Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Grandad

Today, August 15th, is my dad's birthday. It's a milestone! Not because he's 50, or 60 or even 70(!), but because he's a huge Beatles fan and today he turns 64 :) Do you know that song? (Doesn't everybody know that song?)

I have been thinking tonight of my dad listening to this record in 1966 when he was 18. He has many many stories of being 18, with Darryl, and others, and all their antics running around London. And he talks a lot about how he was a teenager at the best time to be a teenager. He was there on the brink of change for the music world - a change that the Beatles themselves created. Did you know he was in a band himself?

I know my dad well enough to know that what he loves about this song (When I'm 64) is it's simple sentiment about simple love. (Actually that's what he loves about all Beatles lyrics - he doesn't believe in over-complicating life). In this love song, the Beatles sing "I could be handy, mending a fuse when your lights have gone, You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride". In those words, they are imagining their love story fifty years into the future, and isn't it just a lovely simple picture? And that is my dad - he is always content with the most simple of happinesses in life.

But there's another thing I want to say that is really the point of this post. And that is that I can picture my 18 year old dad listening to this song in 1966 and never being able to imagine actually getting to that fateful day of turning 64! Can any of us imagine what our life might look like at 64 when we are 18? I doubt it. So, tonight, dad, I hope you hear this song somewhere and smile. And know that, YES, we will still love you, we will still feed you, now you're 64! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Abigail Starts Kindergarten!

All year I have felt that Abigail was more than prepared for Kindergarten,. She has been used to daycare her whole life and she absolutely thrives when learning, prefers learning to play actually. (Yes, if you're reading, Natalie, Alexandra and Jonathan - as you predicted, I have raised a little "Matilda"). She is also much more socially confident than we ever could have expected when she was an anxiety-ridden toddler. So, my feelings toward Kindergarten have mirrored Abigail's all year - willing, prepared, excited, and ready for the change.

When we got to The First Day, though, things were different. I was surprised that I was, indeed, emotional. As big as she looks in the pictures above, suddenly she was my tiny little Abigail Rae. My baby from 2007! Carrying a backpack bigger and heavier than she, with a little lunch of half a sandwich and a packet of Goldfish, and wearing her new light-up sneakers, she was still ... my Abigail. I had to hide the lump in my throat and keep up my excitement to keep up hers. So we did The First Day with smiles and laughter, and daddy and I saved our melancholy until we got to the car afterwards. I'm so proud of her, and still so in love with her.

Speaking of love, and the separation anxiety that comes with starting Kindergarten, nobody in our house has had it as bad as ..... her father. If I had a lump in my throat, Jake had a boulder. My most favourite thing about him is that he IS the world's most dedicated daddy. I mean it! He and Abigail are so incredibly close (as a side-note, Bryony seems to be very mummy-attached so we've both got it good). A worry-wart by nature, this transition from daycare to Kindergarten has caused him both sleepless nights and headaches (I have had to remind him that this is NOTHING compared to what he'll deal with when they are both, say, 15 and 19 years old!) By week two, the teacher had to suggest that maybe he can stop coming to the playground now. One afternoon, he was left dejected in the parking lot as Abigail told him "hi dad, thanks for coming, but can I please ride the bus?" This is his girl. His side-kick. His lil' buddy who still looks just like him when she frowns at me. He is having a hard time watching her go, and entrusting her care to new teachers, new nurses, new aides, and especially new daycare bus drivers (aaaagh - they're on the ROADS with her ;). Despite being so proud of her, he is a little bit heartbroken. And my own heart swells with so much love for him because of it. 

her first 'crush' - Cody

close friend Tyler who rides the bus back to daycare with her

First Day Artwork: this is "daddy and me surfing"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Just took Abigail to see this new Disney Pixar movie. It was scary, for a five year old! As the movie progressed, she slowly moved from her seat closer and closer to mine until eventually she was in my lap (keep in mind she's almost my height!), head buried in my neck, facing away from the screen and with her little heart-rate pounding fast. She spent at least 50% of the movie scared so I laughed when, at the end, I asked her "what did you think?" and she says "I loved it, it was so good!" :)