Monday, September 29, 2008

love springs up

and does backflips
and scoops out chunks of my breathing so I stop
and say YESSS!

and that barely explains what it feels like, you just have to feel it

On Saturday, my brother Michael and his wife Emily gave birth to their fifth child - a beautiful boy named Michael David (for my brother and my Dad).

Baby Michael had his first ride in a helicopter from his home in northern BC to the big hospital near where we live. His mom and dad came too. Baby is fine, but will spend a few days here in the land of Grandma and Grandpa R. and his Auntie Mompoet, before he goes home to stay with his brothers and sisters and Grandma and Grandpa C back up north. Right now, he's doing fine, and is spectacular and perfect in every way.

Auntie Mompoet has never visited the Neonatal ICU before today. That's where all the babies are who need a little extra help during their first days and weeks. It feels like a safe place, with lots of moms and dads and sweet babies, and plenty of nurses for everyone. Baby Michael has perfect fingers and toes and beautiful skin tone. He's not quite chubby, but there's meat on his bones and he looks deliciously squeezeable and tempts nibbles and belly zurbers, but those will wait for a bit.

We are all so grateful to meet this special baby - my parents' tenth grandchild. I suspect he will remain "the baby of the family" and he has had a very exciting and dramatic start.

I talked a lot to God this weekend, and found God in everything and everyone around me. Now I see God in this little life. Less and less the man in the clouds, more and more every living, breathing, pulsing bit of being in the world, all connected by love.

Love, love, love
That's all there is, and all there needs to be.

question: none for today

mompoet - eyes open in wonder

Thursday, September 25, 2008

random equinox thoughts in haiku form

youtube makes me sad
I still miss Mr. Rogers
kind, wise sweater-heart

my husband's gumboots
are just right for dog walking
but they eat my socks

black bean soup and bread
fresh from the bread machine
let's stay home tonight

the carpenter called
he'll rebuild our porch next week
good-bye petunias

that big old bird's nest
will lift with the next harsh wind
and fly to Kansas

I saw a squirrel
fall off a roof this morning
drunk on acorn juice

children ride their bikes
through leaf-swirls and rain puddles
flinging wide wheel spray

this equinox knocks
hurry up nights, get longer
bust up the balance

question: how are you with the fall falling?

mompoet - thinking petunia actually counts as 4 syllables but oh well

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

sometimes the hardest part about being a mom is not helping

Alex has a paper to write for school this week. He's at college now, studying film production. So far, his assignments have been short, sweet, expressive and non-stressful, but now he has a three page analysis to write, based on a movie of his choice.

He chose No Country for Old Men, rented it from the video store and watched it again, then sat down to write. He had notes from his instructor on the expected elements of the review, as well as a sample review, written by another film student in a previous semester. He asked me for help, so I sat down and looked at the instructions with him, and discussed how he might collect and organize his thoughts before writing the review. Then I did the hard part. I walked away.

He had a hard time beginning, and shouted suggestions and ideas to me for the first few minutes, and I tried my best to be encouraging but leave it to him. At the same time, I was feeling excited about the project. I love movies. I love that movie. I would love to write a review of that movie, but I'm not taking the course. I went downstairs and did laundry. For a long time. When I came back upstairs he had 2 pages divided into the main sections of the review, with bullet points under each topic. He was going to the internet to find background info. I warned him not to quote wikepedia or imdb, just to go to the most reliable sites he knew to check facts. The review needed to be about his own response to the film - not what someone else said that sounded smart. Then I walked away again.

As Alex began typing the review from his notes, he called out to check how a word was spelled, then another. I told him, "Use creative spelling." I'll help you check spelling when you have the whole thing written. For now, just write, and don't let spelling stop you.

I told Andy, "I'd like to watch that movie again. Do you want to watch it with me?" Smart man, he said, "No. not tonight." Well he knew that if I watched it I would be even more tempted to point out something to Alex and ask if he noticed it, or what he thought of it. I realised the time for me to watch it will be after Alex hands in the paper.

