I remember waking up on Easter morning when I was around eight years old and feeling a heavy weight on my chest, torso and thighs.

It was so heavy in fact, I couldn’t move. I could only look down towards my toes, over my comforter and to what was pinning me to the bed. I gasped. In awe, amazement, and most of all; thanks.

rabbit poop good

Piled on top of me was a wheelbarrow load of bunny shit. I saw dried out round pellets spilling out over me that were still soft to touch but hard enough they didn’t make a mess.

My bedroom smelled like a barn and as I squeeze myself out of bed and rolled onto the floor I saw a distinct trail of bunny poop dribbling off my bed, out my bedroom door and down the hall. I followed the trail. It took me all around the house, through the living room, under the kitchen table, down the length of the hall to the front door of our house. And there at the end of the trail of excrement was a big basket of Easter chocolate.

FamilyEasterBasket_8295_FG7011Z-w1000

I didn’t give a shit about the gifts and eggs and candy, instead I retraced my steps over and over again, following the trail that smelled faintly of a manger throughout our house back to my bed again where the pile ended.

Here’s what I deduced from my investigation: The Easter bunny is NOT white, like most representations of him show.

happy_easter_bunny_wallpaper He is a chocolate brown, more the color of a deer. Standing at about 5 and a half feet tall, his hair is longer than you’d imagine it to be and o’ so soft. He has crust at the corners of his eyes from the dust on the road and he has exceptionally long lashes. His butt is dirty from all the pooping and his feet are huge. He smiles with his eyes and he doesn’t talk- because he’s motherfucking rabbit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This guy had hopped in through our front door, finding his way (we all agree that the Easter Bunny is a boy right?) to my room and then while watching me sleep, he hopped up onto my bed, nuzzled my cheek with his nose, and with great excitement dumped a load as big as a garbage can on top of me.

He wanted me to know he was real.

He wanted me to be certain.

And I was.

I cleaned up all the poop in the house and took it outside to our garden.

I didn’t touch the chocolate or the toys or the ribbons from my basket. The shit was far superior then all that.

Because, to me, this was what love felt like, a warm weight that held you softly down and smelled sweet, like grass and hay.

Thank you God (dess).

For the unexplained and the unknown and the mysterious in our lives.

Thank you for the miracles that show up while we are sleeping.

Thank you for all the shit.

bunny-yawn

Stealing is so easy

April 13, 2014 — 3 Comments

My husband runs a yoga/meditation/creation space in Vancouver BC. It’s beautiful.  The floors are sprung, there’s lots of light, the walls are freshly painted and there is a sitting area that’s hard to leave. He recently opened up an “honour system” shop in the kitchen for people who come to take a class and are feeling snacky. There is kombucha and coconut water and energy bars to choose from. He prices them $1 higher than he bought them for and he has a teapot in the fridge for people to put the money into.

This is a space used by yogis, meditation practitioners and artists.

He noticed pretty quickly that about 25% of his merch was getting yoinked.

Kinda annoying as it now means he’s losing $. But he kept as is because he really likes the idea of people respecting each others shit. The next week. The % of yoinked goods got higher. Then he went in there today and the teapot with $ in it had been stolen too.

So he wrote on the chalkboard “Honour system shop closed due to lack of honour” and came home.

Now he’s sitting here across the table from me really bummed out. He had all these other things he had been collecting that he wanted to add to the shop; gorgeous wool blankets, candles, sunglasses and this clothing line he is building called “Active Passive Wear” which basically means comfy 2nd hand 80’s clothes to do yoga in.

“Em” he says while we are eating breakfast. “Why would someone do that? I mean it’s a small studio, who do they think they are stealing from?”

He asks me because he knows about my nefarious past.

I’ve stolen pads from London Drugs.

I’ve stolen fleece pants from a motorbike shop.

I’ve stolen an antique necklace from a first nations art store.

I’ve stolen hemp seeds from Whole Foods.

So, he was asking the expert how did I make it ok within myself to steal? He wanted to get into the mind of a criminal and lucky for him, one was eating granola across the table.

