This Father’s Day, every baby counts!

   
On Father’s Day we had a funny little thing happen. James and I were on the bus with the kids going to meet my dad for lunch. As people usually do, they commented on the number of our kids with surprise. I like to joke that as a homeschool mom I do my best to promote basic numeracy skills in the community. Like counting up to six. People frequently do that. They use their finger and point “1…2…3…4…5…6! Are they all yours?” “Yup.” Then they might shake their heads in disbelief or give a thumbs up. “That’s awesome! You don’t see big families that much anymore…” 

But this time was a little different. A slightly bedraggled older man got on the bus and sat next to an Asian grandma who began to point and count in Chinese. “They all yours?” he asked. “Yes,” I smiled. “Seven, eh?” “Yes…” I replied somewhat mystified…because it’s true. I have six here and one in Heaven. Josephine would be about 20 months if she were alive. “Five girls and two boys?” he asked. “Yes!” I replied, even more surprised, because he even got that part right. I looked around but there were no other kids on the bus besides us. 

And if that wasn’t strange enough, when we are walking back home a lady with two kids, a baby on her back and a toddler having a tantrum on the ground, looked at us and counted. “Wow, all yours?” Then she said to her little boy, “Look at that, seven kids and not one of them having a fit!” 

Funny, right? It was as if little Josephine wanted to wave hi to Daddy on Father’s Day, to reassure him that she’s right here with us, and that he’s her daddy still. How did those people see her? I don’t know. Maybe their angels showed them. Or maybe they’re terrible at counting. But however it happened, one thing is certain: every baby counts, no matter how short their life, and they are always, always, always a part of their families. 

First Snowdrop: Tiny Signs of Spring

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This beautiful delicate snowdrop, pushing its way out of the rubble of mushy brown leaves, sticks and manure, to let its little pure white head glow in the sunlight, is a sweet sign that spring is slowly coming, that hope for renewal after winter is alive. A sign that even when life makes us face our worst fears, such as the death of a loved one, we can come out of the haze of sadness with eyes that still see the beauty of the world.

I dedicate this picture to my great friend and fellow blogger Monique Leblanc, the one who inspired me to begin sharing my adventures in Crazyland. I offer it for her especially, because she recently passed the due date of her son Hilary, who was born asleep half way through her pregnancy. His appearance was like this snowdrop, brief and achingly beautiful.

I offer it also because she has recently moved from the balmy west coast to the frozen (but friendly!) fields of Saskatchewan, and is much more likely to be seeing snow ploughs than snow drops at this time. The great thing is that she thinks this is fun! 🙂

I want to honour her unfailing friendship, her joyful sense of adventure, and her great dedication to her family. She has been for years, and always will be, a wonderful inspiration for me. She embraced me and believed in me when we first became friends, and has never ceased to love and encourage me. Cicero said so poignantly:

What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? Robbing the world of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun.

I was afraid of losing her closeness when she moved away, but instead feel closer to her than ever, thanks to the phone, and her uncanny ability to know when I just really need to talk to her. As Anne Shirley said so well: “True friends are always together in spirit.”

Blogging has also helped us to stay close as we try our hands at writing and jump into this wonderful online community together. Check out the awesome blog she writes with her husband Ryan at thelasttimechange.blogspot.ca/

Life can be tough, but if you have a good friend to laugh and even cry with, everything is ok. It gives life a stability that can sustain you through the roughest waters, and help you laugh over your little daily disasters with someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Our old buddy Cicero agrees:

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

I hope all of you have friends like this. Have you told them lately how much they mean to you?

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