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Ontario’s “New” Sex Ed Curriculum Is A Dangerous Mistake
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Why You Should Go To Your High School Reunion
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Everyone Is Socially Awkward
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Let’s Pop The Age 7 to 11 Bad Behaviour Bubble
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This Workout Works Out For Me—Orangetheory Fitness
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Great Grandparents
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Anxiety and SAD
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Will My Daughter Ever Get To Be A Mother?
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Are You An April Fool?
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Tears For Cheers—But Not The Happy Kind

Ontario’s “New” Sex Ed Curriculum Is A Dangerous Mistake

Yesterday as I was speaking to somebody about the premier’s decision to revise Ontario’s sex ed curriculum, I soon realized that only one of us perceived it as an absolute travesty.  With a flippant shoulder shrug they said, “Sex ed should be taken out of schools and taught at home anyway.”   And that’s when my head exploded. For my outside Ontario readers, to catch you up to speed—we recently elected a new premier to lead our province. We had two very qualified female candidates, a male candidate who values change, community, and the environment above all else, and a Donald Trump clone. The clone won.  Premier Ford kept his promise to revise the current health and physical education curriculum. Effective this fall, we will be reverting back to 1998 curricula.  The ramifications of this decision have been discussed heatedly across the internet. Google the topic and you’ll discover that students in Ontario will no longer learn about same-sex marriage, transgender or queer youth, or gender identity. They won’t be taught about the social and sexual dangers of our digital society or about consent either.  Instead of building on the curriculum, important topics like these and more, have been erased.  Back to[…]

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Why You Should Go To Your High School Reunion

Getting invited to your high school reunion isn’t necessarily exciting. In fact, the idea of reuniting with former classmates can be downright nauseating. Not because you find your old school chums repugnant, it’s the thought of small talk and the notion of maybe not quite measuring up.  I wrote a bit about the awkwardness of being a human, with examples of personal awkward moments. I mean, if you can’t laugh at your own idiotness, what’s the point? Every person, even the super confident ones, are socially awkward at times. It’s a fact.  I didn’t go to my ten year high school reunion. Not because I didn’t want to, but because at 4,386.5 km away, it was a daunting trek. And not one I could easily take having just started a new job.  By all accounts it was fun and there was a good turn out. But only ten years out of school, there were still egos to manage, reputations to overcome, and importance to prove. So, it was fun, but with an edge.  I did make it to our twentieth. With two young children at home, I welcomed a little “mom-cation.” The atmosphere was quite relaxed. Now in our thirties,[…]

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Everyone Is Socially Awkward

Even the most self-assured people feel socially awkward. Nobody is 100% confident, 100% of the time. I’m coming to realize this more and more….we’re ALL socially awkward in some way. It just sticks out on some of us more than others.  I’m going to my thirty year high school reunion this weekend. I was telling everyone that I couldn’t believe I was 25 years out of high school. My friend corrected with me a jarring, “Idiot. It’s 30.” Great. I’m awkward AND old.  It’s going to be fun counting up all the awkward triangle moments. You know, when you end up in a conversation with two random people and it becomes awkward fast and you can’t escape.  Reunions are a funny thing. You WANT TO GO because it’s nostalgic and you’d love to see old friends face-to-face instead of just on Facebook.  But you DON’T WANT TO GO because what will you wear? What will you say? What if it’s awkward? News flash: It WILL be awkward. Not all of it, but parts. But it’s okay! We all feel it. And nobody has died from making an innocent social slip. You just feel like dying in the moment. But it passes. I[…]

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Let’s Pop The Age 7 to 11 Bad Behaviour Bubble

When I taught elementary school I didn’t tolerate rude behaviour from my students. My role as an educator afforded me the right to address disrespectful conduct and hopefully turn it around.  As a parent I don’t accept rude behaviour from my own children. In my role as queen of my house, I shut down snarky comments and eye-rolls, right quick.  But as a person in the world, trying to teach my kids, but also protect them, sometimes I have to tolerate other people’s rude kids.  I want to shake these parents and say, “What are you doing?? Why are you allowing this? Teach your kids to be nice!” The shaking part is probably assault. So I keep my hands to myself and my mouth shut.  But it’s really, really, really, really, really hard.  The other day I drove my son and his friend into Toronto and dropped them off at a theatre to see some You Tuber celeb guy. I don’t know. I don’t understand it. But they, along with the thousands of other fans were excited, so I don’t question it.  My daughter and I had to wait a few hours for them, so we found a shady park in The[…]

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This Workout Works Out For Me—Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness has not only changed my body, it has changed my ‘meh’ attitude toward fitness. I haven’t had to worry too much about diet or exercise until my forties. Then my metabolism slowed down and I lost my general zestiness. I started gaining weight and losing tone. I watched it happen, but I did nothing to stop it.  The weight gain and general decline in my overall fitness occurred for several reasons. Like… a) Working from home and sitting on my rear end all day. b) The complete lack of self-control. For example, I bought three boxes of Girl Guide cookies just to be neighbourly and put them in the freezer to stop myself from eating them. And guess what? Frozen chocolate mint cookies are delicious.  As adults, there’s nobody to tell us, “Lisa you can’t eat the whole bag of chips. No, you may not have a second helping. Eat your vegetables! That’s enough wine there missy!! For the love, drink some water!” c) Exhaustion. Aside from a legitimate issue with low iron, this predicament is my own doing. I’d rather stay up late binging on “Call the Midwife” and potato chips, than go to bed at a sensible[…]

