Thursday, September 10, 2020

Outdoors Everyday: 2 Days Left Until School.

Since our initial trip to the ocean five weeks ago, we have:

Explored the lakes around our house;
Discovered the lakes, rivers, and trails in the mountains;
Had a bear encounter with a friend and friend's kids (she wasn't with me)
I hiked for three hours on the Bayden Powell Trail (with above friend -- where we were informed there was another bear sighted where we were headed);
Tofino Trip;
I got her hooked on the driving range at the family-run Par 3 course;
Saw two beavers and had bats fly above our heads;
We did part two of our summer trip which was going into the interior;
We ran into her grade three teacher on the top of a mountain pass;
I swear I drove past my old boss at a rest stop;
She got to see bestie (who just had the fire evacuation alert lifted the day we arrived);
We met my friend who I haven't seen in a decade -- her kids are cute and fun. They have an awesome backyard;
I waterskied on something called suicide boots, on a real waterski boat, with a couple of dudes, a GoPro and a 7am start... Hardcore;
She got towed behind a glittering Ski Nautique boat on a wakesurf board;
I got up wake surfing;
I fell a half dozen times wake surfing;
I decided I didn't like wake surfing (the water that goes up my head -- and every orifice and nasal passage in it);
Visited another friend with an equally fun backyard. Had a Nerf fight.
Hung out with our old neighbour (PP!!) and her fam at their campground;
We camped in our car for one night;
She is skateboarding with her friends;
She mastered a song from Frozen 2 on the piano;
She is creating, selling and marketing her artwork with Aunty S as her mentor...
The boogy board I bought used (because I don't buy anything) for $5 is no longer -- thanks to continual and awesome use, big ocean waves and being pulled behind a Ski Nautique boat;
I completed the first module a year long 'Resonant Healing Practitioner' certificate program offered by Sarah Peyton;
I learned the beading loom and scored 14 trucker hats from the thrift store to paint.
We returned to the ocean;
Canada earned another Fabulous Fail on UNICEF's latest report on children's well-being... (For the record, Canada was nearly last 20 years ago when I took my Early Childhood Education program)...
We are averaging 30 minutes - 2 hours per day on the cell phone/devices;
I set out this summer to keep her active and engaged. Mission = accomplished... Childhood remains alive and well in our world.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Remember Bestie Who Just Moved Away? They Are on Evacuation Alert...

Just a few short weeks ago, her bestie moved out of town. We are planning on seeing them on our road trip this coming week. Our plans have shifted somewhat. Her bestie is amidst the wildfires and they are on evacuation alert

There was a lot of chit-chatting on the phone this week with constant updates of where the smoke was. At one point she announced, "uh, when I look up, the smoke is right above our house."

The space I had picked out for camping is under evacuation alert, it also has a little red dot beside it on the government's fire map page. A little red dot means a little new fire has popped up... I guess I'm not sleeping there.

I'm going to wait until Saturday to figure things out. We 'rents agree that getting the kids together is super important now. We may swing through and take bestie and bestie's little sis to a lake outside of town for some retreat and some major catching up.

In the next town, and the plan for the rest of the week (air quality dependant) -- I have my friends, their kids and two ski boats waiting for me!

Friday, August 14, 2020

A Survival Plan for Parenting in 2020

 So I have this really cool kid. Creative, smart, social.

She's 12 going on 13. Of course, she wants to fit in to what everyone else is doing. Fitting in at 12 years old in 2020 in an urban setting includes but is not limited to... Well, a whole bunch of crap.

Parents can no longer think in the longterm (ie: when my kid graduates from highschool unscathed, at their wedding, when they emerge from a healthy childhood to have healthy kids of their own.) As a parent in 2020, I'm focused on the now and getting through the last few weeks of summer. Then, it will be the first month of school and managing her emotions and intensity as tech companies buy their way into her education. From there, it will be getting through the fall, emotionally and spiritually intact.  Completing this school year? That is ten months away.

And then there are friends... Listen, if you have "given in" to technology you may have noticed we aren't hanging out with you as much. We are happy to meet anyone at the river, to hang out in backyards and get together for BBQs -- and not talk about your virtual life the majority of the time...

