Let's Make Soup

Today, I'm more glad than usual it's the weekend.

When something unsettling happens in the greater world, I take comfort in having my loved ones close and together.

The kitchen becomes my refuge and the food I prepare a token of my love.

Here are my three of my favourite soup recipes (all hold up well as leftovers).

I hope you're finding comfort in the gift of family and home, too. 

Cozy Lentil Soup With Squash

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Photo: Jeff COULSON, CANADIAN LIVING

Photo: Jeff COULSON, CANADIAN LIVING

Classic Potato Leek

PHOTO: DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA

PHOTO: DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA



Stealing Time

Swinginglegs

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We always put music on when we’re in the kitchen. And I’m standing at the stove singing along to a song, when I catch a flash of movement from my youngest child, who’s having breakfast at the table.

She’s still in her pajamas, because our mornings together are slow. Everyone else has left for work and school. She’s swinging her legs in time to the music, and I realize she has the only pair of feet in our family that can’t reach the floor. 

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I've been thinking about time a lot lately. And often, resentment will ride in on those thoughts. I feel resentment about the weight I gave to time and how much of myself I gave away to counting it and wishing it would pick up its pace. Those were the early days of motherhood for me—when I wore time like a heavy coat that was two sizes too big.

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I knew it wasn’t the way I was supposed to feel. But first time motherhood was hard. Convincing myself I could make it to the next stage was hard. Enjoying my baby was hard.

When they put her into my arms for the first time, I felt like I had been thrown overboard, and I spent those early months flailing as though I had forgotten how to swim. I used all my energy to swim against the current, because I was convinced it would take me to the shore—where I would find solid ground to stand on.

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And now so much further into my mothering, with experience and loss behind me, I resent time for how light and careless it seems. Like a balloon that's been let go on a windy day, I'm always on my toes reaching for it and trying to bring it back to me. To hold onto it more tightly. To hold onto the people who I want to share it with more tightly. 

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I’m so glad those feet can’t reach the floor. As I stand and watch them swing, I can hardly remember the version of myself that was convinced what was coming would be better than what was already there.

I’m not needed in the same ways these days. I’m still caring for my children, of course, but I spend a lot more time as a spectator than as a participant in their day-to-day lives. I am finally standing on that shore. And they are swimming towards their own horizons without me.

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These are passages from an essay I submitted to an anthology of stories by mothers for mothers, recently published by my talented colleagues Shannon Day-Cheung and Tara Wilson at Tipsy Squirrel Press. My story appears along with many other heartwarming and hilarious essays about motherhood, written by a collection of mothers asked to reflect on moments from their own journeys.

I was honoured to be asked and glad to be able to lend my voice, because I know the value of being part of a greater story. We are all writing our own chapters, after all. We can celebrate our differences and our sameness and read one another's chapters and take from them what we need. 

Martinis & Motherhood is now available on Amazon (Canada, US, UK) and on Kindle

And I'm giving a copy away to one of my lucky readers (Canadian, US, or UK only please). 

Enter below before July 31, 2015 to win!

xo

 

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Friends

Our 10-year-old son—the shyest of our lot—started at a brand new school this year.

It was the best decision for him academically, but it was a move that was not without its risks. 

For someone who struggles as much as he does with finding his place, it meant leaving behind a small, but tight group of friends that he (and we) had worked hard to build.

It meant starting over. And it's been a slow start, which is exactly what we expected.

To keep his confidence and self-esteem up, we've continued to spend time with the friends from his old school. We could not be more grateful that they have continued to reach out to him—it means so much to us. They have shown kindness and acceptance and genuine friendship. 

Today is Pink Shirt Day across the country. It's an initiative that focuses on anti-bullying, as well as the value of spreading positivity and kindness. And as much as we can count on the schools to help perpetuate those messages, it has to begin at home. It has to start with parents and caregivers and role models. We have to walk the talk ourselves, if we expect our children to do the same. 

Two weeks ago, we were on the receiving end of a beautiful gift from one of those boys, and I wanted to share it here on this important day. 

My son's friend came to our door with a wrapped gift and inside was a homemade Wall of Awesome with adjectives and words that described our son. He wears his emotions very openly, and when he read those words his face lit up with joy. It let him know that he is still seen. 

Wallofawesome

This gift comes from a family who aren't afraid to raise a boy who is empathetic and compassionate. They don't worry themselves about making him tough, they worry about making him kind. And even before this great gift, we had seen it exemplified in every interaction we've had with him. 

It isn't easy for my boy to trust peers, he's been hurt before. It's easy to hurt him, after all.

But with this friend, he is able to be his true self. 

And that is what I want my children to know at their core. 

A true friend lifts you up and helps you find your best version.

My son's friends are doing that for him and as their parents,

we are all standing on the sidelines cheering them on.

 

 

 

 

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