“Because I didn’t think anyone would notice and I thought I want it so it’s mine.”

The ability to steal comes from the facility to shut your brain down. You put blinders on against all other outside stimulus (like shame and moral code) and you go for what you want because what YOU want is the most important thing.

“It’s narcissism hidden behind an anti-establishment rebel girl and it’s actually really easy if you have that kind of mental control.”

There is also a poverty mentality attached to theft. “I cannot afford nice things and I don’t deserve them so I have to find a sneaky way to get what I need.”

The worst thing I ever stole…I can’t believe I’m going to even say it…

I was working at a restaurant and I hated my life at the time. I did NOT want to be a servant at a Jazz bar. I wanted to be a STAR. So I’d invite friends in for dinner and sneak them free appetizers. This was just too easy so I started bringing in more friends and pouring generous drinks and desserts and instead of them getting 50% off- I’d just clear the whole table from the computer and they’d walk out drunk and full without spending a penny. I took it a bit too far when I had my entire family in for dinner once. I ordered five people aperitifs, lamb shank, dessert and wine. When the meal was done I unlocked the cooler that held the most expensive wine and I found one small, rare bottle of port. I opened it up and brought it to the table. This was probably over a $700 meal.

And now for the bad part…

The other waitress liked her job. She was happy all the time and she liked the owner so with my “blinders on” she became part of the enemy. I was saving money to quit the job and go travelling and she always got the better table and more tips so one shift I went into her tip jar and took some money out. I stole from her. A co-worker.

And honestly, I didn’t really think twice about it.

It is only now, with my husband, a decade later, seeing his face thoroughly disappointed in humanity when I recall the moment where I was the lowest of the low.

“I must have had a have been a screw loose” I say. But the worst thing is- I didn’t.

“Well, it’s sad really” he says. “That you felt so needy; and you were so unhappy.”

“Ya, it’s really sad.”

Then my husband perks up “Well, I think 80% of women go through a stealing phase.”

I know that gross generalizations are frowned upon  but he’s not usually wrong so I’m going to go with it.

“Ya, women go through a stealing phase and men go through a bike riding phase” he pontificates further.

“So that means a woman stole the money from the teapot in the fridge?”

“Yep! And if she had waited a week she would have gotten a wool blanket and some fluorescent green spandex shorts too” he chuckles.

“Too bad for her.”

I’m not a stealer anymore. The last thing I stole was a candle that smelled like the ocean from a high end ashram I was staying at. After a few days of hiding it under my bed and getting paranoid that the cleaning staff were spies I realized that the candle was not worth the effort so I un-stole it and promised never to steal again.

I can’t handle the adrenaline rush. Also, I have everything I need right here.

But I do want to say that I’m sorry I yoinked your tips happy waitress. I hope you are satisfied in life. I hope you are good.

pb_061225_turtle_dbf.photoblog900

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you just have to get better.

You have to grow.

IMG_0748

There is no time for therapy, or friends, or hot tubs or yoga or journaling about it.

There is no space to meditate or breathe into the softness.

This does not mean you are pushing or bad or hard as a rock.

Or maybe you are.

But that doesn’t matter.

Because you are in pain.

 

 

So lie down. Right now, face first on the earth and feel her body holding you up.

Cry.

Or don’t.

And understand that right now you are alone.

It’s true.

No one can understand you.

The grief is too great.

Your expectations are too high.

IMG_1617And this is a stretch of the road you must walk by yourself.

It’s yours and no one else’s.

Not your partner or your father or your best friend can carry you along.

No one is failing you.

No one can do anything and whatever they do would be wrong anyway.

Because amidst all the warmth and love and bodies and care; you are still alone.

And it has to be this way.

You have to feel the loss that deeply.

You have to be gutted.

It’s your way of honouring them.

You love that much.

It won’t get any better.

Time will not heal.

And a vacation won’t perk you up.

You are different now.

WaitingForTheBus_web2

You carry a heavier backpack full of new beliefs and sacred things.

