Friday, June 24, 2011

for all the other kids

First of all, ah-dorable.
Second of all, I think this kid has it spot on. With a little confidence and the determination to practice, it's amazing what you can do. For most of us, riding a bike is easy, it's natural and not something we think about doing when we hop on and peddle away. But when you're learning something new, if it's riding a bike, baking a cake or an accounting equation, there may be some challenges along the way. I imagine the little guy in the video didn't pull his bike put of the garage for the first time and rock and roll down the sidewalk like a pro. I'm going to imagine that it took him a try or two to figure out how to do what he wanted to do. Even after falling down, I bet he got back up, got back on his bike and believed he could do it. He believed in himself. He believed that if he kept practicing, kept trying, kept on going, that maybe the next time he got on his bike would be the time that he could ride it. For such a little boy, it seems like he's got some of the lessons figured out that as adults we often forget. I know that when I'm struggling to see the light at the end of a tunnel, it's hard to give myself a pep talk. It's hard to believe that I can get to the end, figure it out or get back on my bike and ride down the street with my head held high. But you can bet that the next time I get all Debbie Downer on myself, I'll be thinking of this cutie. If he can learn to ride his bike, I can learn something new, too. If he can believe in himself, so can I. If he can practice until he gets it, then I will, too. If he knows I can do it, then I should, too.

As I've said before, the wisdom of children is often so simple but so true and the lessons we learn when we're little are lessons we shouldn't forget once we're big. So to everyone learning how to ride bike, believe in yourself.
And thumbs up for rock and roll.

Have you learned anything new lately? Any advice for someone who is?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

and the livin's easy

Aah, summer. I've been waiting for you. With your warm days and sunny nights, you are just what I need in my life. Skirts and flip-flops, sunscreen and tank tops. Barbeques and patios, ice cream and popsicles. There is just so much for me to love. It may not feel like summer where I am right now but just knowing that summer is officially here is enough to get me giddy for what’s to come.
Summer has always been my favourite season, and today, it’s official arrival, my favourite day of the year. I don’t know if it is because summer meant no school or if it’s because the beach is my favourite place to be but I have always loved the sun kissed season in the middle of the year. There has always been something so appealing about putting away any jackets, leaving the layers at home, and taking in the happy sounds and salty smells of summer. I was fortunate enough to spend several summers growing up on the south coast of Maine, a few blocks away from the beach, and I can still remember the short bike ride down the street, bathing suit on and towel in hand, ready to spend several hours soaking in the sun and splashing in the ocean. Days seemed endless as we would find the perfect place for our beach blankets and let out toes tickle their way into the squishy sand. We’d jump waves, search for starfish and let the water carry us in to shore. We’d eat fresh snap peas from the market and chew on taffy from the corner store. We’d play catch and do cartwheels; we’d run races and build sandcastles. We’d be exhausted by the end of the day but anxious to return and do it all over again. Summer makes me smile. The good memories and sunny days seem to make me happier once the season has arrived. I’m more comfortable in my sunglasses and sandals than boots and big coats. I crave ice cream and lemonade and long days in the heat. It may not be as carefree as when I was young but summer relaxes me and refreshes me. It’s fun in the sun…and for me, it doesn’t get much better.
Thanks for coming, summer. I’m so glad you’re here.

Do you like summer? What’s your favourite summer memory?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

a cup of chaos

For any hockey player, the Stanley Cup is what dreams are made of. You work hard all season long, fight for your place in the playoffs and then battle to the best of your ability to make your way through three rounds to find yourself only four wins away from raising the coveted Cup over your head. Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals was last night between the Boston Bruins and my hometown Vancouver Canucks and for me and many hockey fans, it’s a night of uneasy excitement and high hopes. I had hoped I’d be able to write today about how happy I was to see the Canucks take it all but unfortunately, things didn’t quite go that way and, instead, I’ve got to offer my congratulations to the competitors as the Boston Bruins outplayed, outlasted and outscored Vancouver and are now the Stanley Cup Champions. A great season for the Canucks, a great series for the Bruins and a great sport that I truly love to watch.
And while it was certainly a disappointing loss for the Canucks, it soon became a disappointing night for the city of Vancouver. I sat and watched the news in horror as live coverage of the violence and riots that followed the game continued to escalate into total destruction and disregard. How could these people treat our city this way? How could so many people be so violent and vulgar? How do a handful of hooligans inspire hundreds of hockey fans to turn on each other, on the people and places around them and commit crime after crime? So many questions of utter disbelief as the chaos of the city overshadowed what should have been a night all about hockey and a win so well deserved by either team.
{via Andy Fang Photography}
I woke up this morning still proud to be a Vancouver fan but so ashamed that by being one I was going to be associated with the shenanigans. And while negativity has certainly surround the chaos, out of the darkness has come the light. The police, firefighters and city workers were joined by volunteers from all over this morning to help rid the city of the destruction. While it didn’t take long for the trouble to take over last night, it was just as quickly wiped away by so many proud people who came together to breathe some life back in the city. Heavy boards may cover the broken windows and be a reminder of the ruckus, but they have quickly been filled by messages of love and congratulations, by messages of pride and promise, by messages of apology and sadness. The city has calmly responded and while it doesn’t make us forget that our reputation might be tarnished, it certainly has shown that we our proud of our team, our city and our country - we won’t let the actions of a small minority ruin the fun for the rest of us. It is truly inspiring to see people come together to make a positive change.

Are you a hockey fan? What brings your city together?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

through a child's eyes

I've recently returned home from a trip to Ontario, to visit my family and watch a childhood friend marry the love of her life. What is usually a relaxing stay at my mom’s house was almost anything but as my two adorable and active nephews were taking a trip to Grandma’s house at the same time. While I'll never complain about time off work combined with the fact that living far from my family doesn't ever get easier, spending time with them never makes for a bad vacation; however, this was one vacation that I certainly needed a vacation from after returning home. As I'm sure most moms would agree, keeping up with young kids isn't at all like taking candy from a baby! So while rest and relaxation weren't high on our activity list, running around with the rug rats had me smiling from ear to ear and living life from a petite perspective. A lesson on life from a child often offers more insight than the wise words of an adult. When the end of a game of hockey means the start of a game of soccer and having to go to bed seems like the end of the world, it's no wonder that their smiles are sincere and their solutions so simple. When blowing bubbles means big laughs and filling up a kiddie pool makes for a fun filled morning, waking up earlier than you’d like to a smiling face that gives you a slobbery kiss and a huge hug is a darn good way to start the day. My nephews may have been all about being on the go but they've helped me realize that life goes too fast not to slow and enjoy it. Taking in the magic moments, no matter how tiring is what makes me realize how important it is to live life to the fullest and appreciate all the little things. Life with a little one may sometimes test your patience (and limit your sleep!), but it is a priceless lesson in love and laughter.

What lessons have you learned from the little ones in your life?