Tag Archives: parenting

Christie Lake Kids’ heart of gold counters the suckitude of humanity

“People suck.”

That’s what a friend of mine and I used to say to each other when we (yet again) were disappointed by the words and actions of our peers when we were growing up.

As you grow older, you move away from those people who disappointed you, you educate yourself, you hope that the world you encounter is better than the one that turned you off. But sometimes, humanity’s suckitude can be overwhelming.

Telecoms who own a significant chunk of the available Canadian spectrum whine about how they will be unable to compete if the last remaining available bandwidth is tipped a little bit more towards newcomers rather than incumbents while gouging you for unbelievable prices for your cellphone, cable television and internet.  Pipelines spill, polluting once pristine environments and endangering lives and habitats of plants, animals, and humans.

And children living in poverty and abusive environments, unable to participate in activities and receive positive feedback like some of the middle-class kids they go to school with just because they can’t afford to live like they do. Sometimes these kids just barely survive, with parents spending any money they have on drug and alcohol instead of food and clothing and possibly abusing their own kids while they are at it. Put yourself in the shoes of those kids, and you can understand how it can take all of their processing power just to get through a day, nevermind worrying about doing their math and reading homework.

When you grow up in a world like this, it’s hard not to think that the world sucks.  It’s easy to fall off the path and into despair, addiction, and crime.

So it’s heartening to see a charity like Christie Lake Kids in action. It identifies and reaches out to at-risk kids growing up in rough neighborhoods and provides them with a summer camp experience which includes swimming lessons, canoeing, camping, arts and crafts, rock-climbing, a variety of sports, and general overall self-esteem and confidence building.

Full disclosure

One of my aunts is a board member of Christie Lake Kids and she invited me out on August 7th to participate in a donor’s tour of the camp. I brought along my camera and voluntarily took pictures that will likely end up on their website, put into newsletters, and boost their presentations.

Continue reading Christie Lake Kids’ heart of gold counters the suckitude of humanity

Embracing the feminine with my baby girl

The first year my wife and I began dating we attended a work event that had hired two psychics for a laugh.

I sat down with one of them, not expecting much, but he was able to detect the issues I was feeling over my ex and how she had treated me and whether or not my current girlfriend was the right person for me.

He didn’t come right out and say those things, but ultimately what he did say was, “You are in a very masculine stage right now. What you have to do is embrace the feminine.”

That hit home to me, as my girlfriend was very much a girly-girl, in the sense that she loved her shoes and her makeup and her purses and loved to be very well-dressed all the time, no occasion necessary.

She is now my wife and has been since 2009 (and unofficially in 2007, depending on which ring you look at) and in 2010 we brought a beautiful baby girl into this world.

And boy oh boy did that change my perception. It’s one thing to be exposed to feminism growing up and in University. It’s another to consider its practical application to this tiny little girl and what kind of world she will grow up in and how will the world treat her.

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Dear friends: I’m not ignoring you, I’m being there for her

Dear friends:

I know I haven’t been around a lot the last couple of years. I know I made you promises that I would be there for you and help you through every little thing. I know I promised that I would work my ass off to guarantee your success and help you navigate unfamiliar business and technical worlds leaving you to focus on your art.

But something happened.

I bought a house. I got a car. I built a family. We adopted dogs. We had a baby. We moved out of the city.

And then I wasn’t there anymore. There, as in, mentally present and willing to go down the road of learning and applying all that technical knowledge to ensuring your success.  There, as in finding the time to meet you downtown to catch up and look at girls. There, as in shooting you regular emails about my life. Facebook updates became a substitute for all of that.

Instead, I was busy 24/7 with other things. Mainly, my little girl.

Continue reading Dear friends: I’m not ignoring you, I’m being there for her