I am driving along the transcanada in the majestical Rocky Mountains for the thousandth time. Everytime I do I find yet another Jewel.
I left at 4:00 am from Calgary destined for the Okanagan by 9:30 am. The first time I drove this route by myself this early my 10 year old son was an infant now my 7 year old daughter is asleep in the back seat. She'll wake up just as we arrive and the 6 hour trip will seem like minutes to her.
Since we're moving to the west coast this will be my last trip. I zip past rest stops and towns I've stopped at in the past ans wonder if other Calgarians on their way to their Okanagan or Shuswap destination have taken a moment to enjoy the journey. Some places I've stopped to stretch, like Feader Lake, surprise me with kids playgrounds and quiet scenic benches. Some stops to grab a snack, like field, are filled with history and photo ops. Most though have been a historical educational walks for my children as they see, touch, and learn about the building of the railway in the BC Rockies.
One of my favorite pictures is of my son at 1 1/2 years old. We'd stopped at the Rogers Pass Petro Canada for a pee break (for me) and through sheer curiosity took a walk along the deserted rail track. An easy walk through the forest has plaques that tell the story of men who lost their lives trying to build a section of the railway. At the end of the journey is the Rogers Pass summit marker.
There are so many places along this section of the TransCanada Highway that relay the past history many only get to read about in History Books. How many Alberta and BC families have flown by in their cars, timing themselves to see how fast they could get to their destination.
Some stops have been planned, our time at the natural bridge in field. Some stops out of necessity like the little access roads off the. Main highway for a private urgent bathroom break. Some to cool off from the summer heat because our car didn't have a/c. Since I was born here and have driven this stretch of highway so many times the awe of it is lost on me. For those who have traveled here and taken the time to visit every part of this beautiful majestic mountain region and have seen the work of God, you are the fortunate ones because many who live here zip by on their way to somewhere else.
I thought I had a few more years before I had to deal with pimples and body odor but my 10 year old son woke up this morning with a pus pot of a zit.
I was talking to my friend the other day about puberty and she mentioned she'd bought some books for her daughter to read. Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid reader and love books but I want my kids to talk to me and be open about what's going on with them. Although, I will use books as a tool I am developing an open dialogue with him too.
I started talking to him about his body at a very early age. At night I'd ask him questions about his private parts and who was allowed to touch them. He was uncomfortable at first but I kept the tone light and we'd joke about how he was different from his sister and why his pee looked different from his dad's.
I wouldn't get technical or tell him the bird's and bee's. He know's there is something called sex from the TV but he doesn't know what it is. After all he's only 10.
By asking light questions and giving him age appropriate info about his body in different non technical ways has enabled a strong line of communication to develop. Whether he will pick up his end of the line when he has questions or issues is yet to be seen.
Being a parent is full of stresses, just when you think you have it all figured out you get a phone call. My son's schools have tested and labelled him twice exceptional. Labels, I had hoped my son would be average, even when it was very apparent that he wasn't, I didn't want him to be labelled. He hates being different and wants to be the same as everyone else. I can't blame him, isn't that what anyone wants, to be just like their friends.
When I got the call from my son's resource teacher with the latest test results I was filled with both extreme pride and foreboding. My grade 4 son, my baby, has completed grade 10 for reading ability and grade 8 for comprehension. Any parent would be thrilled to get such a call but it fills me with a feeling I can't explain. Of course I'm proud, but there is this worry, fear, and stress that won't leave the pit of my stomach.
I'm not a neurotic parent, far from it. I don't visit doctor's offices at the sign of a sniffle or the emergency room for every scrap or fall. I'm a firm believer in natural consequence, responsibility for choices, and figuring things out for themselves. I don't get rattled easily, I pride myself on handling any issue that comes my way - but every time I talk to his school I worry that he will not meet his potential and its my fault.
Working full time again has taken my focus away from my kids. Mothers always feel guilty, I mean isn't that a measuring stick of how good a mother you are? Working mothers have the added guilt of not being there all the time. This is probably the source of this feeling in the pit of my stomach the nagging voice saying I'm not good enough, I'm failing my son.
It is so frustrating, you know when you can't remember something. I read a novel once about a women who's husband died when his yacht blew up. A year later a psychic shows up with a message from her dead husband. Someone murdered him and now is trying to kill her. She discovers her husband isn't who she thought he was. They don't have kids. In the end the whole thing has to do with money and his mistress the psychic. I thought the book was written by Joy Fielding but it isn't listed on her site.
If you have any suggestions as to the writer or the book title please let me know!! It's drivin me crazy.