And we don’t feel sorry for you because some of us have been there too.

We feel sad but we know there is not much to be done.

And poetry is fucking rude and positive thoughts are down right disrespectful.

You miss them and that will never change.

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So feel the scope of your limitless sorrow.

Be undone by it.

Fully.

Embrace the cold earth.

Wail and wait with your cheek on the ground.

Just stop everything. Don’t move. Don’t try.

And only you will know when it’s time to rise.

 

 

 

 

Question: People always say that moving doesn’t solve anything – that your problems will follow you. But how can that be fully true? Ex-friends, big city traffic and noise, ridiculous living expenses – some things can be left behind, right? I’ve lived in this city 15 years, and as much as I’ve wanted it to, it’s rarely if ever felt like home.

How do you know when moving actually is the answer?

Answer: Ooooooo, good question. And I’d tend to agree with you at first glance BUT I had the exact same issue about a year ago and I got some great advice.

bearI lived in the same place for 8 years. It was a co-op on Vancouver’s East Side and had rent control and no chance of being renovicted. I was single there, had boyfriends move in and out, got a dog, and friends who needed a place to crash for a while always called me. It was my home.

The problem was with the neighbors. These people were jerks. They would call me screaming if my 4 pound chihuahua was chewing a bone in the livingroom. I didn’t have parties, let alone people over for dinner due to the stress of upsetting the people downstairs. Once the person on the other side of the building yelled at me for sitting outside in the sunshine because she said I was spying on her. I started to think ALL my neighbors had a personal vendetta against me and I became defensive and crotchity.

I wanted to move. I wanted the fuck out- but you know how it is living in the most expensive rental market in the world!?

mean

One day I was complaining to a friend about my situation.

“I’m out! I don’t care how many dicks I have to suck to pay my bills, I can’t stand it anymore.”

“Be careful” she said. “However you leave this place is how you will enter your next home. You have to make sure you are leaving empowered and happy. Not bitter and resentful. Because that shit follows you.”

And she was right.

So I stayed. I apologized to my neighbors for the noise. I smiled and tried to make small talk with the weirdos who seemed to love driving me crazy.

DSCF3466I painted the place. I bought some new art. I planted some herbs.

I began spending a lot of time walking around my neighborhood; enjoying the parks and community.

And then one day out of the blue these neighbors that I thought hated me threw me a surprise baby shower.

The kid from downstairs made me a gift.

Someone baked me fresh muffins.

And the spell was broken.

Then I moved.

Now, I live in a huge place with lots of light and hardwood floors. It’s affordable and the neighbors downstairs are friends and we have people over for dinner at least once a week. Before bed I walk around my house gazing into every room, trying to decide which one I like best.

I have more than I thought was ever possible in a home.

But the key was leaving AFTER I had cleaned up my mess.

I didn’t run from anything.

Instead, I walked towards it.

Don’t go anywhere until you are NOT starting over.

Leave after you get happy where you are.

pig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damn right!? I know it sucks to hear this. What a bummer piece of advice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote this essay for Huffington Post exactly one year ago, with three months before my kid popped out. Now, three months before his First birthday I’m revisiting the essay and thought I’d share the changes because it’s hilarious. The first essay is what I thought about mothering before I was a mom (and if you go to the actual link, you will see the firestorm of comments it created). The second essay is what I might know now. Forgive me friends for being such an asshole.

Love,

Emelia

Essay written one year ago:

The first thing I will say is I do not have kids. So, if you have kids and you read this you may hate me a bit and I’m sorry in advance. The second thing is that I am three months pregnant, so I am noticing how people parent a lot right now. The third thing I want to say is I hope none of my friends who do have kids read this because I’m going to lay some shit on the table and it’s probably going to hurt some feelings.

Here we go…

I travel to my badass best friend’s house to meet her six-month old baby for the first time and when I get there I realize that everything has changed.

My friend used to smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish and hawl on blunts like she was bloody Rita Marley. Now, she is just anxious and lame.

