Father’s Day Reflections

Nearly nine years have passed since losing my father to cancer. Nine years. So much has happened in that time, it’s hard to believe.

With my daughter on the way, I think about my dad more often. I think about the relationship we had and how it changed as I grew.  I think about everything he’s missed in the last nine years, and I think about all he’s going to miss. It breaks my heart knowing that my little peanut will never meet her grandpa, but I’ll make sure she knows who he was. I’ll tell her stories of when he took me camping, when he made birthday cakes for my stuffed animals, and when he took me to the emergency room to get stitches (twice). I hope she inherits his infectious laugh, his love of sports, and his tenacity. I’ll show her pictures and videos. I’ll make sure she knows how much he would have loved her.

I also hope to teach her how special her daddy is. I want her to love him, appreciate him, and never take him for granted. Life is too short and family is everything.

I love thinking about Mark being a father. He is going to be an incredible daddy to our girl. He already is! She has no idea yet, just how lucky she is to have such a kind, thoughtful, smart, strong man in her life. I can’t wait to watch them bond and witness such a beautiful relationship.

To all the fathers of today, yesterday and tomorrow, and to all those who are missing their fathers, I’m sending you love and light. Think of your fondest memories with your fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law and grandfathers and hold them close to your heart today and always.

A

Not that it’s any of your business but…

This is a picture of purple flowers in front of a stone building outside

Since he-who-shall-not-be-named was elected in November, Mark and I are often asked why we chose to leave Canada. We get raised eyebrows when we tell local Bostonians where we’re from. We get comments like “wow, I wouldn’t have done that.” It’s a time of uncertainty and fear in the US and its obvious that people are feeling it. While we understand why we get the responses we do when we say we’re from Canada but choose to live in the US, it can be disheartening and a little annoying.

Why did we choose to move to Boston (Brookline)?

It’s pretty simple.  Mark was given a wonderful opportunity that would greatly benefit his professional growth. I wanted this opportunity for him and I was ready for a change anyway. I was ready to leave Toronto several years ago. We both knew the move wouldn’t be without its challenges. Moving to the US was always a possibility because of Mark’s field of work, and we talked about the pros and cons many times. In the end, we chose this adventure together!

It’s only been a couple of months, and we can honestly say, we’re pretty happy here! We like our little town. It’s clean, safe, and friendly. Our apartment is finally feeling the like home we envisioned. We’re very close to all things Boston and can get to them via train or walking, no problem! I even found a great community of parents via Facebook and Mark and I have already attended one of their events.

You’re choosing to have a baby in the US when you could have it in Canada?… Wow.

Yep. We’re doing it. Yes, we understood what we were giving up, regarding healthcare expenses, when we moved here. The pros of this move outweighed the cons, and we’ve made peace with our decision. The system here is complex. There are a lot of layers to it and it’s incredibly overwhelming at times and getting good health coverage here is expensive. We’re making it work. The upside is, we’re getting what we pay for. We’re getting excellent care and we know that our little one will be well taken care of right from birth. Canada’s healthcare system is great, but it’s far from perfect. It would be nice if people would remember that before judging us for choosing this path.

Mark and I are happy to talk about our moving experience and how we like living here so far. When we ignore the politics and the healthcare stuff (this can be difficult at times), it doesn’t feel much different from living in Ontario, Canada! No country is perfect, am I right?

We understand that there are people living in the US who would love to live in Canada if they could. We also understand that Mark and I benefit from being white, English-speaking people and don’t for one second take those privileges for granted. Our lives are good, they’re pretty easy compared to many others, and we acknowledge that. When it comes down to it, we have little to complain about.

We’re all just trying to do our best to live our lives well, and we go about it the best way we know how. Our decisions are our own. What we choose to do may not make sense to everyone, but it doesn’t have to.

A

Getting ready for a big change

This is a picture of a pregnant woman's belly at a side profile

I am 26 weeks pregnant. It’s so weird following this timeline in weeks vs months. I keep track of each week as it passes, noting the changes in my body. Sometimes I still feel like it isn’t real. Other times, I feel like time is going too fast and we’re not ready yet! The nursery is still filled with boxes and furniture to be put together. We haven’t purchased a stroller (but there is a plan in the works for that), car seat, or diapers. Thinking about all we need to do, preparing for our little one, can be stressful. The feeling passes though, and I find peace and excitement in the little things.

Since we have peanut’s name picked out, I created an email address for her. I got the idea from an article I read online a while ago, before I was even pregnant. I plan to send her emails with pictures and little anecdotes over the years until she’s old enough to take over her inbox.

I also started a lullaby playlist. This is one of my favourite little projects. Whenever I think of a song I want to add, I grab my phone and put it on the playlist. Once in a while I’ll play the songs for peanut. I’ll just lay there with Mark and we’ll listen to the songs while we feel her little body move around my belly. She’s growing well and her movements are getting stronger, sometimes it takes me by surprise!

The urge to “nest” is real, but we have to wait until the end of May before we can get the nursery in order. We’re waiting for a ride out to IKEA for more necessities. In the meantime, I have a few sweet little items of clothing to start her wardrobe for now, which bring a smile to my face. Also worth noting, if you build a baby registry on Amazon, they send you a box full of baby goodies/samples for free! Ours arrived this week and came with a bunch of handy things for mama and baby. Sample diapers and breast pads, body washes and lotions, a swaddle blanket, etc. Nothing for daddy in the box, unfortunately, but we appreciate free stuff!

This is a picture of an infant-sized yellow cardigan and blue and white striped jumper

Only 14 weeks until our little one is due and I’m doing what I can to soak it in and remember it all… except the glucose test. I had to do it a second time because I threw up the first time. I don’t really need to bask in that post-vomiting glow, I prefer to sleep it off and forget about it 😉

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend, I’ll be hitting up a yard sale for baby stuff and spending quality time with my man. Life is pretty good.

A