My Motherless Birthday Wish


My heart has stopped, and then starts again full throttle. The music is filling the room with memories and dreams of the future. The words mix with the music notes from the guitar flooding my eyes with tears. The happy kind.

I am in the middle of my living room that is brimming with family and friends. They just gave me a surprise party. The icing on the cake is the gentleman who is singing the song. Chris and I only just met today, yet I know his stories as he knows mine through Social Media. He and my husband have long since connected the same way.

Only, this song came from the collaboration of the two of them for my surprise birthday party. What really made me weep is that the song is titled A Million Oceans. The very words that my own mother would say, “I love you more than a million oceans. “ My heart and soul is filled with the compassion and kindness that is bursting from my home. I am turning 39, the age my mom did not make it to. My dear husband knew this and made me a surprise like no other. That is not easy since we have been together over 22 years now. Next month we celebrate 20 years of marriage. This is one of the top romantic things he has ever done for me.

I look at the faces of my friends and family who took the time during their Thanksgiving weekend to come here to celebrate – for me. My sweet sister-in-law came from Calgary for this weekend! I am stunned and humbled all at the same time. Just when life stops surprising me, this happens, a million oceans over.

The one thing that struck me in why Chris came out was about paying it forward. It is so true. As parents, we hope that our kids’ future is at least 50% better than the way we had it at their age. I always mourned the fact that I was cheated out of having my mother as I grew up, and that my kids do not have their grandmother. I also dreaded turning 39 because my mom didn’t.

There is one thing I know today, my 39th birthday, is that she did leave a world for me that included kind-hearted people that remind me of her. My birthday wish is that you do pay it forward for someone today, for them, you and our children.

Thank you to all of you for the love and light you have brought back to my heart.

Please feel free to share here how you paid it forward today.

Here is the song:

Torn, Not Me


I drink in the smell of the freshly bathed and diapered newborn. The little girl’s hand is curled around my pinky finger.  Watching her sleep bundled in my arms makes me wonder if my daughters were ever that tiny. It seems like a lifetime ago.

The baby opens her eyes and lets out a huge wail that sounds like a mice squeak. I recall my girls wailing like fire engines. This cry is nothing. As her little fist starts to make its way to her tiny  rosebud mouth, I pass her over to her mama who is waiting in the rocking chair.

I wander over to where my young daughters are playing with others. It is no wonder why my biological clock is not thundering in my heart holding that bundle of baby. Considering I wasn’t supposed to be pregnant once let alone twice, I never had the maternal urge to be a mom. 

When I was a kid, my dolls never played house. The house was magically clean. Ken went to an office.  My Barbie won court cases or performed in plays. I never was good at the Easy Bake Ovens. In retrospect on my family history, it is no surprise I never felt the pull to be a mom.

I am okay with my two girls that allowed me to be their mom.  I don’t need any more. I feel greedy that I got to be a mom of two. As my oldest daughter at the tender age of four tells me that one arm is for her and the other arm for her younger sister. I only have two arms for my two beauties.

As the visit winds down, the baby is napping, signalling we should go. I can’t help but think ahead of when the next time a baby will be in my arms. Aside from kids of friends, I sense it will be when it’s my grandchild. Leading by my own experiences with my grandparents, I know that I will love being a grandma.

That feeling seems so right. I look forward to the future with my daughters. I am not torn on having more children. I am gifted with the ones I am meant to have.


My Oprah AHA Moment

The lights in the living room are dim. My feet are up on the coffee table and a chilled glass of wine in hand. The room is quiet. The monitor is perched beside me emoting the childrens’ snores. My darling husband is downstairs playing his favorite computer game. My new happy place is having the TV to myself. I click on the PVR and select the next Oprah episode with a touch of sadness. This is the final week of The Oprah Winfrey show. She is moving on after 25 years. I first discovered her show shortly after my mom died in 1984. After her death I would let my sister and myself in after school. We would do our homework in front of the TV tuned into Oprah. Watching her every day after school became such a comfort to my being a latch-key kid. She would offer kindness, compassion and teach me the ways of the world just like my mom had done. Watching her today, now being a mom myself, has taken on a whole new meaning. I have learned parenting information and have been entertained while my babies napped in my arms. Learning from Oprah has been a part of my happy places for all this time. Now it’s almost time to say goodbye, and part of my ten-year old self feels like its saying goodbye to my mom again. I know it’s silly, but its how I feel. I love this era where a beautiful black woman runs her own network, a black young man runs the US and a white woman runs our province in Canada. All of the generations of our ancestors have fought for, and won progress in this world. Anything is possible to achieve. I can’t wait to see what history my daughters will make. I see the red lights light up on the monitor with the collective snores from my girls and I smile. A calm washes over me that lift a load off my shoulders. It dawns on me that there is no sadness to saying goodbye to a tradition that has been a part of me for so long. It’s about closing a chapter and opening a new one is what Oprah has taught me. Thank you Oprah. See you on OWN.

