It was the assignment from school that started it. An interview or project about an everyday hero, no superman,  no batman or Buffy, in fact no one with a secret identity. Of course Jenna was not worried nor was she was in a hurry,  because her next door neighbor had been in the army. He was nice, friendly and a senior, so did not go anywhere. Yep, Mr. Sam was the perfect choice.

Now some of the other kids had perfect choices also like, Joe whose Mom was a firefighter and Abby whose dad was a policeman. Jenna did feel a little sorry for the kids who did not live with a hero or beside one, they had to get to work right away. They had to actually find an everyday hero.

So Jenna who knew lots about Mr. Sam, also knew she did not have to rush around with this project. So when Joe asked if she wanted to play grounders at the park with the grade 6’s, of course she said yes. And when Joe said, I have to go home and talk to my Mom about firefighting before she goes to work. Jenna just smiled and waved because she knew Mr. Sam did not go to work. She stayed at the park playing grounders until it got dark and everyone headed home for supper.

The next day at school when Abby asked her to come over for a play date, she quickly said yes. The two girls played soccer, and dolls until finally Abby’s dad came home and gave Jenna a short ride in the police car to her house.  Abby said, I am going to put this in my report. Jenna just smiled, she was thinking about Mr. Sam, his medals and those funny black and white pictures he had.

As the days went by Jenna found lots of things to do, colour in her favourite book, watch a funny tv show and play hop scotch on the driveway. She did not work on her project. Everyone at school was working hard on theirs but Jenna knew hers would be easy.

The very night before the big due date, Jenna went to Mr. Sam’s door and rang the bell. There was no answer, she rang again, still no answer. Jenna was very concerned, where could he be? She then peeked in the side window, no Mr. Sam, the back window, no Mr. Sam.  How could this be? Mr. Sam never went anywhere.

Jenna rushed home and found her Mom in the kitchen. Mom, where could Mr. Sam be? He did not answer the bell. Her Mom said, oh, honey, he went to visit his daughter and we are to watch his house for a few days. Jenna could feel her face getting hot. This was a problem, a big problem.  Jenna needed to find a hero right now.

Mom, have you ever done anything brave or amazing? Jenna’s Mom looked at her, and said, Jenna you know everything about me, I lived in a small town, went to college, had kids and work as a dentist. I am not brave or very strong, maybe go ask your Dad.

So Jenna went to the office where her Dad was working on the computer, but she was not very hopefully. Her Dad was an engineer, and not the cool kind that drive trains but the kind that does lots of math. But she asked anyhow, Dad have you ever done anything thing brave or amazing?

Her Dad rubbed his eyes, brave or amazing? Well I was brave enough to ask your Mom to marry me and smart enough to keep her. Does that count?

Hmmm…Jenna went to ask her brother, Charlie, he was already in junior high, surely he must have done something brave. Charlie, have you ever done anything brave or amazing? Charlie paused his video game and said, Jenna, I am an amazing video player,  I can dribble a soccer ball like crazy, girls love me but I am not particularly brave.

Oh, oh, Jenna realized she was in trouble. She went to sit in the living room, where her sister was. Now her sister Kelly was sitting on the floor, lining up her crayons in perfect order according to colour. She was siting there with her big sound proof ear protectors on, rocking back and forth a bit. As Jenna sat there trying to figure out how she was going to find a superhero at this late date, she watched Kelly.  Kelly had a crazy thing called autism and it made her sensitive to clothes, and noises, she did some weird things like lining up crayons but not actually coloring with them, and getting upset if they moved the furniture around.

 And if you tried to look at Kelly, she always moved her eyes away from you and she took forever to get dressed, as everything had to be perfect. Which of course was almost impossible as she could barely do any buttons up and zippers were an exhausting exercise for her. Kelly did not actually have very many friends and sometimes she would scream out loud in public when she became overwhelmed.  But she could also remember crazy things, in fact she could tell you everything about buses. She could tell you to take the Queensland 35 to the mall and the exact times it would be at the stop. She also knew to take the # 10 downtown and to transfer onto the #28 if you wanted to get to the bookstore. In fact, Jenna’s family never worrried about missing a bus, as they always relied on Kelly to know the answer. Kelly knew everything there was to know about buses.

As Jenna lay on the couch pondering about the bravest person she knew and who she could possibly write about since Mr. Sam was gone, her Mom was a dentist, her Dad thought being brave was getting married and her brother was cool but apparently  not brave.  Then it came to her and she began to work.

The next day as the kids handed in their assignments she saw there was firefighters, policemen, army personnel,  and doctors. But Jenna was not worried because her story had started like this….

The bravest and best everyday hero I know is my sister, Kelly and this is her story.


The biggest Treasure

The Mom would hold her little baby, blow raspberries on her tummy and say You will grow and grow and soon you will be one.  When you are one, you will talk with the cutest little baby words and walk in that unbalanced crazy way. And as the days turned into months and the months turned to years, the little baby did grow.

Soon that little girl had grown so much she could pull pots from the cupboards and she could climb on the table, and her Mom would cuddle her and smell that little girl smell and she would say, You will grow and grow and soon be off to preschool. When you go to preschool you will  have entire conversations all starting with why and you will refuse to wear all of the clothes I pick out for, and you will laugh the sweetest laugh. And as the days turned into months and the months into years, the little girl did grow.

After a while she was off to elementary, and she was learning to read, she was making new friends  and making adorable crafts that said “I love you Mom“. Her Mom would often hold her hand all the way to the school door, and when she wanted to walk by herself, her Mom would say, You will grow and grow and soon you will be in middle school“. You will only talk about boys and spend ages doing your hair and want your own phone. You will still be adorable and sweet but will walk to the school door by yourself. And I will watch from the car. And as the days turned into months and the months into years, the little girl did grow.