“We are teaching him his ABC’s” she tells me. “He is a very bright baby. Alamar, focus on the cards.” She snaps her fingers in front of his drooling face. “Alamar, A is for…focus Al! He’s not so quick right now because he ate a bit of dairy this morning…”

bumbo

Alamar falls asleep in his bumby chair or whatever the fuck they are called.

She then worries aloud for the rest of the evening if the air conditioning is too cold.

If so, should she peek in on him? And finally when the baby monitor squeaks a few times with him rolling over in his sleep she rushes downstairs, grateful to have a reason to check on him.

I understand that the love you feel for your child is more immense than I can fathom. I understand being sleep deprived. I understand the weight of responsibility of another life in your hands.

 

Or, I guess I don’t understand at all and that is what’s causing all this tension.

The buzzwords run through my head: Helicopter parenting. Attachment parenting. Instinctive Parenting. Non-parenting.

And parents seem to really harsh out on each other’s styles.

Here are some quotes I overheard from parents on the playground:

“I totally lost respect for (insert name here) when I found out they were a cry it out family.”

“Attachment parents fry my soul.”

“Kids who don’t breastfeed get sick much more often than kids who do breastfeed.”

“Sugar causes autism.”

“Hospital births are violence against babies.”

Holy shit.

I’m not trying to be an asshole here people. I am trying to understand why my old, cool friends have gotten so high strung and opinionated.

have a hard time telling you

Am I destined to do the same thing?

I’m noticing a pattern in my generation (aged 34-42) who are just now becoming parents. Everything has to be triple-Googled, read about, discussed with their midwife, homeopath and doctor.

Do we give a soother?

Do we immunize?

Do we dress him in hemp or organic cotton?

There are so many decisions to make and I imagine it’s very stressful but 25 years ago there were not so many decisions to make and 50 years ago there were even fewer decisions to make and all these decisions that are being made don’t seem to be making any smarter or nicer kids than before so really, what the hell is going on here?

These little babes in arms are ruling the world and I don’t think it’s a good thing.

I’m at my friend’s house for the weekend and she has some kids.

“Ohhhh, did you bring the two different types of toothpaste to help them brush their teeth?” she asks me.
“No. I have just this one tube. Why?”
“You have to go get the other tube, too. They’ll freak out if they don’t get their preferred flavour.” I look at the two tubes. One reads “bubblegum”, the other reads “mild bubblegum.” Really?

I cannot abide by that shit.

Brush your fucking teeth. Your mom is tired. Leave her alone. Go to fucking bed.

I remember growing up and having to adapt to what my parents were doing. If Mom had to work a 12-hour night shift, I was left at the babysitters. Did I like it? No. But there was no choice and I dealt. If my dad wanted to visit friends and I was bored with the adult talk, did we leave? No. He told me to go make friends with the weird neighbour kid who was frying ants on the sidewalk.

desktop-pc-nerd-kid-300x252

Now when I visit my friends, after about 30 minutes the four-year-old looks up at me and says “You should go now. Mommy, I want her to leave.” And Mommy smiles at her daughter’s self-confidence and our visit is over.

I know I am judging (just like the parents in the park did two paragraphs ago) but I feel like this “superhero style” needs to be called out. Just like I would do to a dear friend who has been working a shitty job for too long and does too much overtime for a mean boss.

“Stop! The bar is set high enough! Let everyone else suck a bit. Please!”

And I cannot talk about any of this candidly to my new parent friends. They’re untouchable now. They have the trump card because…

I don’t understand what it is like. I won’t get it until I have my own. I have no idea how hard it is.

And they’re right. But what I see scares me.

From what I can tell this generation of parents are putting a lot of emphasis on teaching their children how special they are. And inherent in that is teaching them that they are more special than other kids and that they are more special than their parents.

superman babyI’m not sure the world needs more people thinking they are more special.

I’m sure you know who Honey Boo Boo is.