A while later Alex was telling me how tired he felt, and maybe he should stop and do more work tomorrow. I encouraged him to talk to himself and write down everything he says - just get some words on the page and you'll get rolling. Then I walked away again. He began to work at the keyboard.

When I went to bed at ten, Alex was typing like crazy. I think he's doing fine. I can't wait to read what he writes. He can do it, and I can not do it. Yay for both of us.

question: did you ever have a time when helping was not helpful?

mompoet - not helping, like a good mom doesn't

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a beautiful weekend

The ladeez and I enjoyed our 7th annual September getaway on the weekend. Everything was just right. We're already thinking about next year.

question: do you have a special getaway with excellent friends?

mompoet - blessed

school morning mom haiku

pancake PhD
Masters degree in hugging
my warm diploma

question: who did you see off today?

mompoet - learning curve

Friday, September 12, 2008

wondering if the large hadron collider will destroy the universe before I get back from my weekend away

On Wednesday, physicists at the The European Organization for Nuclear Research turned on their particle accelerator, touching off a process that will reveal new information about the nature of the big bang that happened at the very beginning of the universe.

Critics predict that this will produce a black hole that will swallow first the earth, then the rest of the universe, like everything has been turned right side out since the beginning of time, and now this experiment will cause everything to turn inside itself and consume itself into nothing. Some people are waiting in dread of this moment.

Fortunately for us, we have the internet. Defective Yeti's Matthew Baldwin linked this site, which provides constant updates for those of us concerned, and wanting to know: has the large hadron collider destroyed the universe yet?

question: do you think it's safe to make plans for Monday?

mompoet - still right side out, as far as I can tell

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I pack for a weekend away, and do a bit of pre-escape house cleaning.

Looking forward, I envision the ocean, the sun, a lounge chair on a deck above the bay, music, wine and relaxation.

Looking back I wonder how the first two weeks of September seemed so long but passed so quickly.

At this moment, I smell like cat urine. How is it that the cat box, the room that the cat box is in, and everything about me after emptying the cat box smells like cat pee, but the cat does not?

question: where are you in your head right now - tomorrow? yesterday? today?

mompoet - I empty the darn thing every week, honest

Monday, September 08, 2008

tired mompoet haiku

lazy-eyed brain flop gives me
two tired points of view

question: will we make it through the second week of September?

mompoet - focusing, focusing

Sunday, September 07, 2008

a week into september

The sun shines and I remember I dreamed of a woman, closing her right eye like I do when I am tired, to focus with just one, which is easier. Stereoscopic vision is not effortless, though some may say it is so.

A week into September and I have been eating healthy foods every day. I have resumed my exercise and regular pattern of waking and sleeping. I have watched less television this week. I still drink wine some evenings.

A week into September and I've paid the bills, filled in the forms, attended the first of several meetings and baked an extra lasagna for the freezer. I have not emptied the cat's litter box or cleaned the bathrooms.

A week into September and two elections approach. I will prepare for them this week: apply for an out-of-country ballot for the one and help my son register as a new voter for the other.

A week into September and the volunteering begins anew. There's a music parents meeting, and one for the poetry slam. There are Sunday school students to register, communion to serve and sandwiches to drive to the mission. Soon we will canvass for our candidate.

A week into September and the dog and cat barely notice the change. The house is empty by day now that we are back to work and school, but there are still sunbeams for basking, and the porch door stays open. The barbeque is still in use, and it's warm and dry for evening walks.

A week into September and we'll book a ferry today for next weekend's getaway to a house on the shore. Three days of pleasure with little regard for the busy days that stretch out ahead.

A week into September and the produce store is a riot of fresh bounty. I buy local peaches and new crop local apples, peppers, zucchini and eggplant - more than I can possibly cook and we can possibly eat, but it is so beautiful, I cannot resist.

A week into September and June, July, August leave only faint imprints. Both eyes open now I see the year ahead.

question: what are you seeing and doing a week into September?

mompoet - finding the groove

Friday, September 05, 2008

my week in a nutshell - a very short one act play


on a lettuce garden, decorated with bees. The MOM enters, carrying a laundry basket filled with unsharpened pencils.

