Posted in Autism, Canada, Chocolate, Family, Movies, Televison

Happy Mother’s Day – I Just Ate Your Gift

1moms3Someone asked me the things I would have done differently as a Mom. I could lie and say nothing, I was perfect, but it’s not true.

I would have cared  a lot less about what people said.

I would have cleaned less and listened more.

I would have ignored the heartburn, swelling, and other difficulties of my pregnancy because my son was growing under my heart even as he took over my heart.

I would have gazed even more at my son’s amazing face because it took me too long to realize it changed often, and permanently.

I would have listened less to what people told me was ‘right’ or what I ‘should do’ and listened to my heart more.1moms5

I would have figured out earlier that I didn’t have to be Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Martha Stewart combined; I was fine as just me.

I would have spent more time there, in that moment because in that moment, everyone was there and now they aren’t.

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I’m glad I sat on the floor and played Thomas the Tank Engine.

I’m glad I rolled in the grass, built sandcastles, and almost threw up on rides.

I’m glad we ate popcorn in a couch fort.

I’m glad we made snow angels and laid in the grass finding shapes in the clouds.

I’m glad we laughed as we waded through muddy fields to get the best pumpkin ever.

I’m glad we ate ice cream and talked about all the ‘sharks’ in the river and giggled as we tried to name them.

I’m glad I never turned down a sticky kiss or told my son to wash his grubby hand instead of holding it.

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Moms kiss boo-boos to make them better, go to appointments, love unconditionally, make sandwiches that may or may not be traded to other kids, laugh, cry, help with schoolwork, brush teeth, change diapers, read and cuddle, dance in bare feet to Elvis, nag repeatedly about cleaning rooms, and teach how to be in the world.

Enjoy the moment of being a daughter or son, of being a Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, cousin – life is too quick and too complicated not too enjoy.

Hopefully this  Mother’s Day you don’t have to:1moms6

  • Save the future of the entire human race by allowing your son to hang out with a Terminator (then again, you can’t pick their friends).

  • Break into ABBA songs while trying to remember who your child’s father is.

  • Send your supernatural darling to the prom.

  • Nag your son, even from beyond the grave to maintain the family motel business and to shower his guests with attention.

  • Date your son when he travels back in time to your high school.

  • 1moms1Worry if your little girl is the best and most stylish vampire slayer she can be.

  • Expose secrets about corporations using toxic substances while in heels.

  • Stop selling Avon long enough to rescue an orphan with a cutting issue.

  • Raise little dragons to be upstanding members of the community – take that villager out of your mouth, honey, you don’t know where he’s been!

  • Keep a royal dynasty going by providing heirs…and spares.

  • Have enough children to make a baseball league.

  • Or keep the hills alive with the Sound of Music while escaping the Nazis.

Life is like a box of chocolates…Happy Mother’s Day, I just ate your gift.

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Happy Birthday Paddington Bear!

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As a child, I was a Paddington junkie.1padd14
One of my prized possessions was a Paddington toy that sat on my shelf on my desk.
I would wake each morning to see Paddington smiling at me (as only a bear can smile), with his jaunty battered hat, blue coat with marmalade stains (I don’t think there were really marmalade stains, but I imagined there were), his suitcase saying Wanted On Voyage, and his little tag saying, Please look after this bear. thank you.

When my son was young I started reading him the Paddington books, although he never seemed to find Paddington as enchanting as I did. He still doesn’t.

Since bears have 2 birthdays, one in the summer and one at Christmas…today is Paddington‘s birthday! Happy Birthday Paddington!

I reread some of the books, so familiar and beloved and I remembered what had captured my fancy.
Paddington Bear is everything the world should be. He’s sweet, smart, funny, polite, kind, helpful, always finding adventure, and always having a good time.

Notes on Padingtun Brown, 32 Windsor Gardens, Lundun, England, Yurope, The World:

Paddington Bear was first introduced to readers in 1958.

Written by Michael Bond and originally illustrated by Peggy Fortnum, this high-spirited, marmalade-obsessed bear instantly stole our hearts. Weird how we love these fictional bears…maybe because they’re not mauling or killing us.1padd5

Paddington Bear was based on a lone teddy bear Michael Bond bought for his wife on Christmas Eve 1956 near Paddington Station and child evacuees leaving London during WWII.1padd4

In Paddington’s adventures and misadventures everyone ends up having fun, except Mr. Curry who always gets his just deserts (without the sticky buns) in the end because of his rude and sometimes selfish behaviour. I often wondered who he was based on.

Paddington whose Peruvian name was actually Pastuso (not to be confused with Uncle Pastuzo, Paddington’s rich world-wandering uncle) was orphaned from an earthquake. Raised by his Aunt Lucy in darkest Peru, Paddington was sent to England after she had to go live in the Home for Retired Bears.

The Browns take Paddington home to 32 Windsor Gardens; yet there actually was no 32 Windsor Gardens. Hmmm.

Google celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Paddington publication on October 13, 2008 by incorporating an image of Paddington with a sign showing Peru and London into their logo. Almost 6 years later, Paddington is now a senior citizen.

1padd16When I think of Seth MacFarlane’s movie, Ted (which doesn’t happen often) it sort of makes me think of Jonathan and Paddington grown up…or Stewie and Rupert grown up; either way, the British accents are gone.1padd1

Bond‘s books have since become several series, plays, parodies, etc., not to mention a huge amount of merchandise. Paddington will hit the big screen in time for his other birthday this year, Christmas, although Colin Firth has just changed his mind about voicing Paddington, what’s that love, not Darcy enough or are you just too sexy for that bear?

