"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rascal Reunion

Miller Time
The week flew by and here we are at the start of the Family Day long weekend.

This hasn't always been the case, but this year for the holiday Monday all of our Rascals will be home: the older two will make their way back to the homestead from Toronto and we'll have our houseful back.

It's difficult to describe how much I miss my older, independent rascals.  Did I mention they are very independent?  I guess this is what made them truly "rascals" when they were younger, they all have strong personalities and "minds of their own".  Our youngest is still a teenager so we're still in the thick of real rascal behaviour... but I have the perspective of seeing the other side of that now.

When we have kids we groom them to exist outside of ourselves, and it's a long road from infant to young adult.  Some exhibit rebellious spirits that need careful coaxing and understanding from the get-go, others are perhaps much calmer and closer during the childhood years but then snap into a "different personality" during adolescence.
What I've noticed is that the centre of the individual, that bright light constantly shining during childhood, comes back in early adulthood.

So, even though my older rascals have forged lives of their own, and they are independent from us in every way, I still feel as connected to them as I did when they were young children.  Yet I have to exist knowing that they are walking around in the world, navigating all kinds of situations good and bad... without me.
I know that all parents go through this, and this is the end-goal of parenthood, but I still find it shocking.

We try to drive in to Toronto every three weeks or so to see our older rascals for lunch or dinner but we've been unable to do so since Christmas.  So I sent them care packages instead, a box of Clarins skin care and make-up ordered from the website for our older daughter (as a graduate student she really appreciated the luxury of this) and this care package for our Ole Rascal son.


 Ole Rascal famously has the stomach that is an "Empty Pit of Misery" so of course I sent filling foods.  Lots of potato gnocchi, some ramen, dark chocolate and a bit of tea.  He is most definitely a coffee fellow but he does drink tea in the afternoons and evenings.
I sent him some pumpkin seeds which are terrific for sprinkling on everything but are very good on potato gnocchi, especially paired with the sun-dried tomato pesto I sent.

I had to add a book to feed the soul!  Ole Rascal studied physics and works as a software developer, but since graduating University and immediately going into a demanding job he seems to really enjoy reading fiction.

I found some stainless steel containers perfect for transporting lunch to his office, and an extra-large water bottle.  Stay hydrated Ole Rascal!
If you have any care package ideas I could use for the older rascals please let me know.

Today I'll be prepping the house for our long weekend, planning the dinner menu for Monday, buying flowers for the bedrooms, tidying and polishing. My favourite kind of day.

I hope yours is a happy day, which might seem an unattainable objective after the devastating news out of Florida this week.  Sometimes when the world seems heavy and perhaps hopeless due to all of the grim news it can be difficult to find a balance.  These are the times our humanity is in question.  This is when we need to look to the core of the best of ourselves, our love and care for each other, to see us through.
Love to you,
xoxDani

ps I'm going to halt my daily posting streak for a couple of days due to the Rascal Reunion.  I'll be back for Mop Philosophy Monday xx

21 comments:

  1. It's been a tough week. Mentally, I try to focus on the good aspects of life. And be thankful we live in Canada. Enjoy your rascals. Those are excellent care package ideas. We are visiting our eldest at Easter and this gives me inspiration. Xx

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    1. Jen at this point I have survivor's guilt, though I don't think we're immune up here in Canada. Fortunately we have tougher gun control. The gun owners I know are hunters and are very responsible about their guns. The one person in Canada I have known who collected guns "for a hobby" is mentally not a well person. Which is something I think about at times like this.

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  2. The entire last paragraph of your post resonates with me, Dani. Well said.

    I hope your family weekend is wonderful. So nice to have everyone under the same roof!

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    1. Thank you SD! I hope you have a good weekend too. xx

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  3. Enjoy the Family Day weekend Dani! Since my husband is a federal employee he doesn't get this holiday, so it's not something that we usually mark. I'm sure your older Rascals really appreciate your care packages; I'm betting also that they will head back to the big city fully laden with more treats!

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    1. Patricia that seems unfair, he does work in Ontario! Hmph. Hope you have a good weekend and you're right about those rascals xx

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  4. I hope you have a great weekend!

    I'm disgusted with the American 'leadership'. So tired of them sending their "thoughts and prayers" to the families of shooting victims. The time has come to act on this national tragedy.

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    1. Vava one thing I do know is that prayers are not ever ever ever going to solve this problem. So people should start taking action and demand their American Dream back, because I don't it's working right now. I love America and this makes me so sad and very angry. If I lived there I'd become a gun control activist because these precious children should not be dying. I'm with you xxx

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  5. Dani, Your post is a little bit of sunshine in a very sad week. I cannot even cope when these shootings happen. I get obsessed on what we can do and then despair as it seems hopeless. We do have to focus on the good in all of us and the hope that that good will one day prevail and this all will change when we change people's mindsets, which I can only hope is happening, though slowly down here.

    I am loving the care packages for the kids. So nice and your Ole Rascal sounds just like my Jackson with his eating nonstop! We also have all the kids home and husband on Monday, so we are thinking what to do. I am looking forward to having them all in house.. As Max says, I love when all my birds are in the nest. I do! They are all so busy with life.

    You are so right about their little childhood personalities coming out again as they grow up. I am seeing that with Jackson particularly and it's nice. I am looking forward to the same with Grif, who is 16.

