Saturday, December 10, 2011

This One's For My Mum

   Well over two years ago, for a local writing event that used to be held at the shop where I work, I wrote a piece for my Dad. I talked about all the ways he's positively influenced my life even though he spent much of my childhood away at sea. I was happy let him know that he was still a good father, even when he was far away.
   Ever since then, I have tried to write a piece for my Mum. At least a dozen times I've sat down at the computer or in front of a blank piece of paper with a pen in my hand and tried to put into words how much she means to me and...the words won't come. Now, I did write her a song, but it was about her relationship with my Dad and not about the person I've become because she is my mother.

   I've tried to figure out why exactly this is and it's certainly not because we aren't close or because I don't have anything nice to say. If anything, I think it's because I have almost too much to say. Also, perhaps I feel that this piece would be a vanity article. My Mum and I are a lot alike so if I started singing her praises would I also be singing mine?

   Even now, I'm having trouble. My heart is beating rapidly, a great feeling of love and respect is swelling in my chest and creating a lump in my throat. I'm a very emotional person and before I can put emotion into words, I have to work through those feelings. I know I am lucky to have a mother that makes me speechless with admiration, but I'm going to put the emotion aside and get on with the words.

   My Mum is a healer. She has been in the field of healthcare since her late teen years. When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a nurse because I wanted to be like her. My Mum looked so professional in her nurse whites and she always looked proud to go to work. She used to come home with funny stories or sometimes very sad tales about her patients. Some of the stories she would tell at the dinner table would make most people blush, but we loved them. Nursing has it's dark side and to get through some of those times, my Mum would use humour. It's a trait I've picked up from her; even in my darkest moments, I've still been able to laugh. Sometimes through tears, sometimes a little manically, but I can still laugh.

   When I was a child, although my Mum laughed and joked and made up silly songs about crocodiles and skipping to school with lunch in a basket, I hardly ever saw her laugh hysterically. The first time I can recall her doing so I was about 11 and the sight of her laughing uncontrollably in the kitchen, head down a cutting board, really frightened me. I thought something was wrong with her and practically begged her to stop. I remember how angry she was with me for thinking that her laughing fit was a bad thing. I felt guilty, but it was at that moment my view of my mother really changed. I realized that this woman standing in front of me wasn't just my mother, someone who was born to take care of me and my brother, cook our meals and keep the house clean. I realized that she was a person, a woman with feelings and dreams not yet revealed to me. She could, if I stopped looking at her through narrow eyes, be my friend.

   I tell my daughter that I am her mother first and her friend second.  Once I stopped thinking of my mother as just my mother, this was the relationship that grew between us. I discovered I could talk to her about anything, silly crushes on boys, the cruelty of the girls at school, my dream of becoming an actress (once I leaned about needles, blood and aiding in many messy tasks, I decided I didn't need to be a nurse to be like my Mum) and she would listen without judgement and with great patience. I loved talking to her about these things and more because when we talked I would feel like a grown up. She would share her own stories, talk about things that some people may have thought I was too young to know about, but that she felt I was ready to learn. She trusted me from an early age to do the right thing and armed me with knowledge that helped me in situations where many of my friends remained a little too innocent.

  However, as I said, she was my mother first. When I took liberties with her kindness, or took her for granted and lipped off or yelled, she would put me in my place with a look, or a well deserved scolding. It didn't always go over well. We are both stubborn people who like to be right and get the last word in. When two people with these traits are arguing you wind up with very loud fights. As a teenager, the arguments between my Mum and I happened often. My Dad would often try to act as mediator, but my Mum would tell him that we would work it out when we were ready. The fight would rage, we would go to our corners and when we were ready we would talk it out once the words had been shed of their raw emotion.

   These were difficult times for us, but they made me stronger. I know that a fight can clear the air and that as long as you have the courage to talk after, to work it out, to forgive the hurt feelings and even boldly admit when you are wrong, the foundations of your relationship will remain strong. I have a very good marriage and I strongly believe that my rocky yet strong relationship with my Mum during my teenage years taught me that the right person will work through all life's problems with you. The right person will still love you and forgive you. The right person will love you for all your flaws and goodness.