The MOM: Oh look, it's Tuesday. The sun shines through the pillows and a new week begins. It is September and I am...

TURTLE, TRICYCLE, DUCK and BINGO DABBER (offstage, in a jumble of shouts): eeeee! horror! banana! electrolux!

The MOM: Does anyone need busfare? I have some tulips here in my hairnet.

Turtle stumbles onstage. Her chef's hat is on backward. She has a hot wheels car in one hand and a carrot peeler in the other.

TURTLE: Have you seen the cat? I think she finished the turnips without putting on a new roll.

The MOM: Good morning Turtle.

TURTLE: How can you say that? Where is your fence of compassion? You have crushed me to the pore! (throws the hot wheels car offstage, takes off her hat, and runs offstage, stabbing her hat with a carrot peeler) Bad! Bad! cat!

The MOM sighs and begins to arrange the pencils into a porcupine design in her hairnet. Still arranging, she walks to the mirror, stops to consider her reflection, and laughs.

TRICYCLE enters, dragging BINGO DABBER by the tail.

TRICYCLE: (to BINGO DABBER) You see? I told you it was your fault! The MOM always laughs when it's your fault. Now give me back my waffle clapper!

BINGO DABBER: Somebody help me! He thinks I took his waffle clapper but I didn't. How could I take it? I have no hands. All I can do is dab, dab, dab! (BINGO DABBER dabs a big dab of green ink on tricycle. The MOM turns and looks).

DUCK enters


TRICYCLE: (wiping green ink off his handlebars) Well, if you didn't take my waffle clapper, then who did? I left it under the bread and now it's gone.


BINGO DABBER: Duck is trying to quell us something. What's up, Duck?


The MOM: Hold on, I speak duck. I'll find out.

The MOM and DUCK engage in an exchange of quacking, flapping and bowing.

The MOM: Okay, thanks Duck. I'll tell them. (to Tricycle and Bingo Dabber) He says he ate your waffle clapper and your bread. But he will give them back to you if you tell him where you put his shoes.


BINGO DABBER: Ducks don't wear shoes, and I don't like waffle clapper bread poop. Let's get him, Tricycle! DAB! DAB! (TRICYCLE and BINGO DABBER chase DUCK offstage).

The MOM empties the laundry basket of any remaining pencils and puts it upside down on her head, then shoos the bees away. After the bees leave, she sets down the laundry basket centre stage. She walks to the lettuce garden where she chooses three heads of iceberg. She takes the lettuce to the laundry basket, climbs into the laundry basket and sits with her eyes closed for a moment.

Duck, now covered with green polka dots, enters, and hops into the laundry basket with The MOM. They snuggle up and smile. Mom exhales slowly, then commences to juggle lettuce. Duck watches.


Monday, September 01, 2008


  • Andy and I return to our jobs after 2 weeks stay at home vacation.
  • Alex begins college at Capilano College/University in the Film Production program. They have an "action-packed day" planned with instructions not to bring bags, and to dress comfortably. There will be live music, group activities, lunch and prizes. Sounds like an easy transition in to college life.
  • Fiona begins grade 10. She goes to school for one hour, then will meet up with friends for lunch.
  • We all have to get up very early in the morning.
  • We will say goodbye to 7pm suppers, lazy sleep-ins, shorts and flip flops, sunscreen, the PNE, and an abundance of spontaneity.
  • We will find our socks and begin to wear them again.
  • We will join everyone else traveling by car and transit to work and school.
  • We will enjoy the bounty of late summer peaches and plums, and be on the lookout for local new crop apples.
  • We will feel the snap in the air on a crisp blue-sky morning.
  • We will reconnect with the reassurance and richness of our regular lives, feeling refreshed and energized by the break from routine we have enjoyed this summer.
question: what turning points to you see in the week ahead?

mompoet - always something new to anticipate