Is Honesty The Best Policy for your Kids?

“Mommy, why can’t I have chocolate now?” as my four-year-olds scrunchy face is staring at me. I think she is trying to stare me down. My mind races for an answer she might actually hear. I tried simple ‘no’ and that backfired to here.

“You cannot have chocolate for breakfast because it would not taste good. Chocolate is only a snack food in the afternoons. That is when it tastes the best.” My lie sits out there like a whip cream cloud.

“Oh. Okay.” She races off to play.

I watch her and the guilt of lying to my girl weighs heavily on my brain. Every hour when my kids are awake I am faced with (as every parent) how much truth you tell your children.  When our loved ones passed away we told our kids what happened in toddler terms. We didn’t lie. We told them how they got sick and never got better. Now they are angels and feel better.  

When a friend doesn’t call for a play date I am faced with the question of ‘why?’  My heart knows I can’t shelter them for too long. Reality and other school children will infiltrate their world.  If it is a serious issue I will address what is needed. We have our family values and hope our children will uphold them as they grow up.

As I watch my two daughters run around squealing with happiness, I vow to keep them as innocent as I can. Knowing that is what I can do for now as their mom lightens my heart. I will always try to be as honest as I can with them, but in their terms they can understand.  When they are honest with me on who broke what, they are never punished. There are consequences for their actions, but they are never reprimanded for being honest.

Okay maybe the chocolate lie was off kilter from the truth. How do you handle the day-to-day honesty with your kids?

WAHM without child care

as originally posted at

Gasp! It is in this moment I ache for help for just one hour. An eye of the clock blasts the fact I have only one hour till deadline. My two-year-old bouncing on my lap, zooming her car. With every other second the question of ‘why?’ comes from my four-year-old who is watching Sesame Street. My tummy rumbles with the emptiness of missing breakfast and too much coffee.
I type with one hand, trying to keep focus on the task. Then, the doorbell chimes beckon their demand for my attention. I hoist my toddler in my arms, unlock the child safety gate and race down the stairs. As I open the door I realize that I am still in my pjs. I say a silent prayer that it isn’t a big deal.
The courier hands me a package and shows me where too sign. I close the door and run back up the stairs to face my computer. I place my tot on the floor and she races around the room squealing.
I resume my typing at a fast pace. My girls pick this moment to ask for more snacks. I fly to the kitchen 10 feet away and open all the snack packs I could grab.
The girls are settling with the second TV show of the morning. I reread the article I need to finish in order to remember where I left off. I am almost at the finish line when a certain odor drifts through the room, prompting another stop to my work. Toddler changed and happy as I go back to the computer for the fifth time to make the deadline.
I type the last sentence. The clock pompously tells me there is five more minutes to go. I ignore the cries from the kids of who did what, and who has what. I reread the final draft and hit the beloved ‘send’  button. The adrenaline rush that hits me is such a relief.
I wonder why I even try to work at home. Without family or vast financial resources, I have no day time help. Occasionally, I work at night when they are asleep. Colds and sleep deprivation override the need to read or watch TV to have some ‘me time’ or hang with my hubby. If I worked outside the home I would only make enough to pay for childcare.
All of a sudden I find the room quiet. I creep out of my chair and tip toe around the floor to see where the kids are located.
I turn near the bookshelf. I spy my oldest trying to read to her younger sister. My heart warms with the precious image. The answer to why I work-at-home in between diapers and tantrums is to be here for moments like the one in front of me. That is the best pay day.