Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Didn't See That One Coming!

It's not too many times that the smaller family members can catch me off my game. But I certainly didn't expect the dinner conversation of about a month ago.

"I've decided I'm not playing hockey this year," announced First Born Son.

What makes this more than just a passing comment is that a) he's played for the past five years and loved every minute of it; b) he's the goalie - a position he fought for; and c) his hockey is paid for the 2009-2010 Season.

I've learned that the best way to handle large sweeping declarations is not to offer too much reaction. So after I digested the information, I asked him what he planned to do for a Winter activity.

"I'm going to downhill skiing!" he stated proudly. (Let's keep in mind that the young man has NEVER skiied downhill before.)

There had been a hint of this last year - but last year was truly an anomaly. Nothing like a combination of bullying from peers, a deteriorating self image and a brutal coach to snowball into the worst year of minor hockey EVER.

The Big Guy and I promised we wouldn't force either of our children into playing hockey. It's far too expensive a sport to put a gun to their heads. This came back to haunt us with Second Born Son, but that's another story for another time.

So we gave FBS a month to think about it. A couple of friends involved with the local hockey association sat down and pointed out the obvious, he will miss out on the social activities that his friends take part in. He won't be able to go skiing every weekend as the cost involved in THAT sport are as much if not more than hockey. He won't be able to take his friends skiing because they will still be involved with their team sport.

As much as we showed him the negative, we encouraged him to make the decision that was right for him. We didn't want him to quit because of last year's antics. When he mentioned he thought hockey was too expensive, we shot down the argument - stating we had no issue with paying for this activity. We said we would support whatever he decided to do. The Big Guy and I were convinced he would decide late, but in the end, he would return to the net. We even suggested that he take a year out of the crease and try playing out.


Just before bed tonight he informed his father and I that he has decided he is not going to play hockey. Granted, there are a couple of weeks before the rubber hits the road, but mark my words, it's going to be one hell of a long winter for this young man!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Fat Lady Sings for her Supper

Be forewarned....this could curdle your cereal....

"In a recent poll of 50,000 people by Askmen.com, 48 per cent of men said they would dump their partner if she became fat.
"We asked men whether they would consider breaking up with their girlfriend, specifically if she gained weight," James Bassil, the editor-in-chief of AskMen.com told CTV's Canada AM on Friday. "And we found that the response was pretty fairly split down the middle. A slim majority said 'no.'"
On the other hand, 70 percent of women surveyed said they would stay with their boyfriend if he became "husky."
"A lot of people would say that guys are more visual, I guess, when it comes to relationships," Bassil said, adding that male respondents said they would see their girlfriend gaining weight as a sign that she didn't care about the relationship as much anymore.
If there is a silver lining for girlfriends, it may be in the pocketbook. Eighty-five per cent of men said they believe they should pay for the majority of dates, at least until a relationship has been established. "

Forgive me for failing to see that silver lining as anything more than tin foil.

All this tells me is that there are a bunch of fat, self absorbed men wandering around out there who are paying the bill until the "little woman" is finally feeling comfortable in the relationship, then he decides "enough's enough of that!" Why bother footing the bill, after all, she's just gonna get FAT!

Women, who are already more critical of their bodies than men, have always had this well kept secret in the back of their minds for centuries. Why do you think the Weight Loss Industry is alive and well after all of these years?

It's no different than a larger woman covering herself up, fearing the exposure of her body at a beach, pool, or other public place, while an overweight man will parade his girth proudly from one end of the water to the other, and in some cases, packing enough ego to fill a second Speedo.

I've been at both ends of the spectrum. Being overweight isn't just about physical health and appearance - it's about your emotional well being. Hopefully we can smack some of these Neanderthals upside the head before another generation of women is damaged.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ivy League Material?

Recent conversation with Second Born Son at Swiss Chalet, enjoying a celebratory dinner for passing swimming lesson.....

Second Born Son: Thanks for dinner Mommy!

Momma Bear: You're welcome Bud. I'm very proud of how hard you worked. You know, it makes me think, I wonder what would happen if you worked that hard at school?

SBS: I'd probably get better marks.

MB: Uh huh.

SBS: ...and then get into better schools....

MB: That's right!

SBS: ...and then I'd be able to get a job at the til!

MB: (stupified - chewing on her chicken)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hang on! It's a wild ride!!!!

Tori is Found

It was with mixed emotions (mostly relief) that I heard the news early Monday morning that Tori Stafford had been found.

My heart dropped when I found out where.

The Woodstock child was found three months after she went missing after school in a rural area on the edge of Mount Forest. I live in Mount Forest. This has been my home for 20 years.