To me Honey Boo Boo is an example of child-centric parenting gone whack. Now I actually have a huge soft spot for this child. I think it is incredible that someone can have such an unfaltering sense of self. There is a part of me that wants to celebrate her confidence but this child actually believes that she is a princess and in a few years she is going to have a long and hard fall.

When I was Honey Boo Boo’s age my dad threw me a birthday party. He invited every kid in town over. That meant there were about 12 of us there. His girlfriend spun me a raw silk dress. She did my hair in French braids. As I walked up the steps to the main floor where my guests were waiting, my father announced “Clap for the princess. Clap for my princess!” And they did. They all clapped for me as I ascended. I waved. I felt so special.

C:MediaFactoryLogisticsDevrequest_dropbox36998#TLCFamily on Porch.jpg

And that moment honestly shaped who I am today. My inherent princess mentality was solidified, as was my belief that I should be clapped for. This is now one of the reasons I make theatre for a living. So I get specialness and I see the value in teaching it to our kids. But they next day I was mucking out the chicken stall while my Dad built an addition onto the trailer. I had balance.

If I saw examples of “children at the centre of the universe” parenting empowering families I might jump on the bandwagon but when watching these parents from afar they are not doing a very good sell job.

They do not look fulfilled.

In fact they actually seem to be shells of their past selves. With no energy to do yoga, or write or think about creativity or their dreams because now they are intent on micro-managing their child’s every interaction.

Overheard conversation at a parent friendly cafe:

“Maybe you and Santosha can share the caboose…no, you don’t want to share?…Mommy understands you don’t want to share, sharing is hard…I love you…you are such a good boy. How ’bout this, I’ll buy you a steamed organic milk if you share? Steamed chocolate milk? Okay my little politician. You are Mommy’s best little boy!”

This sounds exhausting to me.

So instead of succumbing to the terror of what lies ahead I’m asking the question: when I am a mother can I remain intact?

Can I hold on to my purpose in life? Can I continue to do what I am called to do?

I know some folks are happy dedicating themselves completely to being parents. I am impressed by that.
But I have a really hard time believing it when you say “All I want to do is be a mom, this is my purpose in life.”

Does that mean the last 30 odd years before you became a parent were meaningless? And what if the unthinkable happens? Who are you then?

I believe that parenthood is a creative outlet. I imagine the job is so encompassing that it asks you to be your highest self in the deepest way possible. I look forward to that.

It feeds you and eats you at the same time.

I respect the role and I honour every person that has taken on the task.

But if you have something else you love to do and you are not doing it because you are too busy parenting I don’t think that is a good enough excuse.

“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.” — Jung

Isn’t our own creative fulfillment the most important thing to try to hold on to, for our kid’s sake?

To me, remaining engaged in “my” life is more important than teaching my child how to baby sign or remembering their friend’s multiple dietary preferences or keeping the house clean. It is more important than money.

It is everything.

Without darkness you cannot see the starsBecause when I don’t do my thing I am miserable to be around. Not doing my thing makes me hate everyone who is doing it, makes me uncomfortable to live inside my own skin, makes me lash out and blame the people I love.

That is not good parenting.

And what about single parents, Emelia? Sometimes folks don’t get the choice. To those people- this article is not about you.

I am talking to the folks who have resources to stretch. Probably not the ones with newborns, probably not people with special needs kids. I am talking about people who put their child’s life in front of their own because they are scared of living on their own personal edge. Because it is easier to be overwhelmed with Brix’s home school art project than sit down and write yourself.

I recently heard an interview with a man who was hiking up a mountain. There was an accident and the lower half of his body became trapped under a 3-tonne boulder in a stream bed. He almost drowned as the rain made the stream rise. He had to watch as fish ate his feet. Fire ants were stinging his chest, ears and face continuously. He waited 48 hours alone until help arrived. Both of his legs were amputated to the top thigh. Ten months later he succeeded in climbing (in a wheelchair he designed) Mount Kilimanjaro.