They’ve actually cast a few of my choices, Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Brown, Jim Broadbent as Mr. Gruber, Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown, and Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird, and somehow I knew Peter Capaldi would make a perfect Mr. Curry (though I’m still reserving judgment on how he’ll do as The Doctor in Doctor Who).

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The first in the series, A Bear Called Paddington, is still my favourite. I always loved that Michael Bond wrote the Paddington books as chapter books, but each chapter could be a stand alone.

What are your favourite Paddington memories?

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Posted in Autism, Canada, Family, Internet, Parenting, Uncategorized

15 Things I’m Aware of on World Autism Awareness Day

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1. April is Autism Awareness Month.

2. April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.

3. Today and all through April there will be more talk, more posts, more ads, more stuff sold, more people arguing about what caused Autism and still the numbers of children with Autism will rise.

4. For me everyday is Autism day. My son is brilliant, funny, clever, handsome, and amazing; he also happens to have Autism.

5. Children are being diagnosed with Autism in record numbers. Businesses, charities, celebrities, etc. are making record profits off the fears and vulnerabilities of parents.

6. Governments may say they’re aware and are doing a lot, but in truth, they just aren’t doing nearly enough.

7. Some parents hold mock funerals when their child is diagnosed with Autism. Is it just me or is that super creepy?

8. There are opautism13en doubters, closet doubters, haters, blamers, whiners, name-callers, bullies, accusers…the list goes on. None of that makes my child better.

9. The many voices for Autism, from whispers of hope to screams of anger to cries of despair can be heard throughout the world, not just today, but everyday.

10. There are plenty of theories and things people blame for Autism, yet to date, no single cause has been proven.

11. My child has Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s on the Autism Spectrum. He doesn’t need saving. He needs to be happy. Live up to his amazing potential. In that way, he’s the same as every other child.

12. Finding out my son had Autism didn’t change anything, I loved him just as much as ever.

13. Some people see my son as someone to be pitied, or mocked, or bullied, or judged, or labelled, or ignored. If some people took off their intolerance goggles they’d see who people really are.autism9

14. Autism used to terrify me, now I see that’s it’s different, not bad or scary or less, just different. Who ever said different was awful? Neurodiversity Now!!!

15. When something or someone is hurting our children we could easily be angry, sad, frustrated, depressed, look for reasons, excuses or someone to blame. Instead we need to focus on helping our children and finding the real cause.

So on this day and others, remember, Autism is just a word, the real story is in each child and who they really are.autism5

 

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

WATERSHIP DOWN

ImageEver read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.

I suppose it depends on how you view the story. ImageAs a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.

If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.

Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.

Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.

Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.

It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.

bunny2I wonder…40 years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.

Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

HOME ALONE

christmas191There are just some movies where you have to suspend reality.
Otherwise this is how Home Alone really happens…
Parents forget child at home while they go on vacation.
Child Protective Services called.
Burglars break into house.
Parents charged with neglect and child abandonment.

christmas193Instead enjoy the John Hughes madness. Silly gags, endless shtick and slapstick, funny lines…the incomparable incredible, sadly missed John Candyand history-making close ups that roll in money and make never-ending sequels. Obvious the latter is more lucrative and well, Christmassy, sort of.christmas189

Also enjoyed the Family Guy versions including with competent burglars…

Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL

christmas158There have been so many versions of A Christmas Carol over the years, but none make me smile the way The Muppet Christmas Carol does.

They’ve adapted this (added a Marley bro so they could use Statler and Waldorf),christmas160and made it a little more child-friendly that the original to give us a heart-warming, joyful gift that keeps giving. And we can’t get enough of this redemption ghost story, can we?

Kermit is the perfect Bob Cratchit and Michael Caine is the quintessential Scrooge.
I can’t say how many times I’ve watched this, but it’s still fun.

Tell me you can get this out of your head:

Still love The Muppets. Think I may have to go watch it…er, again.

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Posted in Books, Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

christmas115Haven’t seen this special? Guess you’re deliberately avoiding it and that’s your choice.
This cartoon and the book of the same name are a Christmas tradition for many.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS quirky bits:

Done on a small budget, there are quirks, continuity issues, choppy animation and some quite scantily mixed sound moments. I think it adds to the love.

A Charlie Brown Christmas aired Thursday, December 9, 1965. Followed the Gilligan’s Island, “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes” and pre-empted The Munsters (nooooooo!!!).

Charles M. Sculz insisted ABC not have a laugh track. I like that. I hate laugh tracks. I’ll laugh when I feel like laughing, I don’t need to be cued.

Lucy refers to Charlie Brown as Charlie, first, last and only time he’s referred to by his first name only. He’s been called Chuck and Charles.

It has been rumoured that the negative publicity aluminum Christmas trees received in the special caused their demise. Hugely popular between 1958-1965, just two years after the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas these trees ceased regular manufacturing.christmas116

Kathy Steinberg (Sally) and some of the other children couldn’t read yet so the lines were fed to them, sometimes only one or two words at a time. Most obvious in the line, “All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share”. I think it gives an appealing authenticity.

The original broadcasts of A Charlie Brown Christmas includes references to their sponsor, Coca-Cola.

christmas113“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
~Charlie Brown

I guess Christmas or any part of life is about what you make it.christmas112