Emily was two and a half years old. She was a beautiful blonde toddler with a shy and quiet nature. For most of her life we lived in Niger. I always thought (and I still do) that it was a wonderful place for our children to grow up. I look back on the nine years we spent in Niger as among the happiest years of my life. I vividly remember the afternoon we spent relaxing at the pool of the old French club. Emily was full of life -- jumping and splashing in the pool with all the others. We went to church on the Sunday evening in a nearby village the night before she died.
As much as we want to sit and communicate with our spawns of Satan, to talk it out, to discuss the situation calmly and rationally, they will stare blankly over your head, at the wall behind you, at the fly on the window and then insist they were listening. Ask them to repeat back what you just said and it's instant amnesia.
Forget the mommy wars. Companies pit us against each other and sell more products. Once we realize that mommy wars don't exist and that we are all actually just trying to do whatever works best for us we can focus on talking about our differences and opening ourselves up to what others are doing and have to say.
As my professional life blossomed so did the work expectations and long hours that I needed to put into my demanding career. It was an inverse relationship in the making: the more I worked, the less time I had for personal things in my life like athletics, friends and relationships. Something had to give. And sadly it was volunteering.
Time heals a lot of wounds, but only if we give them the time to do so. Time to rest. Time to see a physician. Time to make them take our complaints seriously. Time to follow through on the real treatment plan (and not the abbreviated one I made up for myself). Time for our families to step up and do a bit more.
In this election we are raising issues that matter to young Canadians. Mental health is a big one. A report by Alberta's Institute of Health Economics states that just seven cents of every dollar spent on health care in Canada goes to mental health. That's despite the fact mental disorders account for 40 per cent of all illnesses Canadians face. Canadian governments must dramatically increase funding, investing in accessible community-based mental health care -- if Canada could reduce the annual rate of mental illnesses by 10 per cent, it would save our health care system four billion dollars a year.
After getting a driver's licence, I think most teens will tell you that the next milestone will be when they legally order a beer. Sadly they're missing what really is the most significant milestone. The federal government recognizes age 18 as the age at which one can vote in a federal election. Unfortunately, it seems that reaching vote eligibility is not nearly as meaningful as being allowed to order what's on tap.
Forget about the uber-cute size 0-3 month onesies with ruffles and madness all over them, folks. Go for the bulk pack of onesies with the snaps at the bottom, or zippered jammies because they take .09 seconds to take off when baby blesses mom and dad with their first blow-out. And if onesies ain't your thang -- check out my other fave ideas!