If he can do that, I can find 30 minutes to do what I love once a day. And if I truly want my child to know that they are unique snowflakes then I better do what I love doing around them — a lot. My child will find what out they love to do by watching me do what I love to do.

_44417981_crumbling_ap416b

Maybe I’ll get a rude awakening. Maybe I will be reduced to ashes. But when I am a mother I want to continue to follow my dreams even if it means being selfish at times, even if it means not rushing to their every pee-pee call, even if it means paying for childcare, even if it means sometimes letting them cry.

Because I’m special too.

We all are.

I want my kids to know that.

 

Motherhood I am beholden to you. I lay myself at your feet.

Please take your time with me.

Let me enjoy the ride.

 

Essay re-written 1 year later:

The first thing I will say is I do not have kids. So, if you have kids and you read this you may hate me a bit and I’m sorry in advance. The second thing is that I am three months pregnant, so I am noticing how people parent a lot right now. The third thing I want to say is I hope none of my friends who do have kids read this because I’m going to lay some shit on the table and it’s probably going to hurt some feelings.

Here we go…

I travel to my badass best friend’s house to meet her six-month old baby for the first time and when I get there I realize that everything has changed.

My friend used to smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish and hawl on blunts like she was bloody Rita Marley. Now, she is just anxious and lame.

“We are teaching him his ABC’s” she tells me. “He is a very bright baby. Alamar, focus on the cards.” She snaps her fingers in front of his drooling face. “Alamar, A is for…focus Al! He’s not so quick right now because he ate a bit of dairy this morning…”

bumbo

Alamar falls asleep in his bumby chair or whatever the fuck they are called.

She then worries aloud for the rest of the evening if the air conditioning is too cold.

If so, should she peek in on him? And finally when the baby monitor squeaks a few times with him rolling over in his sleep she rushes downstairs, grateful to have a reason to check on him.

I understand that the love you feel for your child is more immense than I can fathom.

I understand being sleep deprived.

I understand the weight of responsibility of another life in your hands.

Or, I guess I don’t understand at all and that is what’s causing all this tension.

The buzzwords run through my head: Helicopter parenting. Attachment parenting. Instinctive Parenting. Non-parenting.

And parents seem to really harsh out on each other’s styles.

Here are some quotes I overheard from parents on the playground:

“I totally lost respect for (insert name here) when I found out they were a cry it out family.”

“Attachment parents fry my soul.”

“Kids who don’t breastfeed get sick much more often than kids who do breastfeed.”

“Sugar causes autism.”

“Hospital births are violence against babies.”

Holy shit.

I’m not trying to be an asshole here people. I am trying to understand why my old, cool friends have gotten so high strung and opinionated.

have a hard time telling you

Am I destined to do the same thing?

I’m noticing a pattern in my generation (aged 34-42) who are just now becoming parents. Everything has to be triple-Googled, read about, discussed with their midwife, homeopath and doctor.

Do we give a soother?

Do we immunize?

Do we dress him in hemp or organic cotton?

There are so many decisions to make and I imagine it’s very stressful but 25 years ago there were not so many decisions to make and 50 years ago there were even fewer decisions to make and all these decisions that are being made don’t seem to be making any smarter or nicer kids than before so really, what the hell is going on here?

 

These little babes in arms are ruling the world and I don’t think it’s a good thing.

I’m at my friend’s house for the weekend and she has some kids.

“Ohhhh, did you bring the two different types of toothpaste to help them brush their teeth?” she asks me.
“No. I have just this one tube. Why?”
“You have to go get the other tube, too. They’ll freak out if they don’t get their preferred flavour.” I look at the two tubes. One reads “bubblegum”, the other reads “mild bubblegum.” Really?

I cannot abide by that shit.

Brush your fucking teeth. Your mom is tired. Leave her alone. Go to fucking bed.

