Sunday, 16 November 2014

Floor vent

The snow has started to fall.

Not here exactly, but still, the cold wet rain that is the remorseless usher of snowfall certainly has.
As I steel myself against the cold rain, I always start plotting how to get warmer boots and more waterproof clothing at this time of year.   I fantasize about being toasty as an element inside me starts to calibrate to the falling temperature.

We work hard to heat up the molecules in the room in which we sit and play.
How will we keep the molecules warm this week, this month, this season?

I get there soaking wet--a chilly cold has set in that is hard to warm up from, but my friend has a floor vent, and that changes everything. The heat rushes up to meet me.  I quickly take off my socks and stretch them across the grate eagerly anticipating their dryness against my skin. I stood over that grate, just for a moment, to fully experience the blast of heat.

I turned my attention to my friends, and over the next hour, I almost forgot that heating grate, I almost took for granted how ready that heat was compared to how vanquished it was just metres from where I sat on the other side of that wall. But the wine, and the grate and the company cast a spell and my mind did not wander to how to get warmer boots even once.

But as, I went back outside and returned to our house to heat up the molecules again, the memory of being warmed, warmed me through.

Those snowflakes and rain drops fall fast down towards the boiling red lit from within structures that we build against them. Little do they know how fragile those structures are under their weight.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A tiny door

That's not a pizza box, that is a wall of a house and if you look very carefully, you will see a tiny door.
...see that window next to it.
Over by that tiny cabin with the door in the roof.
Let us burn it up together.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Field Trip to the Mountains

 School is in session.
 Be sure to bring your cheques for the field trip to the mountains.
 The Remembrance Day assembly is starting at 1:30.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Friendship is harder than a crab

My daughter and I were talking about friendship the other day.  We were talking about how hard it can be sometimes. It is hard to find the balance between what you want and what your friend wants.  It is hard to share time with someone and figure out how to get what you need out of the relationship. It sounds easy and natural, but friendship can be hard.

She summed it up.  "It is harder than a crab's shell over the soft part underneath."


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

5 minutes

What I have learned recently is that even though my nine year old daughter can now set the timer on the microwave if needed and can read time on a clock, her sense of internal time has not yet calcified.

More or less, I can, at this stage in my life, approximate 5 minutes.  I set the timer for my tea to steep and walk away. When something inside me tells me to, I head back to get it, and the timer dings on my way.

We wait for approximately 5 minutes at a customer service counter and my daughter is unbelieving how long it took to get served.  "It was like 40 minutes Mom!"

Partly, she was bored and when we are bored all time denatures into jelly, but partly she had no idea approximately how much time she had spent looking at brochures while we waited for them to process our return.

Ever since both kids have entered the school system, their grip on time has tightened. Our daughter corrects me on a regular basis when it comes to time, my son still relies on us to clarify if this is a Monday or a Wednesday.  What is more important to him is knowing if it is gym day or not. His metric for time is how many nights to Hallowe'en or a birthday party.

Although I have not worn a watch for years, I have been conditioned by years of school and clock watching at jobs and breastfeeding and childcare and waiting for buses and cell phones to know a 5 minutes when I feel it.  How would things be different if I didn't.

My daughter still believes a lot (anything) can happen in 5 minutes, I have parceled my time up. A 5 minute parcel is for steeping tea, enough time to eat a piece of toast and find some underware.  Now that the time has been divided up, it is nearly impossible to not know what 5 minutes feels like.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Candy stock

I have observed these past few sugar rush filled days that with Hallowe'en candy eating  is only a small fraction of what kids like to do with it. Getting it, redistributing it, and planning what to do with it take up a lot of the time spent with it.  Before they even head out to get the candy, the kids talked for weeks about their plans for saving, stockpiling and/or recommissioning the candy (we could give it as Christmas gifts) after they got it.  Once it was safely back home after being lugged through the streets, it was piled, counted, sorted, categorized, briefly packed up and taken to the library to ensure they weren't too far from it and then finally became stock in a hand made vending machine (with a slot for parents' money) and then arranged as a homebased "snack shack" complete with a price list.  It was even taped together to form a pattern. 

Briefly they had a sizeable amount of anything (bonus being that it was as desirable as candy) and that mean they had leverage for trading and could afford to share it generously. They don't usually have money or commodities worth trading, expect when the tooth fairy comes.  Here is their chance to manage something that their parents are willing to pay them money for.

The candy was eaten alright.  But it was plentiful for a while and with that plenty came all sorts of possibilities.

Horror in ballet flats

Both of the kids came up with costumes that, in the right light, scared me out of my wits.  My daughter was Coraline's other mother.  That may not seem so scary to you, but I know just how terrified she has been by Caraline's other mother who has kind of tortured her in her imagination over the years, and trust me, her ballet flats, grey scarf and eye make-up all added up to something bone chilling.