But, harsh reality aside, I've got a plan and I'm going to make it. Six parenting years left -- I can almost count that on one hand. I'm envisioning a whole person -- mind, spirit, soul emerging from a wholesome childhood full of a lot of good memories. It does not matter if I slide into my empty nest with an empty bank account and a couple of unfinished degrees (this is not my plan but I find it helps to accept a 'worse case scenario').

On that note, this week, she jumped in the river with all her clothes on. We went for a walk in the mountains; there is a very aggressive bear in the area. We didn't encounter the bear -- but we did see a lot of caterpillars. She made me a birthday cake and birthday tarts. We house/cat sat for three days, two nights. I get to see my favorite local band play on a farm on my birthday. I planted spinach and arugula in our garden -- and watched two webinars.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

An Impromptu Holiday to Tofino for Bigger Waves...

We just returned from a trip to Tofino. This all came about last week when I took Horse Girl to the ocean. She literally was in the water from the time we arrived until the time we left -- only coming out for food and a Johnny Pop from the concession. The tide was sooooo fun that day! *Elapsed time in water was a mind-blowing six and a half hours.

Next day, she asked to go again but this time bring her bestie. Two days later, we were at the ocean with bestie and bestie's little sister in tow. Once parked, they took off to the water only coming out for food (they couldn't even sit down to eat, and instead stood at their bags shoveling snacks in their mouths before running off to the ocean again) and a stop at Yogen Fruz for a frozen yoghurt. *Elapsed time in the water was 3.0 hours.

Back to our first day at the ocean... I was reading the Beautiful British Columbia magazine from Spring 1991 (I love the stuff our public library gives away.) It highlighted Tofino, BC and Clayoquat Sound. I am not much for traveling to places where we don't know anyone. As a solo parent with an only child, we make our adventures count -- we go to where our friends and family are so we can connect, laugh and tell stories. Tofino is somewhere tourists go to consume, take surf lessons and later say, "so yeah, we went to Tofino this summer. That was a nice trip. Now we are back to ho-hum." We are not consumers of tourism; however, a gentle knowing started breezing through my cells upon reading that magazine story. Life is challenging and when you have a little person who is growing into a bigger person it is our responsibility to keep them active and engaged with life. They need to move their bodies, laugh everyday, create, socialize, have healthy challenges and be a part of things...

Second day at the ocean... I read another article from the same Beautiful British Columbia magazine -- two brothers on a 350km canoe journey. No urges for a canoe journey, my mama heart was still in Tofino. You see, an impending doom was coming on Friday of that week and I had been thinking of how to help her through it. Her bestie, the one who she was in the water with, was moving. They will be moved off our list of people to hang out with each week and onto the list of people to visit on our quality-over-quantity holidays. This was a bitter-sweet day at the ocean. Her parents were more than happy we took them for the day -- they were in the last days of packing two decades of their lives into trailers...

Witnessing Horse Girl log her eighth, tenth -- eleventh hour in the Ocean with her friends that day, I knew I was going to take this little person who is turning into a bigger person to Tofino! She needs bigger waves. A nice transition to her new life without bestie. So, I opened myself to the possibility -- and everything fell into place.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Outdoors everyday. 5.5 Weeks Left Until School.

In my car right now are three floaties, one set of golf clubs, a skateboard, Fox helmet, sand -- and a mountain bike attached to a bike rack. Going into this summer (just one month ago), I made a vow:

We will spend everyday at the rivers, lakes, oceans and mountain bike trails.

We've been doing pretty alright with this. This week alone we have been to the river on Sunday, ocean on Monday, river on Tuesday and ocean on Wednesday. Being outdoors makes me feel normal; parenting outdoors let's me know that my child is experiencing normal. This is also for us to stay grounded, healthy -- and to not be affected by the chaos. It's nuts out there.

Getting her outdoors and, more specifically, ready and in the car is a different story. This hasn't always been an easy task. Sometimes preteens don't want to do what you need them to do. Often times there are influences that affect the flow and peace of the family unit. However, through my "just-get-her-into-the-car" tactics (re: attach shopping to it, attach food to it, attach friends or Aunty to it) and consistency, this cool kid now gets ready and into the car on her own AND asks me to take her places. She is part of the trip planning now! ...Through thick and thin, we commit ourselves to being outdoors everyday -- for the next 5.5 weeks. Here's to Summer 2020!