I remember growing up and having to adapt to what my parents were doing. If Mom had to work a 12-hour night shift, I was left at the babysitters. Did I like it? No. But there was no choice and I dealt. If my dad wanted to visit friends and I was bored with the adult talk, did we leave? No. He told me to go make friends with the weird neighbour kid who was frying ants on the sidewalk.

desktop-pc-nerd-kid-300x252

Now when I visit my friends, after about 30 minutes the four-year-old looks up at me and says “You should go now. Mommy, I want her to leave.” And Mommy smiles at her daughter’s self-confidence and our visit is over.

I know I am judging (just like the parents in the park did two paragraphs ago) but I feel like this “superhero style” needs to be called out. Just like I would do to a dear friend who has been working a shitty job for too long and does too much overtime for a mean boss.

“Stop! The bar is set high enough! Let everyone else suck a bit. Please!”

And I cannot talk about any of this candidly to my new parent friends. They’re untouchable now. They have the trump card because…

I don’t understand what it is like. I won’t get it until I have my own. I have no idea how hard it is.

And they’re right.

But what I see scares me.

From what I can tell this generation of parents are putting a lot of emphasis on teaching their children how special they are. And inherent in that is teaching them that they are more special than other kids and that they are more special than their parents.

superman baby

I’m not sure the world needs more people thinking they are more special.

I’m sure you know who Honey Boo Boo is.

To me Honey Boo Boo is an example of child-centric parenting gone whack. Now I actually have a huge soft spot for this child. I think it is incredible that someone can have such an unfaltering sense of self. There is a part of me that wants to celebrate her confidence but this child actually believes that she is a princess and in a few years she is going to have a long and hard fall.

When I was Honey Boo Boo’s age my dad threw me a birthday party. He invited every kid in town over. That meant there were about 12 of us there. His girlfriend spun me a raw silk dress. She did my hair in French braids. As I walked up the steps to the main floor where my guests were waiting, my father announced “Clap for the princess. Clap for my princess!” And they did. They all clapped for me as I ascended. I waved. I felt so special.

C:MediaFactoryLogisticsDevrequest_dropbox36998#TLCFamily on Porch.jpg

And that moment honestly shaped who I am today. My inherent princess mentality was solidified, as was my belief that I should be clapped for. This is now one of the reasons I make theatre for a living. So I get specialness and I see the value in teaching it to our kids. But they next day I was mucking out the chicken stall while my Dad built an addition onto the trailer. I had balance.

If I saw examples of “children at the centre of the universe” parenting empowering families I might jump on the bandwagon but when watching these parents from afar they are not doing a very good sell job.

They do not look fulfilled.

In fact they actually seem to be shells of their past selves. With no energy to do yoga, or write or think about creativity or their dreams because now they are intent on micro-managing their child’s every interaction.

Overheard conversation at a parent friendly cafe:

“Maybe you and Santosha can share the caboose…no, you don’t want to share?…Mommy understands you don’t want to share, sharing is hard…I love you…you are such a good boy. How ’bout this, I’ll buy you a steamed organic milk if you share? Steamed chocolate milk? Okay my little politician. You are Mommy’s best little boy!”

This sounds exhausting to me.

So instead of succumbing to the terror of what lies ahead I’m asking the question: when I am a mother can I remain intact?

Can I hold on to my purpose in life? Can I continue to do what I am called to do?

I know some folks are happy dedicating themselves completely to being parents. I am impressed by that.
But I have a really hard time believing it when you say “All I want to do is be a mom, this is my purpose in life.”

Does that mean the last 30 odd years before you became a parent were meaningless? And what if the unthinkable happens? Who are you then?

I believe that parenthood is a creative outlet. I imagine the job is so encompassing that it asks you to be your highest self in the deepest way possible. I look forward to that.

It feeds you and eats you at the same time.

I respect the role and I honour every person that has taken on the task.

But if you have something else you love to do and you are not doing it because you are too busy parenting I don’t think that is a good enough excuse.

“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.” — Jung

Isn’t our own power and creative fulfillment the most important thing to try to hold on to, for our kid’s sake?

To me, remaining engaged in “my” life is more important than teaching my child how to baby sign or remembering their friend’s multiple dietary preferences or keeping the house clean. It is more important than money.

