Labours of Love

labours of love

Originally written October 18, 2019 As I write this I am deeply fatigued. But I am very, very happy. Mostly. See, when NJ returns from her latest round of work travel, I will have been solo with the kids for about half the month. And in that time, I’ve made an effort to keep the wheels on the household. That’s just being a parent. But I’ve also tried to make NJ’s travel more enjoyable, make Thanksgiving really special for the kids, host my sister and her fiancé, keep ahead of…

Thank You, Marshmallow Snowman: How a Christmas Ornament Saved Christmas

Marshmallow snowman Christmas ornament

Love Make Share is the story of the connections we make as we create together. One of the things we create every year is a festive mood in the house. This goes back to our first Christmas we first trimmed a tree together, nearly seven years ago, with the girls barely 3 and 4 years old at that time. The tree, whether artificial, bought from a local lot, cut down at the family farm up in the valley, has always been the jumping-off point for our festivities. Every year we’ve trimmed…

Have I taken Halloween too far?

November is over. Halloween gave way to National Novel Writing Month, and I completely forgot I had written this post. So here it is now. The rest of this post is written by Past Trevor of October 31-November 1, with a quick edit by Present Trevor. Future Trevor was unavailable at press time..  * Peak Halloween looks like this post I made on Facebook: I love Halloween. I love making costumes. But boy, am I feeling Halloweened out this year. It’s become something of a tradition that I take the…

Texts from my Daughters

texts

We’ve been slowly inching towards the day where the kids start staying home alone from time to time. There are a lot of reasons why they should. They’re old enough and responsible enough. That’s the primary thing. But eventually saving a mortgage payment’s worth of cash on daycare every month – that’s another. Watching them grow and self-actualize. Knowing that they’re in their own space, able to do their homework and tend to the pets and take ownership of the home in a cool new way. But I’ll tell you…

An Argument With My Daughter, Paraphrased

It is about ninety seconds before the children need to be out the door to go to school.  I find myself in conversation with my eldest. “Where’s the item that you take to school every single day?” I ask. “In the room that’s a mess because of my sister and I and the animals,” she replies. “Okay. Grab it please, we need to get you out the door.” “No. There’s a reason I won’t,” she says, voice rising. “In fact, I’m upset about it, as you can tell by the…

Fleenk-Shnert Means…

love

“You know what the most annoying thing you do is?” I admit, I wasn’t quite prepared for that question from Sprints. “I mean, when you put it that way – no, not really,” I laughed. “But go ahead.” She looked me straight in the eye, laid down her fork, and said, “You tell us you love us, like, all the time.” It’s true, I admit it. I’m pretty relentless with the affection. But she’s my Sprints. The Artist Formerly Known as Little Fish. The one who, for a brief time,…

Knock Knock – A Story of Socks

doorknob

“Knock knock,” I said. “Who’s there?” Whistler had told knock-knock jokes at me through the bathroom door for five minutes earlier. Clearly, she wasn’t done. Only this time, I was on the outside of the door, butting in on her quiet moment. “Sock delivery,” I said. That wasn’t a joke. I really did have an armful of socks. She was strong enough to carry her own laundry upstairs, but wasn’t quite strong enough yet that she could do so without spilling socks all over the stairs. “Sock delivery who?” “Sock…

Changes

kids on first day of school

The change started in January. In short order, the girls’ parents were married, and only six months after I started on a new career path, so did their mom. These weren’t massive changes, functionally, but I could tell the kids felt it. A subtle shakeup to the background noise of their lives. Whistler and the Fish met those developments with excitement and an easy acceptance. Then, less than six months later, we decided to change not just little things, but everything. We decided to move. It would mean a new…

Important, but aimless

I’ve been spinning my wheels here for weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I have. Thousands and thousands of words. Actually kind of an embarrassing amount of writing. Like, I have the opposite of writer’s block and it’s becoming something of a problem because I’m constantly a little bit distracted by the things I’ve been writing. But I can’t hit “publish.” I can’t do it. And the reason why comes down to a real philosophical thing I’ve been struggling about with this blog. I’ve been trying to be topical for the past month…

Dear Stupid Blanket…

kids blanket patches

This is the story of my eldest daughter and a blanket that she’s had forever. It’s an old Indigo blanket. The kind that’s rolled up in a fleecy log near the checkout and you, like fifty thousand other germy consumers, absent-mindedly run your fingers along it and think to yourself, “This is nice.” It’s the kind of purchase that makes sense in a compulsive way, when you don’t know anything about it other than it feels soft when rolled up like a burrito in the impulse-buy line. It’s awful. My…

Happy Birthday, Little Fish

love make share family

Four years ago, I had no children. Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. Today is my daughter’s eighth birthday. I still can’t quite believe it when I see those words on the page. It’s still surreal to me that I have gone from no family and no inclination to having one in my 20’s to being a father. Even that word conjures up a little bit of imposter syndrome, even though I know it makes sense. Step-father, autocorrects my brain. But that word is broken, too. That step- has got so many connotations. It’s Cinderella, it’s drunks,…

The Longest Paddle: A Story of Woodworking and Carving Out a Family

paddlemaking tools

When I finished cleaning my tools and putting them away after finally finishing carving my 6-year-old’s stepdaughter’s first paddle today, I had to wonder why it had been so long since I worked on it. A little background. My family has deep ties in Algonquin Park, and a lot of my family’s history has to do with rangers and guiding and paddling. Through Omer Stringer, we have ties to most of the major camps in Algonquin Park and to Roots through the Beaver Canoe brand. This is no brag; it’s…