost his school agenda, his gloves or his hat.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from his school. It was the vice principal, and she told me not to be alarmed, that there wasn't any trouble with my son - she just wanted to tell me about an incident that occurred during lunchtime. Apparently, a few of A.R's classmates were playing around with his beloved hat, and whenever he tried to retrieve it, they wouldn't let him have it. When one of his friends tried to help get the hat back, it resulted in a tug-of-war scenario, and the hat ripped apart.

A.R was very upset. His classmates were apologetic, and said he could easily replace it with another one.

He tearfully said it was a gift from his grandmother; a souvenir from the Philippines. It was more than just a hat to him; it had sentimental value.

The vice principal spoke to A.R and asked what happened. He recounted the story and noted the hat was important to him. His classmates felt badly for what they had done, and suggested that the hat should be repaired; and should be sent to a seamstress. And that they will each contribute to pay for the service.

I thought it was a thoughtful and nice gesture on behalf of his classmates. I hope this will be a life lesson for all them; however, small the token, it certainly meant so much more.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Dance-a-thon

Last Friday, the boys had a Halloween dance-a-thon at their schools. A fun and healthy event held every year.

J.P was allowed to wear a costume that day, and as usual, he was very excited to dress up.

As I dropped him off to school, I glanced at the boys in his class - they all wore action figure costumes.

Ninja Turtles, Batman, Spider Man, Iron Man - the list goes on and on.

And what did J.P want to be for Halloween?

Michael Jackson. Sigh.
My son lined up in his black fedora hat, glittered glove and dark mirrored sunglasses. What a sight to see!

But that's okay because his older brother, and crazy Uncle A. wanted to be MJ too.

I guess it must run in the family.