Not the Giveaway Post*

I was going to announce my giveaway today. I really was.

I was going to go get groceries right after taking the kids to school, then come home and write and get it organized. We walked to school as it’s finally, finally not raining, and on the way home P decided to take the long route. We explored every stick and rock on our way, and found our friends and neighbours in their driveway so we stopped for a chat.

It was after 10 by the time we got home, and then I learned that two separate people close to me each lost a parent today. So, instead of getting groceries right away I pulled out my bread pans and started to bake. I don’t always have the right words to help someone feel better, but I feel like fresh homemade bread and brownies might help a hurting heart just a little. There’s just something about kneading dough that calms me–I love the process of making bread. It’s very methodical and gives me time to think, and I love that a pile of flour and yeast can turn into something so wonderful with a little love and work.  Hearing sad news sort of put a pall over the day, and somehow it just didn’t feel right to make excited posts about giveaways today.

So I’ll think about that tomorrow. I promise.

We didn’t get out to the grocery store until after 11, and while I was wandering the aisles it struck me that I can do this now. There was a time where I wouldn’t have dared gone near a store near lunch time or nap time because the kids would have had major meltdowns. We’re not totally in the clear yet, but P is at a place where he’ll accept toys and snacks in the cart, and doesn’t mind waiting an extra half hour or hour to have lunch. It’s glorious.

We also bumped into a friend while we shopped, and it made me so glad to live where I do. One of the things I miss most about living up north is the amazing sense of community, and being able to see someone you know absolutely everywhere you go. For a long time I didn’t have that, and I really missed it. But I this little city has always felt like home to me, and slowly but surely we’re building our community here.

For example: on Saturday morning I was bleary-eyed and tired from staying out too late the night before. M had plans and was away all morning, so I wanted to take the kids out to help burn off some of their energy and make a day of it. I was too tired to put makeup on, so of course that’s the day we see everyone we’ve ever known there. As soon as we walked in I saw my friend and her three children there, so my kids were thrilled to have some friends to play with. I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I’d like so it was such a lovely unexpected surprise, even without makeup on. ha.

Then S found one of her friends from ringette, and as we were getting ready to go we bumped into the mom of one of S’s school friends that we’ve been getting to know. It was so nice to be out and about and bump into friends, and it made me feel like I was back up north, even if it was just for a minute.

As we left the library and headed out into the parking lot, it was very windy and there were a lot of cars out. I was trying to shepherd all three kids safely to the van–dodging vehicles that never look as they back out and trying to keep my kids from running down the middle of the road. I had P in one hand, and I was trying to point and direct the other kids with the other when I saw a car pull up beside me and lower his window. An older man smiled at me and called out,

“Good job, Mama! You’re doing a great job keeping those kids safe! Keep up the good work.”

Then he gave me a wink, rolled up his window and drove away.

Honestly, that one small interaction made me feel like a million bucks and it totally made my day. It never ceases to amaze me how small, random acts of kindness can completely change the course of a day and have such a profound impact. I definitely plan to pay it forward and give a boost to another stranger who I think might need a little lift.

I’ve also been off most chocolate for a full week. I knew I needed to get a handle on that before trying anything else, and I was finally able to give up the Hallowe’en candy. Today I’m trying to get off the rest of the sugar, and so far so good. I have my worst cravings in the afternoon while P sleeps, but I managed to stay busy and staved them off with an orange and a cup of hot chocolate (my one treat I’m allowing myself when the cravings are bad). I feel like I’m more in control this time, so hopefully I can get off sugar for a while and get my eating habits back in line. Fingers crossed.


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