Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Best Dad

Back in June, I entered a contest that Chom FM was having, in which I wrote a poem, in honour of our dad, (well, my childrens' dad to be specific, my husband). I turned the thing into a Father's Day card, and always intended to post it up here, but never got around to it. So here it is: (And I have to admit, I am pretty proud of it.)



I am Pro-choice

So, apparently January 22 was officially "Pro-choice Day" so I just want to say that I am totally in favour of every single un-born baby having the right to choose to live.

This is disgusting, not for the weak of heart, but this is what abortion is doing, and more people should see it.

There is a very good alternative to abortion. YES, you can actually choose to NOT have a child without aborting it. It's called ADOPTION. Has anyone heard of it?

Coffee

It's a work in progress,... I keep editing it, but here is the latest draft, which isn't too bad:

(Still untitled)

Morning sunlight reflects off windows, freshly washed
Spotless tables in a row, stand waiting.
Voices; laughing, talking, people sharing
Happiness is:
Hands wrapped around a hot mug
Feet slowly thawing,
Watching my children cheerfully wave
At people in cars lined up outside,
To buy a hot coffee on a cold winter day.

Explaining or Complaining?

We went to Tim Hortons this afternoon, and Gabriel was complaining because I got coffee, and he didn't get anything to drink. I got him a muffin only.

Me: I'm getting coffee because I have a headache.
Dominic: Me too, I have a headache because of the sun. It's making me hot and I get a headache.
Maryssa: Me too, I have a headache, but I'm not explaining.

So Cute...

Nicolas is 13 and a half months now and has started copying our every move... (well almost) Marc was calling Toby (the dog), this evening to come inside, and whistling for him, so Nicolas started yelling "Ahhh!" and then started blowing out, trying to whistle too.

When the kids go to brush their teeth, Nicolas spits into the sink too.

He walks around, coughs and puts his hand in font of his mouth while coughing.

The other day, Gabriel was reciting the alphabet, and Nicolas started to chant too, his own personal alphabet.

He says "uh-oh" and "mama". He also said "um-um" twice when he wanted to nurse and I was being obtuse, and not getting it, although that was awhile back. He comes running to me (since Dec. 26) and says "Mama!" I love that. I think he is the first for whom that is the first real word.

Check this story out:

Spanish psychologist tries to unravel mystery of Cambodia's 'jungle woman'
Wed Jan 24, 2:14 AM

By Ker Munthit

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Cambodia's "jungle woman" smiled for the first time, showing a childlike appreciation for a puppet show put on by a visiting Spanish psychologist, the man who claims to be her long-lost father said Wednesday.

Hector Rifa, a doctor of psychology from Spain's University of Oviedo, was spending several days with the woman in the hope of unravelling some of the mystery surrounding her since she emerged from the forest Jan. 13, naked and unable to speak, after what may have been nearly two decades in the wild.

Rifa is the first foreign medical professional to meet the woman who is believed to be 27-year-old Rochom P'ngieng, who disappeared in the jungles of Cambodia's northeastern Rattanakiri province while herding water buffaloes when she was 8.

Read more...

A professor of psychology of religion in adolescents used examples of "jungle children" like these, to explain how important language is in the development of the human brain. If a child does not learn to speak at a young age, he will pretty much remain animal-like in behavior. It would appear that an older child who loses contact with society and therefore forgets his language, would have similar results.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Looking for a child to adopt?

Aid To Women, a crisis pregnancy centre in Toronto, has been assisting a mom who is expecting twins next month.

Recently she found out, that one of the babies (a boy) has Spina Bifida. This is a birth defect in which the spinal cord has not developed properly. According to the doctors this little unborn child's condition is severe. He is probably paralyzed from the waist down and will need a shunt because of hydrocephali (water on the brain).

The Mother cannot face this challenge and is booked to have a selective abortion of the spina bifida child in a few weeks.

Aid to Women feels that if they can offer this mom a promise that a family will adopt the handicapped child she will carry him to term.