It is everything.

Without darkness you cannot see the starsBecause when I don’t do my thing I am miserable to be around. Not doing my thing makes me hate everyone who is doing it, makes me uncomfortable to live inside my own skin, makes me lash out and blame the people I love.

That is not good parenting.

And what about single parents, Emelia? Sometimes folks don’t get the choice. To those people- this article is not about you.

I am talking to the folks who have resources to stretch. Probably not the ones with newborns, probably not people with special needs kids. I am talking about people who put their child’s life in front of their own because they are scared of living on their own personal edge.

 

 

 

Because it is easier to be overwhelmed with Brix’s home school art project than sit down and write yourself.

I recently heard an interview with a man who was hiking up a mountain. There was an accident and the lower half of his body became trapped under a 3-tonne boulder in a stream bed. He almost drowned as the rain made the stream rise. He had to watch as fish ate his feet. Fire ants were stinging his chest, ears and face continuously. He waited 48 hours alone until help arrived. Both of his legs were amputated to the top thigh. Ten months later he succeeded in climbing (in a wheelchair he designed) Mount Kilimanjaro.

If he can do that, I can find 30 minutes to do what I love once a day. And if I truly want my child to know that they are unique snowflakes then I better do what I love doing around them — a lot. My child will find what out they love to do by watching me do what I love to do.

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Maybe I’ll get a rude awakening. Maybe I will be reduced to ashes. But when I am a mother I want to continue to follow my dreams even if it means being selfish at times, even if it means not rushing to their every pee-pee call, even if it means paying for childcare, even if it means sometimes letting them cry.

Because I’m special too.

We all are.

I want my kids to know that.

Motherhood I am beholden to you. I lay myself at your feet.

Please take your time with me.

Let me enjoy the ride.

Blackfawn3

 

 

Question:

I’m scared to write. No, I am debilitated when it comes to writing. People tell me I can write, that I’m a writer, bla fucking bla, but I can’t fucking write. I have my first paid freelancing gig and i’m distracting myself by binge dating. 

 Something has to happen because right now I’m sitting in a corner office with no windows as a temp shuffling tarot cards when my boss isn’t looking, drinking shitty folgers coffee, and scribbling chapter titles on copy paper (like “I’m Just In It For The Birth Control: How To Be A Temp” and “Take Your Adult To Work Day”).

 I feel like I’m waiting on the Universe but maybe it’s a check-mate and the Universe is waiting on me?

 I don’t know what I’m asking, but I’ll take whatever you got. Give it to me straight. I can take it.

Answer:

Isn’t this a genius question? Isn’t she a great writer? Seriously. I love this woman, and of course, I feel an affinity for her because she is talking about passion and fear and writing. Which I can relate to.

So I bumped her advice to the top of my quite long list of questions that are asking for answers. Usually I ruminate for a week or so, but I sat down last night and gave her my all.

 Please watch TAKE 1 here.

Did you notice how pretty I looked? Also, how compassionate and caring and non- judgemental I was?

But it didn’t sit right, I was thinking about her all day, and then I realized I missed the biggest part of her question. When she said “Give it to me straight. I can take it.” This hot bitch wants a spanking! (And I know she’s hot cause I creeped her on facebook). She doesn’t want my soft love, she wants a smack.

So here is TAKE 2.

Do you notice, only 1 day later, how messy I look? And how rude and grumpy I am?

And THEN, I still didn’t nail it. There was something missing. So, on day 3, finally, after just waking up, ugly as all fuck from no sleep- I got it. And I brought a special guest with me too.

FUCKING TAKE 3

I find this hilarious and incredible, that I can have 3 different pieces of advice and 3 different faces in 3 different days…but then I remembered that life is a prism- nothing is set, everything is changing and she should take both pieces of my genius advice at the same time, be gentle and be fierce, be patient and be frustrated, be brave and be scared- all at once. And I can be ugly and still be pretty at the same time too.

Life is all about the opposites.

I still love this lady though. And her question. That stayed exactly the same.

Em