I watched the progression of this case with a mix of sadness, anger, fear and disbelief. But for some reason, I felt they would find her. There would be a conclusion for the Stafford family. Perhaps it was wishful thinking, because I cannot imagine the type of Hell it would be as a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle to think that my child was out there somewhere. Bad enough to know she was gone. Unbearable to think that you don't have closure. No goodbyes...?

Naturally, the national media is playing this out like Mount Forest is the dumping ground for dead bodies. 20 years ago a young girl was murdered by a friend of her family and disposed of outside of town. Once every twenty years for a community the size of Mount Forest isn't unbalanced. As you can see, I find myself defensive of my town.

I am glad Tori was found here for a couple of reasons. One - if my child was murdered and had to be kept somewhere waiting to be found, I would want him/her to be found in a peaceful woodlot, marked by a pile of rocks so that a brave police officer could easily located him/her.

Two - because the families in my community need a wake up call to remember that we are not insulated from the evils of this world. Love your children, hold them close, and teach them how to be safe.

That is Tori's legacy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

....stay tuned for updates on the hour!

You've got to be thinking that Elvis got off relatively easy.

While The King of Rock and Roll's death in 1977 resulted in a massive outpouring of grief by fans throughout the globe, he wasn't subjected to the 24-7 scrutiny afforded The King of Pop. Results of last week's survey show the majority feel the media circus that was Michael Jackson's death week was largely unwarranted.

The sad part is - there is no end in sight.

This week brings allegations of profound drug abuse (which may have contributed to his death) and almost daily announcements from the Jackson family who alternately ask for privacy and then promote their individual projects. Let's not forget the small matter of child custody. Would Debbie Rowe, the biological mother step forward, or would Jackson's choice - his mother, be allowed to raise his brood?

Now that Jackson's children have been unveiled, they are fodder for the less savory tabloids and tabloid websites. A simply statement made by Paris, Jackson's middle child, and only daughter, has given complete strangers insight into her upbringing; allowing them to be experts into the 11 years she's been alive and giving them permission to conclude what her future will be.

Already the Elvis-esque sightings have begun. Whispers of conspiracy theories and murder charges abound. Don't think this is going to change any time soon.

The question is, should we really care?

The idea of giving Michael Jackson all but a state funeral was a little self serving. Yes, he was an icon. Yes, he did do good work through his charitable donations. But let's not forget that there is a cloud over his legacy. Aside from the obvious legal issues he endured, he has his entire life off the stage after 1997 to defend. If he was a private citizen with a penchant for primates, no one would care. But he wasn't

The promoter of his "comeback" will profit greatly by him even in death. Estimates of sales of the DVD, pay per view and downloads of the service at the Staples Centre are through the roof.

Whether Michael Jackson rests in peace isn't the point - it's how long will he stay in the headlines and how much will he make even in death - now THAT'S worth asking.

I have a feeling its going to be a long ride.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

I am not a girlie girl.

Not a lot of pink in the wardrobe, rather low maintenance in the hair and makeup category. Growing up I was a tomboy and rather enjoyed the less delicate aspects of my existence. Riding horses, helping on the farm, riding bikes, building forts out of bales of hay.

As the eldest of two girls, I fancied myself as a modern woman. I was going to be able to teach a girl how to be independent, strong and hold her own as an equal with any man. Twelve years ago My Hubby - The Big Guy, and I welcomed our first child - A BOY! So much for advancing the Women's Movement! Apparently my lot in life is to teach males how to appreciate the fairer sex.

As surprised as I was the first time, I was thrilled to have my second son. While I seemed to be surrounded by choruses of "Try for a Girl!", it never occurred to me to "try" for either gender. Our little family is complete at two.

The Big Guy and I were thrilled for our little men. Since my sister has two girls - we get our girl fix when we see them - and she gets to buy boy toys for our pair.

Over the course of my motherhood - I have become educated on construction equipment, Bob The Builder, Pirates and Superheroes. I watched friends who had little girls bouncing around in flounces of pink and purple haze and privately realized the grand plan worked out after all!

My boys have occasionally come out with tilted views of men in relation to women, but that's usually rectified with a quick tackle, merciless attack of tickling, followed up by proving them wrong every chance I get.

I will never forget the look on First Born Son's face the first time he saw me hit a softball. Magically I had transformed from being a cheerleader to being a role model. Suddenly Mom is more than just a chauffeur. She knows how to smash the ball! The Big Guy loves it when I prove the boys wrong, and his support helps me in my quest to keep their eyes open!

While my initial plan was geared for female development, I'm glad I'm on the path I'm on now.

I'm going to raise the most enlightened boys I can! Consider it my contribution to The Womens Movement...