Aid to Women is appealing to the pro-life community to offer a home and heart for the child.

For more information from a mom who did adopt a Spina Bifida baby, who is now a grown man, please call Joanne at 905-309-3340.

To enquire about possibly adopting the child call Aid To Women at 416-921-6016.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Combien vaut mon blog?


My blog is worth $8,468.10.
How much is your blog worth?



J'ai un petit bout à faire avant de faire valoir le mien autant que celui de Deo Gratias. Ha ha. Mais bon, j'en aurai peut-être assez pour aller faire un petit tour en France, visiter des châteaux, des catédrales, le pays de mes ancêtres (Normandie) et peut-être même passer par un séminaire, jouer au football (soccer) avec un certain séminariste.

Ah, mais je n'aurais plus le plaisir d'écrire, alors à demain les rêves... Puis de toute façon, il faut bien que j'aille visiter le pays de mes ancêtres de l'autre côté de la famille, (l'Écosse) aussi.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Yet another petition, I think this one is important though...

I have just read and signed the online petition: "Non à l'exploitation du corps des femmes / No to the exploitation of women's bodies" hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service, at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/6100fini/I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

This petition is an action to get rid of the degrading habit of using women's bodies as sexual objects when selling things. Perhaps we will finally be able to walk around certain areas of Montreal without having to leave the kids at home, or cover their eyes? Or drive down a highway without being assaulted by annoying images.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A gift of Poetry

Written by Rose Anne Chabot: (My sister)

Standing beneath the doorframe
On the threshold of the infinite space
In which you kneel,
Hands splayed on the wooden floor
Womb heavy and distended.
A space more powerful
Than the bones and skin
We wander around in,
An in-between space that belongs
To the dying
And the child that slips from you
Umbilical cord for an instant
The blue of cornflowers
Or the sky drowning in the sea
Off some Greek Island.
And I think of all the things
That go unsaid, cannot be said
Yet fill the spaces we leave open
The pauses we wrap ourselves in
As we sip burning coffee
From white styrofoam cups
And distribute Timbits*
Among four pairs of tiny hands,
or lean against a counter
Cramped with envelopes and stickers,
Barbie doll limbs, empty wine bottles
And a discarded apple core
Slowly rusting in the open air.
These pauses which
Like the child bursting from you
Emerge from some in-between space
Its silence filled with things
That come before language
Before the sounds
We push past throats and lips.
Friend, sister.

*Donut holes are called Timbits at Tim Horton's Coffee/Donut shops across Canada

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Got up to change a diaper, and couldn't get back to sleep again...

I played volleyball with Marc today, (oops, um I guess that would be yesterday by now) and the weird thing is, after about the first hour, or the first 2 or 3 games, I started looking at the clock all the time, waiting for it to end. I actually got bored playing. I'd had enough and would have been ready to leave, but of course, I couldn't. I'm not sure why I got bored, because I love volleyball (at least I think I do). Maybe it was because of the lack of adrenaline and competitiveness that you normally get when you play in a league? I prefer to play soccer. I feel like I'm actually getting a work-out when I do. Plus the league I'm in might be recreational, but the teams are competitif, in the sense that we all have this very strong drive to win.

Of course, it didn't help that I was constantly distracted, trying to make sure that someone (mainly Jean-Alexandre) was actually watching Nicolas and not letting him get too close to the game.

The last time I played volleyball in Moose Factory was in 2005, when I went for Mr Delaney's funeral. Everyone got on the court (including the older kids) all at once, so there were no positions and no subbing. Instead of two rows of three people playing, we had three rows of four or five people playing. It was just for fun. I can handle these "just for fun" things every once in awhile, as long as they are not too frequent or the only thing I am doing. Especially since I think it was a great idea to involve the kids. But then before the game started, I actually blurted out to some guy that I "had played while at University and I was probably better than I had been in High School." Which I immediately regretted, because he likely took that to mean "Oh look at me, I'm even better than I was.", which is actually far from what I meant it to mean.