As she started that big journey into the life as a teenager, when she was too cool for school, and her friends were the most important things ever and she no longer held her mom’s hand, and when she was upset about life. Her Mom would say, you will grow and grow and soon you will be an adult. You will be following your own rules and making your own decisions and driving your own car.

So as the days turned to months and the months into years, that teenager did grow. Soon she had her own apartment and her own job and her own boyfriend. She eventually got married and was going to be a Mom. The thing was, it was not just  a Mom to one baby but to two. This made the girl very worried.

Her Mom said, Honey, your heart will grow and grow. You will be tired all the time, sometimes your shirt will have baby kisses on the shoulder, and you will always be doing laundry. But as your heart grows and grows you will find the biggest treasure of all, love for two babies.

And she did.

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You...

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Crushing My Kids Dreams

Pile of gorgeous gifts

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It is official, yes, I am the worst christmas present shopper ever!!

Some of the biggest offenses to date:

1. Buying your son a game for the wrong system.

2. Buying a game he already has.

3. Buying the right game but again for the wrong system.

4. Buying clothes the wrong size, colour, or basically the wrong clothes!

5. Buying a gift, hiding it and then not finding it!

AS you can see basically all the gifts barring the Batman car at age 3, have been a mistake, after that it was crush the hope and idealism out of the giving season!

Of course I justify it by saying “no one helps me”, meaning my poor husband, or I say “xmas is not all about gifts” or “he will be a more resiliant person because of this. Yes, I am passing the buck, and dodging the responsibility.

As as adult he will either have no expectations about the holidays or will be the parent who clears the aisles at Toys R Us.

There is hope I have a younger child, who will be a shopper and after I have smashed her idealism, she will be the kind that takes over.

My niece gave me this advice, Just find a great gift idea and buy them that. HELLO! That part, the great gift idea is the problem……

So hopefully when he is 35, it will be funny and a great story, rather than the sad pathetic realism we experience every year.


I love: the smell of freshly ground coffee, clean sheets, sleeping in, laughing and my family.
I love: exercise, sports, great friends and days that are super busy and those that are not.
I love rain, the crispness of fall, good hair days and a clean house.

Liv ‘s Library

Firemen at work
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Once upon a time there was a girl named Liv whom had curly brown hair and big brown eyes. Liv loved books, and she especially loved new books. She loved the look of the crisp new pages, she loved the uncracked spines, the new glue smell and new adventures that awaited her. When you met Liv she would say, I love books. I love everything about books. One day I will be a librarian. I am the best at reading.

Liv’s Dad said, Liv, you are just a little girl, you need to explore your options. So her Dad took her to the firehall. It was huge and red, with big shiny trucks sitting inside, several firefighters were working on the trucks,  one was washing the tires, one was winding up the big hoses and  one was sliding on the pole. Look at these firefighters, they are heroes, they help people in trouble, this is a great job. You might want to do this. Everyone loves a firefighter.

A very large firefighter came up to Liv and said, Hello, are you interested in working here? Liv replied this is an amazing place, you are all very talented and very brave. You make great firefighters. But I am a great reader and one day  I will be a librarian.

Her Dad said she is very young, she need to explore her options. The next day he took her to the hockey rink. It was a big building and her Dad and her went to look at the Zamboni, it was almost as big as a firetruck and felt very cold. Her Dad said, Liv Look at the Zamboni Driver, he gets to sit on the big beast of a machine and clean the ice for the kids. He makes a lot of kids happy, he even gets to honk the horn at the fans. This is a great job, you might like this.

The Zamboni Driver came over, Hello There. Would you like a ride on the Zamboni? Liv replied, Your Zamboni is very, very large and it is great that it makes the ice so shiny and smooth. The ice looks amazing. But I am a great reader and one day I will be a librarian.

Her Dad said she is very young, she needs to explore her options. The next day he took her to the Police Station. At the police station they had to be buzzed in through a special door. The policeman was wearing a belt with lots of interesting tools and in the back they had special time out rooms for adults . Her Dad said, Liv Look at the officer she gets to use everything on her belt,  can drive the police car with the siren  shrieking and the  loud speaker going. The police help people in trouble, has a great outfit and everyone is always glad to see them. Just then an officer came to Liv and said, Would you like to join the force?

Liv replied, You are very strong and very brave. You have a cool car and great clothes and the best siren, But I am a great reader and I am going to be a librarian.

So the next day Liv took her Dad to the school library. The teacher librarian came to show them around, there were the rows of beautiful books, the fact ones arranged by numbers, the imagination ones organized by the alphabet. There were books with gold emblem awards, a smart board, e-readers and computers. There was a even a cozy spot where kids could sit and read. The teacher librarian said to Liv, would you like to read to the students.

So Liv picked out the best book in the whole library. She sat in a big chair and when the students came in, she began to read. At first she only had 4 or 5 students listening then there was 6 and soon dozens. Liv, who was a little nervous, kept reading her voice rising and falling as the story progressed and as she neared the end the only noise was Liv’s voice saying,”But because there sitting in the middle of the room was Meena. She was reading a book.”

When Liv first closed the book there was silence, not a sound to be heard. From the back of the room, the clapping began, it was Liv’s Dad.  He was clapping and yelling Bravo, Bravo!!  He was very loud and very happy.

As Liv and her Dad were leaving the library, he said, The library is a great place. The librarian gets to organize everything here, she gets to explore the internet and she gets to introduce the world to students.  Liv, you are a great reader, you love books, I think you should be a librarian.

Liv smiled and said, Dad, I think you are on to something.