Sticks,stones and splits (Or, how I find out if my kids are paying attention too)

So today started out really well. Early wake-up, a quiet morning to look forward to, and finally, the perfect time to start this read, a magic collection of pieces that, like all of Edward’s work, strive to remind us that we are surrounded by beauty, if only we would stop and pay attention, as he often says.  I received this signed copy in the mail, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect morning to start it. If you’re looking for something to sweep you away this summer, consider this.  And maybe strive to believe him. Which, for the record, I do.

Amongst the stories  I've read so far, there's one about a bra wall in New Zealand, something that makes me want to see the Hudson River, the hierarchy of bears in Alaska, and trying to find the quietest place on earth, a concept I find fascinating, This is the author whose writing sent me to France last year.

I’ve worked very hard at trying to share that particular lens with my boys. I want them to pay attention. Sometimes, when I forget, they remind me to slow down and and notice things too. This morning was all about slowing down and paying attention, to this book and to myself, reading in a long, decadent bubble bath with coffee on the side of the tub and then curling up in my favourite chair by the window and doing more of the same. I rarely have this time to myself, and after finishing up a lunch-break-free month of June finishing up Grade 8 Graduation plans and execution and bringing their yearbook to its (albeit flawed) completion, three hours to indulge in quiet reading felt like a gift from some sort of god today. It was a good start. And then the day split.

I feel broken a lot. I’m working at changing the way I see myself. My scars. I’ve even been thinking as of late that I should take a deep breath and put myself out there a little bit. Maybe, you know, even go out for dinner with some fictional man who finds me interesting. The thing is, that takes an enormous amount of courage at this point, and I haven’t been in possession of said courage. Yet. But it’s been coming – I have felt it sneaking up on me as of late. Being off anti-anxiety meds for several weeks now has me feeling like I’m waking up a bit. Ready to see what’s out there.

But then I was reminded that I was broken today, when a friend admitted he would not likely date someone who had lost her breasts. Kick in the stomach. Certainly not because I want to date him. I don’t. But it was put out there. And now I know it’s out there, you know? I know there are people out there who date people based almost entirely on appearance; I just like to think I spend time with people of a slightly more enlightened nature. So I took this totally unprocessed information home with me, and my kids, when they came home from doing this,

My boys, paying attention.  Their Dad took this photo. He was obviously paying attention too.

My boys, paying attention.
Their Dad took this photo. He was obviously paying attention too.

knew right away that I was a little off, and asked what happened. So I told them, in very general terms, about my experience, and they were, bless their little boy-hearts, properly outraged on my behalf. We had a lovely chat, and I’m so proud to know these two boys. They’re messy, and they empty my cupboards faster than I can fill them, and they’re not much on bathing, but man – they’re good people. I think my experience will help to shape them, too. For the better.

I picked up some rocks again today, and put them on my steps. I don’t want to let the ugliness of today take away from the pretty I got to see. They really are quite lovely. And, you know what they say about sticks and stones…

Sticks and stones...

Sticks and stones…


7 thoughts on “Sticks,stones and splits (Or, how I find out if my kids are paying attention too)

  1. “I don’t want to let the ugliness of today take away from the pretty I got to see.” … and the good people around you … and your wise beyond their years sons … and the fact that you are valued and that you matter to many around you both whom you know and those whom you don’t … I’d say the ugliness pales in comparison. I love your posts Tanya – there’s always something in them for me. Thanks for the gift of your beautiful writing.

  2. Tanya, you continue to inspire both me and many others you come in contact with. Not only do I understand your point of view, I have stood (and still stand) in your shoes. Your perspective is refreshing! You have given your boys such an amazing life experience and set of building blocks for their own future!


  3. Tanya, you are an amazing woman and if a man wasn’t able to see that, then there’s something wrong with him.
    You were my inspiration throughout my cancer treatment and you still are.
    When I was showering last night I looked at my lumpectomy scar and my dented breast. I think I would feel like you do if I had to put myself out into a dating scene. I look so different.
    But…basically I am still me and if someone couldn’t see that – too bad.
    Wishing you a peaceful, wondrous summer.
    p.s. we have a stone collection and a tiny piece of driftwood I found on a beach.

  4. Your perspective on the things that happen in your life and how you handle them is amazing. Your boys will always be there for you … “- but man, they’re good people.” … And they are that way because of you!!

  5. I’m dismayed and disappointed that someone would think that, much less say it. You are so much more than your body – we all are. Wishing you wonderful days ahead, with your beautiful, hungry boys!

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