I have nothing to prove to anyone from Moosonee or Moose Factory, and yet I have everything to prove. What I actually meant was, "I remember how horribly you used to tell me I played, and I am letting you know that since then I have had time to practice and get better so you shouldn't have to get frustrated playing with me today." Which was stupid, because I should have said nothing. He probably barely remembers that he never wanted to play with me. The problem is that I do.

Here is a small window into my life in Moose Factory: Flashback to Northern Lights Secondary School in Moosonee. It is lunchtime and once again, the volleyball nets are up in the gymnasium. I walk in, ready to face the other players who, for the past two months now, divide themselves into two teams each day and play volleyball. Each team yells at me to go and play on the other team. Neither team ever wants me and I am always left trying to decide which of the two teams I should go force to endure my presence. Now, I KNOW I wasn't one of the better players, I hadn't been playing volleyball all that long, but I also know that I wasn't the WORST player. There were some who were afraid of the ball and mostly ducked when it came to them. And there were others who hit it wrong more often than I did. But that didn't matter. THEY could still play.

On this particular day, someone, most likely my sister, has decided to go to the office and add an announcement in the morning to wish me a happy birthday. I walk into the gym, and the first thing anyone says to me, in a very caring, mindful of my needs voice, is; "Jeanne, it's your birthday today. Why don't you go take a break? Don't play today." And then half of them take up the chorus: "Yeah Jeanne, it's your birthday today, take a break."

I made it to the girls' changing room, which, thankfully, was empty, before the tears came. (Silently) I think I cried for about five minutes and then I went on over to the cafeteria, like nothing had happened, and had lunch (probably with my sister).

The weird thing about this story is that the VERY NEXT DAY (just like the cat who wouldn't stay away), I was back in that gymnasium, picking a team that would have to endure my presence for the rest of the noon period. I had thick skin back then. Somehow I was able to go ahead and pretend like this was all normal, and that it didn't get to me, or that it wasn't happening. If I wanted to play sports (and I did) I didn't have a choice, I was going to have to play with people who didn't want me, or play by myself. Honestly, by the end of that school year, I was no longer one of the worst players. No thanks to them. By the time I ended High School, I probably wasn't one of the best players, but I was probably one of the better players. No thanks to them. I don't have thick skin like that anymore, at least not when it comes to stuff like that. If anyone were to do that to me today, I would leave and never come back.

I also played basketball back in highschool. When I started out, I was definitely nothing special. But by the time I hit grade twelve, I can honestly say I was one of the best female players. There was no senior basketball team, because the head coach decided senors weren't committed enough, but we were allowed to join the junior girls' practices, to which we responded by attending EVERY SINGLE PRACTICE probably in numbers equal to or even greater than the junior girls. Obviously proven wrong, when the opportunity to attend a native basketball tournament came up, she decided to award us for our efforts by letting us form a team to play in the tournament. I tried out. Even though I wasn't native myself, it didn't really matter, I had already "played" in a native volleyball tournament. I warmed the bench, but that's another story. This time I knew I would not be warming the bench. Not too much anyway. I was good enough to play often. I had high hopes.

And then our coach announced to us that she was going to let US choose who should be on the team. My heart sank at those words, but then I remembered there were 15 spots and I think we were 17, maybe 18 maximum trying out. Even if people were biased against me, with those odds, a really good player should still make the team right?

I didn't make the team. I was left off, and one other girl, who was short, couldn't run very fast and didn't have the skills others did. I don't remember if there was another. Our coach said there had been a tie between two people for the last position and she had had to choose between the two. So either noone really wanted me on their team, no matter how good I was, (If Jonathon Cheechoo had been Jonathon Chabot, would he be playing for the Sharks today?), or very few people did, INCLUDING the coach. I remember going to see another teacher (who didn't particularly like the one who was our coach) and he was absolutely amazed that I had not made the team. So it's not just me.