   My Mum is independent, friendly, and her compassionate and beautiful soul shines in her eyes. People gravitate to her because she has an energy you want to be a part of.  Her many friends trust her with their deepest secrets and know that she is loyal, honest and will not let them down. I try to be this kind of friend too, and when I feel let down by someone I thought was a friend, my Mum understands exactly how I feel.

   For years I lived far away from my parents, but last year the stars aligned in such a way as to bring a distance of almost 6000km between us down to just 7km. Instead of two hour talks on the phone I can now pop over for coffee, gossip, laughter and long talks about everything. We don't fight anymore, or very rarely, and she still shares stories with me and we help each other through the rough times. She is proud of me and the person I've become. She is one of my best friends which fills me with a joy I cannot put into words. But those feelings fall a distant second to how I feel when I look at her and know that I am truly blessed to be able to say that this amazing woman is my mother.

Happy Birthday Mum. I love you.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dressing Up Your Pet For Christmas

Hello Blog Fans...very patient Blog Fans...

It has been quite some time since my last post.  It's not that I haven't been writing...I just haven't been blogging.  Well, that's not true.  I did post to my other blog in April.  Here's the link for those of you who are fans and missed that particular post...

Now, brace yourselves.  I have big news. For those of you who have been waiting patiently for the tune that goes with the words for the Christmas Song that I talked about in my last posting, your long, painful, agonizing wait is over.   Back in July, we filmed the singing of our tune in Saltwater Sounds (where I work) and posted it on You Tube. Why? Why you ask...have I waited almost 3 months to tell you?  Because the local magazine that nicely publishes some of my writing is soon to release it's fall/winter issue is coming out soon and included in the magazine (Bread 'n Molasses) are the song lyrics and the link to the video.  The deadline was July for the info so we had to film it in the summer.  I didn't want to tell people too soon about the video as it may have spoiled the experience for people who buy the magazine. BUT...the time has come to release the mind penetrating goodness that is

"Dressing Up Your Pet For Christmas."

Behold the wonder, the joy, the silliness and the slightly amusing fact that my daughter looks a bit like she's singing for the camera against her will...

I will be back sooner than later, so until then, Merry Christmas!

Yours as ever,
Cinfully Silly

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Christmas Tale in February

Howdy Hey Blog Fans

Before I start, I would like to say that I should have written this entry long before now as it has to do with the Christmas we just had...but I got distracted with other and what not.  So, if reading anything about Christmas in February offends you at very high levels, book mark this post for later seasonal reading or perhaps put a sticky note on your calendar in December as a friendly reminder to come back to this entry and read about a Christmas event closer to Christmas.

But for those of you bold enough to brave the festive waters of a Christmas past in February, here is a quick tale for you.

One day, about a week or so before Christmas while Sorcha was eating dinner and I was washing dishes, we started talking about Christmas songs I dislike.  The list is many and my reasons lengthy, but what it boils down to mainly is that I am tired of the same songs every...single...year...As Sorcha and I attempted to dissect the reasons for the fury that explodes from my being when I hear "Jingle Bell Rock" we both had a delicious moment of sarcasm.  In this nugget of silly wit the gem of  new song involving pets and Christmas cloths was unearthed.  It was a magical moment and I mean that sincerely. In 90 minutes Sorcha and I together wrote a new Christmas song WITH music and sung it proudly to a few lucky family members and friends over the holidays. (and I unleashed the tune on my own without warning at a friend's party on boxing a crowd bemused party guests) We have a wee recording device that usually lets you download your witty imaginings to the computer, but at the moment, it's giving me attitude and refuses to co-operate.

So for now...I can only give you the words to what I hope will soon be a new Christmas Classic.  I give you...