    Have a beautiful weekend Dani. xoxo Kim

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    1. Kim I can't even cope as well so it must be a thousand times worse for you. I hate this, and I really believe that drastic action needs to be taken. Who is going to lead this? I know Americans believe very strongly in their right to bear arms but I don't think this is what your forefathers had in mind. We should keep discussing this issue at any rate.

      So happy you've got your fam home too. Love that saying of your hubs, it's so true.
      Hope you have a really good weekend too xxx

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  6. I can only imagine as I don't have kids but I think I would have been too much - as it is with Millie and she isn't even my dog I send marrow bones and i fuss over her and i worry about her even when i am not dog sitting. I think i would never stop worrying. I think parents are super tough - tougher than spies! hehe xx

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    1. Naomi it's true parents never stop worrying. I haven't stopped worrying for almost 25 years (Ole Rascal turns 25 next week I can't believe it). But Millie is very cute and loveable so no wonder you fuss over her. I actually think you have a perfect dog ownership situation with your brother! xx

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  7. Enjoy your family time Dani. Our eldest who is 16, is talking of perhaps studying abroad when she finishes high school which is fast approaching and my husband gets upset. We’ll see what happens.
    With our kids in high school in Australia, I can only try and imagine the horrific scenes and the nightmare of mass shootings.
    What beggars belief is that although it is only day 17 of February there have already been 16 or so shootings this year in US high schools.
    As Australians, whatever you think of the then Prime Minister, we are all united in our expression of thanks to him for taking a stand and banning all types of semi automatic rifles etc via a gun buy back scheme after a horrific mass shooting. Since then, there haven’t been any other mass shootings.
    I understand that a whole industry will be lost and this financial impact is huge, as gun shop owners will lose their business, their landlords will lose rent if shops close, etc etc but surely it is time to act? Den xx

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    1. Den I can understand why your husband gets upset, very difficult to think about and she's only 16. But time will tell, she might change her mind. Will things change in the US? I can only hope so. Here in Canada there are plenty of guns because so many people hunt in the north, or go there to hunt. It's really part of our culture from our earliest days. But there is a different attitude towards guns, we don't think of having them for self defence.
      There's a good article and a little video about it here:
      http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/would-canadian-gun-laws-have-stopped-americas-worst-mass-shooters
      Here in Canada there is a course that must be taken, then an application to a license needs to be submitted, which triggers screening. This weeds out the mentally ill, anyone who has displayed even a hint of domestic abuse, and of course criminal history of any kind. The process takes many months too which likely helps things.
      I think it's amazing what your former PM did with the gun buy back scheme. That's just the sort of drastic action that needs taking in the US, combined with much stricter gun laws. But how you change the American attitude that they need guns for self defence, and that it is their inherent right to have them for this purpose, I just don't know. They are so divided on this issue.
      Thank you for your comment Den xx

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    2. I'm a Canadian ex-pat living in the U.S. I do hope the attitude toward guns will change here but I honestly do not believe it will. My family are hunters in Canada so I've seen and been exposed to guns. They never frightened me because I viewed them as a tool for a purpose, like a garden rake or a kitchen appliance. I vividly remember my first encounter with a hand gun. We'd arrived in the U.S. only days before and I went to the market. A couple shopping passed by me with their cart and the man's holster complete with side arm was in plain view. I recall thinking "what does a person need with a hand gun at the market?!" They're stuck in a vicious cycle of believing they need more guns to counter the actions of the people with guns who harm others.

      I'm required to set up active shooter training in my office. As part of that I have been researching door barriers. I was almost in tears as I scrolled through Google at the hundreds of websites devoted to active shooter protection, many of the sites specifically targeting their products at schools. It's a heavy topic rife with controversy and diverging opinions and not something that will be solved anytime soon, if ever.

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    3. SD I'm so heartbroken thinking about you going through those websites dealing with active shooter protection. I was reading something about the whole industry that has developed around this. It's really unbelievable.
      You're so right and it is a completely vicious cycle. If there was a massive gun buy back scheme which involved destroying the weapons and then a series of gun control laws passed, perhaps similar to what we have here in Canada, this could be solved. Basically a combination of what friends of the US, the Australians and the Canadians, have done about guns. But you're right I can't imagine how this would happen without incredible resistance to the point of practically a civil war. How will this ever be solved. xx

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    4. Here's an op-ed piece in today's NYT that encourages citizens to fight despair:
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/19/opinion/florida-shooting-gun-control.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion-columnists

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  8. Hi Dani! I'm your newest follower, visiting from the The Gardener's Cottage. Nice meeting you!

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  9. I can't believe I finally found your blog! It was from reading Janet. I'd been following an older blog of yours and it never updated...hmm. Glad to read this. I'm away on vacation and yet another tragic shooting has left me despondent on this trip. Can't wait to be home. Enjoy your weekend with your family - it's the best.

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    1. Kathy so nice to see you! I think some people still follow my Frock Philosophy blog which has been shut down for some time. I'm so happy you found me again!
      It's really devastating and I can understand why you'd be despondent. I've been thinking about it quite a bit over the last few days, we were on a little holiday too and it was really preoccupying me. I had a whole series of policy changes in mind for the US government to deal with this issue, and after I shared them with my hubs he noted that the policies would work, but they would never get past the politics, the gun lobby. It seems such a difficult problem.
      Thank you Kathy xx Safe travels.

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