Reply to Ross

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Etiquette dictates I not post on my newspaper website, but you ask an interesting question that deserves an answer.

So here's why I don't run for office, even though as recently as last month, there was a strong effort to get me to do so.

I'm not a politician. I'm a reporter. I write about issues and hope to influence in some way the people who can make decisions on them.

To run for office would also mean quitting my job. A reporter loses objectivity if she is a member of council, even if she takes a leave of absence. It's that simple. I know others in Kamloops disagree, but it's an age-old journalistic truth.

There are other ways to make changes that we, as reporters at KTW, can do -- and are doing.

All of my colleagues gathered together gifts, money and ideas for fundraising to help the youth safehouse run by the Interior Community Services. It provides shelter to a segment of the homeless many people forget about -- those between the ages of 13 and 19. We supplied about four dozen gift bags, enough food for them to be sick of leftovers for several days, bedding -- they hadn't been able to buy new bedding for more than a decade.

Some of us organized a fundraiser for the Kamloops Food Bank and will be doing two more in 2009.

So, Ross, I'll be staying behind my Mac at work. It's where I should be.

Where there’s a (living) will, there’s a way to the kids’ homes

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I’ve given this a lot of thought.

It happens as you pass the half-century mark — did that a while ago — and your hubby starts to talk seriously about things like pensions and RRIFs.

So here it is: my living will.

I know it won’t have much legal validity, but if some of you out there remember this — and circumstances have arisen that may require it be implemented — feel free to remind my children of my wishes.

Basically, it’s quite simple.

No matter how incapacitated I may be, I want to be kept going for the equivalent of five full-term pregnancies.

Yup, one for each of the kids.

In fact, add three more weeks, since my daughter was two weeks late and the oldest son was a week past his due date.

But I don’t want hospital staff to be saddled with this chore.

Nope, it’s payback time for the kids, so I’m expecting them to look after me, from feeding through to — well, you know, the equivalent of changing their diapers.

I’d like them to sing to me, as well. Doesn’t have to be fancy — but please, no Nirvana, the only music that would lull the second-youngest to sleep in his infancy.




Should have known then the kid would grow up to be a rocker.

Smells like Teen Spirit?

Don’t think so, at least not when he was a baby.

They’ll know what I mean.

And none of that Brahm’s Lullaby stuff, either. Lord knows, after at least one year per child of having to listen to that song in mobiles, musical toys and the like, I never want to hear it again.

One song that would be acceptable would be the Sharon, Lois and Bram recording of I Am Slowly Going Crazy.

For some reason, I remember way too many nights when I felt it would be the most appropriate music to play while rocking — and rocking — the infants to sleep.

There are days, even today — with the brood now either teenagers still at home or young adults coping with all the challenges the 20-something generation faces — when I find myself doing the slow count to 10 and then mentally breaking into a rousing chorus of “Crazy going slowly am I, six, five, four, three, two, one, switch.”

You moms out there know what I mean, right?

I’ve always sort of identified the children by how diligent a mother I was.

The daughter, firstborn and now a mother herself, was the cloth-diapers-homemade-baby-food-only-glass-bottles-eventually kid.

Her brother was the cloth-diapers-Gerber’s-not-bad-glass-bottles-are-fine-but-those-baggie-bottles-are-easier kid.

Next younger brother was the cloth-diapers-at-night-only-Gerber-and-Heinz-are-lifesavers one.

Can’t remember what kind of bottles we used.

Second-youngest? Well, let’s just say I’d discovered disposable diapers by then, had no idea where the much-used food mill of the first child’s babyhood had been stored and considered buying stock in Heinz.

When the fifth one arrived — well, heck, he had those older siblings who needed to learn how to care for a baby, right?

Good life skills to have.

Now, with the youngest officially a teenager and that aura of omniscient invincibility moms are supposed to have being challenged regularly by all five of them, I’ve sort of been feeling a bit put upon.

A bit unappreciated.

A bit like it would be oh-so-much-fun to hug the teenager in front of his buddies.

My husband and I have often joked we have five kids to guarantee a place to live when we do retire.

Two months per kid and two months to camp at the lake — near a golf course — for just us, to recover from the 10 months of living with the kids.

They don’t like that idea too much.

Think I’ll send them each a copy of this column and see how they feel about it after they read it.