Dressing Up Your Pet For Christmas

Dressing up your pet for Christmas
It's not an easy thing to do
They don't care what sweater
That you thinks looks better
Why are you even bothering with shoes
Dressing up your pet for Christmas

Dressing up your dog for Christmas
Don't dress him up as Santa Claus
Put him a fluffy beard
All your friends will think you're weird
He'll yelp if you put boots on his paws
Dressing up your dog for Christmas

Dressing up your cat for Christmas
She's not the mother of the Holy One
She's just way too hairy
To be the Virgin Mary
This won't be her idea of fun
Dressing up your cat for Christmas

Dressing up your pet for Christmas
They don't care if they match the tree
Even in something snappy
They'll still look unhappy
It's such a waste of money for me
Dressing up your pet for Christmas

Dressing up your fish for Christmas
He's not into cloths this year
You won't get him to wear a tie
He's too fast don't even try
He hardly even knows you're here
Dressing up your fish for Christmas

Dressing up your pet for Christmas
It's not an easy thing to do
They'll just eat the sweater
That you thinks looks better
And soon they will be chewing on their shoes
Dressing up your pet for Christmas

Dressing up your pet for Christmas
Dressing up your pet....for Christmas

And there you have it...a new Christmas song.  My mother in law, who was one of the fortunate few to hear this song over the holidays actually caught herself singing it at work upon returning in the New Year!   This song could be a hit for the ages...and if I can ever figure out how to transfer the recording to the computer, I will post the song so you too can hum a new Christmas tune that will drive you to the brink of  festive madness.

Thanks for reading Blog Fans!
I remain as ever, 
Cinfully yours.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Unexpected Tradition

Hello all. I probably should have written this entry around Christmas, but with one thing and another, I never got around to it. In November the editor of Bread 'N Molasses asked if I had a piece of Christmas writing on my person that I would like to submit for the Nov/Dec issue of the magazine. I said that I didn't, but I could send something soon.

It took me a few days to come up with a topic, but once I did, the poem came to me fairly easily. Every year in the fall since she was almost 4 my little girl has been cutting paper for Santa. She finds construction paper, or white paper and cuts into tiny bits and leaves it in a zip lock bag for the big guy. To this day, I still do not know exactly why she decided to this for him, but it's become as much a part of our Christmas as turkey and rum sauce (not together of course...). My heart aches at the thought of this lovely offering to Santa running it's course, but when it does at least it will last forever in our memories.

I wrote this with great love for Sorcha.

Paper Love

Late September
3 months to go
Christmas thoughts come early
In her room
Small hands work busily
Cutting carefully
Clipping paper
Not wee fingers
Red, green, purple
White, blue, brown
Different shapes
Odd shapes
Placed gently into piles
Paper for Santa she says
So he can make crafts
And she smiles
A simple explanation
For a generous offering

4 years old
Anxious and happy
The bag of paper love
Sits next to the
Milk and Cookies
With a note explaining
Her gift
To him
Christmas morning
Soft running
On carpeted stairs
A note lies beside
The empty plate
She is pleased
Santa is happy
He promises to makes crafts
For his workshop
A tradition is born

Next September
A new room
Slightly bigger
Busy hands
Clip and create
A new bag of paper
For Santa
To be left
On a different mantel
With the same feelings
5 years old
Delighted at Christmas
At the missing paper
At the craft left by Santa
It’s a Christmas Tree
Full of colour
And joy
Like her

Christmas time
6 years
7 years
8 years old
His Paper waits
With his cookies
Genuine wonder at the

The Angel

The Polar Bear

The Rabbit

All created by Santa
With paper
With love
With the gift
From a sweet girl
Who wanted to give
To Someone
Who gives to

And there you have it. And yes, for those of you who are curious, Santa left a picture this past Christmas (2010) with paper she had left for him in 2009. This past November we happily adopted a goldfish named Mushroom. Santa, through is magical and mysterious ways, must have found out about our new pet because below is a picture of the latest creation Santa left behind for Sorcha.

I can't imagine what he will leave next year...

Until next time, I hope everyone's year is off to a good start.

As ever,
Cinfully yours.