Tag Archives: kids

Time, like an ever-rolling stream…

It’s late March, which in our family means, we’re smack in the middle of Birthday Alley. Tiny and Middle Weasel have birthdayed already, Eldest has her birthday very soon, and Mrs Dim is next in line shortly after that. Like any parent, as my kids age, I can’t help thinking about the passage of time.

Eldest Weasel is now just about the same I was when she was born. It seems an impossibly long time ago – so many unimaginable things happened between then and now. For one thing, I had no idea we’d move to Canada before she turned twelve.

When I was a kid, I was vaguely intending to become a motorcycle stuntman (as Mrs Dim reminded me recently). This was unwelcome news to my school careers advisor, who also had no idea how to advise me to get work in television (production, rather than media stardom). It seems cruel of me to blame my lack of career on that guy, whoever he was. I mean, he did point me to an enormous book titled “Careers” and suggest I look in that for something about TV. And hey, I DID work in tv for almost a whole year, so maybe he was good at his job?

When Eldest was born, and we were allowed to leave the hospital, we sat her on the coffee table in our living room, in her car seat/carrier. It seemed a little surreal that we were being left to look after this tiny person with no supervision. The three months that I would have Mrs Dim on hand before she went back to work did also not seem very long. That wasn’t the stretch of time Mrs Dim was concerned about though.

“It’s just going to be no time at all before she’s eighteen and off to university!” she said.

Well, she was wrong. It was eighteen years. Yeah, from this end of things, those eighteen years seem to have passed in a flash, but I made a point of remembering them. We really lived them. Maybe I had the better part of the deal, being the primary caregiver for the kids – my time with them as tiny people wasn’t diluted so much with concerns about the job. I mean, I did get some kind of work during those years, but nothing that meant going to an office, or meeting performance evaluations. I’ve always said that raising kids IS a tough job, but it’s not A job. I had my moments of panic and frustration (and yes, trips to the emergency room, or sleepless nights etc etc), but I was always glad to be doing that rather than a nine to five.

We never (I don’t think) pictured our kids in their future incarnations. There was never an image of Tiny Weasel as a lawyer, except as a comedy sketch brought on by her Psych Ed evaluation. I don’t know how people can pretend to know what their kids might want to be, want to do for real. Eldest had a bunch of ideas along the way, and the one I would have put money on – veterinarian – got jettisoned when she had the chance to do work experience at a vet’s. Yes, she was (and is) great with animals. She loves them, and they seem to love her. But that just makes dealing with animals in pain even harder. She’s happy on her new track, and I have little doubt that she’ll find a great job to enjoy.

Since, right now, they’re all happy with the way they are heading, I don’t have a problem with my kids growing up. I do occasionally miss the little moppets that used to stumble around the place, but I don’t miss the endless rounds of indoor play areas, swimming lessons, school projects. I don’t miss keeping an eye on the clock to be at the playground to pick them up at the end of the day (even though, yes, I do still occasionally dash out to collect one or two from work). See, although that stage may be past, I’m still a Dad. Always will be. At some point they’ll stop asking me to fix the Wifi, or put up shelves, but even then, I’ll still be a Dad, only then I’ll be a Dad to confident, capable adults.

Time can keep rolling. Now I don’t have to row, so I can enjoy the view a little more.

Finding Balance

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It’s been Summer Holidays for more than a month. Traditionally, it’s a time of year where I lose my mind, trying to fit in the demands of the irregular work schedule, my own writing desires and the various activities (or not) of the Weasels.

This year has seen a few changes, with Eldest Weasel leaving school and filling some of her free time with volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium and the Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre.DSCN8839

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Middle Weasel took a brief course that will help her if she decides to continue helping out on ice – she’s done her Ringette Ref training, and now is ready to help teach a new generation of Ringette players.

Tiny Weasel took two weeks of the school-run summer entertainments and we’ve all traveled with my parents who were over for a fortnight.


None of us are in this picture, but we were there – it’s Long Beach, Tofino.

What I have to relearn every year is the trick of balance. I’m not being denied my work time, or my solitude, and the kids aren’t being forced to go out and have fun. There’s time for writing, time for relaxing, time for exploring and time for socialising. There’s even, god help us all, time for watching brainless twits on YouTube blathering about the very latest thing that they found in their breakfast cereal….. I may be a little prejudiced about the value of YouTube as an entertainment delivery system.

Anyway, for every five minutes where I’m convinced we’re not going to get anywhere or do anything, there’s times like this:


or places like this:

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or discoveries like this:


I don’t know what state we’ll be in when we reach September, but most years we seem to have done alright. We’ve had fun, been to some interesting places, seen some good people and and spent a healthy amount of time outdoors, as well as getting in some good screen time. This year, I’m going to remember that Summer isn’t about what you can cram in, or what you worry about missing out.

It’s about the balance.