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Great Grandparents

One of my grandfathers died when I was little, but I was privileged to have had three grandparents, actively and lovingly participating in my life well into my adulthood. Two of them lived long enough to become great-grandparents.  I lost my last living grandparent earlier this year. He was ninety-seven. But not an old ninety-seven. But rather a witty, knows-your-name-plus-the-names-of-every-one-of-his-childhood-friends, sharp mind, but ailing body, kind of ninety-seven.  This weekend my family spread his ashes, and my grandma’s too (he kept her ashes so they could be together again one day).  My parents were there. And aunts and uncles and cousins too. I regret that I wasn’t able to make the cross-country trip to help honour them.  I am grateful though that I was able to see my grandpa one last time. My daughter and I visited him last spring. It was a special visit. I knew it would be the last.  When I told people my grandpa had died, many were surprised, saying, “Wow. You still have grandparents?” My grandma Fraser died suddenly and unexpectedly in her mid seventies. I don’t think my grandpa ever quite got over the loss. He lived independently for nearly two decades after she had[…]

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Anxiety and SAD

I don’t enjoy sharing my personal experience with anxiety because frankly, it’s embarrassing. I know, mental health should be stigma free by now. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and yet I am.  I feel more comfortable discussing my anxiety when I preface my symptoms with the caveat that I’ve been through some trauma. I like to point out that the majority of my issues are rooted in post traumatic stress resulting from some terrifying medical emergencies with our daughter. It’s like by explaining that my situation was thrust upon me, by no fault of my own, I free myself from any appearance of weakness. I’m merely a victim of circumstance. My mind may go to the worst case scenario now and then, but I’m normal. Nothing wrong with this gal.  Apparently my ego requires a cushion since I clearly feel the need to justify my anxious feelings. Perhaps it would help if I carried my psyche around on a little satin pillow? I know I should talk about it though because I’m not alone. ESPECIALLY when it comes to parenting a child with a disability. By avoiding the topic of mental health challenges, I’m not helping myself or anybody else.  Here’s[…]

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Will My Daughter Ever Get To Be A Mother?

My daughter will probably never become a mother. The idea guts me. So I try not to think about it. But it’s hard to ignore the facts when your kid is patting your neighbour’s pregnant belly saying, “Dare’s a baby in dare? Awwwww. I can’t wait to see your baby. I’m going to have a baby too.” For weeks since my daughter found out this new baby was on the way, she’s been walking around with her rubber Dora ball tucked up inside her shirt, rubbing her tummy saying, “I’m going to be a mummy! I’m just pretending, but when I’m big I’ll have a baby, right Mummy?”  Knowing how amazing it is to be a mother, the thought of her never having the privilege, stings. I squash those thoughts as soon as they enter my head.  But, the thoughts are harder to ignore when you’re faced with them head on. As my daughter Avery waddled around the kitchen, back arched, smiling wide, telling her big brother that her baby is a girl named Little Avery, my son asked me under his breath, “Mum, CAN she have a baby? Like, do you think she will?” He waited expectantly (pardon the pun) for an answer.[…]

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Are You An April Fool?

April Fools’ Day falling on Easter Sunday this year has thrown me off. I had to hide eggs and make bunny pancakes—I didn’t have it in me to execute any clever pranks too.  I’m not great at it anyway. Most of my family and friends claim they can see it coming from a mile away. So instead of fun pranks, here’s a random list of foolish ways to be a big ol’ fool in a daily life kind of way. Do any of the following if you want to be foolish AF.  1.Text and drive. 2. Cut your own hair. Especially after a glass of wine or three.  3. Take on more than you can handle. Just keep saying yes to everything until you pass out.  4. Put your health last.  5. Take people for granted.  6. Make up time lost by stealing “sleep” time. Sleep is for babies.  7. Never step outside your comfort zone. 8. Bail on as many social engagements as you can.  9. Skip exercise. Who wants to go getting all healthy and trim? 10. Send a text while you’re angry.  11. Gossip and spread rumours.  12. Compare yourself to others.  13. Sleep with your cell phone.   14.[…]

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Tears For Cheers—But Not The Happy Kind

My daughter and her special abilities cheerleading team competed performed at our Provincial Cheer Championships this weekend. The kids loved it and they beamed under the spotlight. It was a beautiful moment in time. It was the kind of acceptance and inclusion we parents of kids with disabilities long for. So why did I leave feeling completely gutted?  The coaches and volunteers who have helped shape this team into a world class cheering force, are amazing. I don’t even have the words to express my admiration. Ironic, since I’m a writer and everything. They believe in these incredible kids and are giving them the opportunity to feel the power and pleasure of working together as a team. This is to say, it’s all good. I am very grateful. But, I’m still allowed to feel the feelings, right? And I’m not talking about the rosy ones. These are dark little suckers.  There were tears this weekend. Yes, some were the proverbial “happy tears” that leak from parental pupils that just can’t contain all the pride. But some were ugly. The ones you hide by pretending to blow your nose or try stop from spilling by holding your breath or swallowing hard[…]

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