You know what? You people, you made me feel unwelcome from the first day I stepped into grade one and you were burdened with my presence. I have known, since day one, that you did not want me there. And eventually, I was able to ignore it. To act like it wasn't true. That's what you do when, drop by drop, people are trying to wear you down, like water on a rock. You grow tougher skin. But every once in awhile you would really outdo yourself in your efforts to make me feel unwelcome. And suddenly, it hurt again. But I'm a Wolverine, my skin heals quickly and it just gets thicker and thicker. Until you almost think I must be stupid not to realize how much you hate having me around, and why does she keep coming back for more? I'm sorry people. I dreamed of leaving, but unfortunately, my parents had no intentions of doing so. So you were stuck with me. I apologize for having ruined your perfect lives.

In the end, you have prepared me for a new battle. The battle against secularism. Were it not for you and my thick skin, I might not be a practicing Catholic today. Because the constant belittling jokes, the irony, the distrust of, the issues with and the opposition to the Catholic faith that I have had to face, (all of which, individually, are only tiny things, but like water that can bore through rock one drop at a time), would have worn me out and probably made me give up by now. Ah, but I have thick skin. I pretend I don't hear the jokes anymore. I have learned to avoid certain subjects. I pretend there is no opposition. To the point that you might think I'm stupid, and don't get it. And why does she keep going to that useless ceremony they call a mass?

And so I thank you people of Moose Factory, for all that you have done for me. Some of you were nice, and I appreciate that. Those of you that weren't, (and you know who you are), I can still love you. When Jesus spoke about loving your enemies, nowhere in there did he say you actually had to like them.

(PS. This has nothing to do with what I don't remember I wanted to post about earlier. This just popped into my head and I couldn't sleep anymore. So I'm getting it out. It's about time I did. Maybe now I can go get back to sleep?)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy New Year

While I am at it, I should also probably wish the world at large a very happy new year. Bonne et sainte année! Feliz año nuevo!

I had this really good beginning...

... to a post that I was going to write, but of course, I can't remember diddly of it anymore. I really need to take a notebook with me everywhere and jot things down, when I have spare time and am thinking... (Yes, I DO think from time to time).

See, now this is why few people actually stop to read what I have to say, because most of the BEST stuff never actually makes it here... ha ha

By the way, how is it that some people have 30 people commenting on their blogs no matter what they say (it almost becomes a competition among the readers) and I have trouble having one or two to comment... (AND I AM VERY THANKFUL TO YOU FOR COMMENTING! VOUS SAVEZ QUI VOUS ÊTES)

Not that any of this matters because mostly, this is for me anyway. And by the way, this is SO not even close to what I was actually going to post about. If it comes back to me, I will try to write myself a memo somewhere...

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's a good thing...

... we took advantage of that perfect winter afternoon when we did, because the next day, everything melted and we haved had quite balmy weather since. This has been a very strange start to winter and the new year especially.

I hope this is just one of those cycle things, where you have an especially warm winter one year and then you go back to cold. I 'd hate to think that this is going to be a trend. I miss real winters, when you could count on the snow not melting. When you know you had all winter to skate and slide and didn't have to rush out and take advantage of the weather conditions while they lasted. I miss having enough snow, not only to make one large quintzee, (snow fort) but a whole row of them with inter-connecting tunnels. I miss walking across a frozen river to desert islands, building a fire and roasting hotdogs in the bush and then coming back home.

I like summer and warm weather, and I always thought I'd prefer a warmer winter, but now that I live in St-Jean and actually do get warmer winters, I realize warmer winters aren't much fun. The kids don't play outside, because it's raining and chilly half the time, and if it isn't raining the ground is still humid anyway. This half-cold, half-warm weather just isn't much fun. It's like a very long early spring, and we were always inside a lot in early spring because everything was just too wet to play outside.

If we're having a weird winter this year, maybe we'll have a nice cold winter next year? Keeping my fingers crossed.