I Thought I Hated Babies…

Babies…
Just the thought of them used to make my uterus want to shoot up further into my body, like a jellyfish, squirm up my esophagus, tickle my uvula, and splatter itself across the ground in front of me. On July 27th, 2013, my thoughts about infants lightened when I met the most beautiful soul to grace my life: Milo Cooper Cayden Hall.

Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.This precious bundle was made by two people who are very dear to my heart.

Both parents are people who I can’t remember not knowing.  The mother is my best friend, but a best friend that goes beyond the ties of friendship. We can be away from each other for months and months on end, but when we reunite, it is as though we were never apart. This is why I think of her as a sister.

Growing up, I remember Alyssa and I pondering about what we would name our children. I don’t remember my own options, probably because they were super mainstream and boring.  Alyssa’s options, however, were definitely memorable.

“I want to name my kid ‘Cabbage’!” the little weirdo said.

Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.Although ‘Cabbage’ original (to put my opinions lightly), I certainly think ‘Milo’ is a much cuter option!

Like Alyssa, the father is someone who also brightened up my yesteryear. My memories of James are nothing but fun, happiness, and good times. Both Alyssa and James have colourful personalities, and happy, golden faces, which is why I am not surprised that they have made such a beautiful child.

They’re cute, and so is their kid.

Don’t get me mistaken, my internal clock is not ticking by any means. In fact, my internal clock continues to be a stopwatch, and the “start” button is broken indefinitely.

I am pleasantly surprised that although I, a young woman who is about to begin her Masters degree in Journalism, with a focus on feminism, have spent plenty of hours researching motherhood and births, meeting little baby Milo has taught me a lesson that my $40,000 student loan could never teach me:
Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.Although he could not speak, as I gazed into his pondering eyes, Milo sent a lightening bolt of realization down my spine.  I am only now beginning to recognize the fluidity of life, and this guidance has put disorder into my, otherwise, structured livelihood.  My lovestruck mind, brimming with thoughts I had never thought, and my heart, full of emotions I had never felt, could only pull the words,

“He has perfect ears!”

Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.together.  I remember when my dad complimented me on my ears, and it was the nicest thing he had ever said to me.  I never understood why that was the praise he chose to give me, until now.

When a child holds your heart in his or her little fingies, to you, they are the embodiment of utopia. Every piece of them is equally as beautiful, which makes it difficult to muster up the words that can appropriately express your emotions.

Milo made me understand the true beauty of life.

Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.Seeing Milo, a perfect blend of both his mommy and daddy’s features, creates a pleasant confusion in my mind. To my surprise, this confusion is absolutely bearable because it’s not something to be understood, it’s something to be felt and embraced. Life, and all its unpredictability, has a erratic way of creating happiness, and it is this spontaneity that builds the most precious occurrences that life has to offer us.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of life.

Baby, Life, Beauty, new parents, first baby, cute, precious.It’s science! I know, I know, humans make other humans, which seems simple, right? But when you pair emotions with science, you can be left in a baffled awe, and you are nothing but content.

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Summer 2013: Memories, The Cabin, and The Fam

camping, summer, 2013, tulameenAhhhhhh! Sigh of relief! Finally, I’m in complete solitude!

My Mecca, my home away from home, the beautiful abode that holds hundreds of moments from my childhood: 2630 Strathcona Ave.

Driving up and down the winding roads, through Princeton, a left at the bridge, a quick meander through Coalmont, past the shoetree, Tulameen is just around the bend. As a child, I remember the drive being so long, constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” in between Alanis Morissette songs on a mixed tape. I liked this tape because my dad would let me sing all the words, even “chicken shit”, which was a big deal for a six year old.

As an adult, these roads don’t seem long at all; in fact, they give me just enough time to ponder about the past and become excited about my current visit. I pass the hockey rink, where my dad and aunty played as children, and where my sister and I have done the same. I pass the general store, where I recall my sister and I buying a plethora of sour peaches, licorice, and ice cream, after spending our afternoon selling “Magical Blend”, a mixture of lemonade and iced tea, to passersby. After a quick right, then a left, I pull onto the cabin’s grasses.

camping, summer, 2013, tulameenIt’s nothing fancy, and it’s not a lake house; it’s a cabin, a real life cabin, in which my grandpa built, with the help of some friends, in the mid 20th century. It’s like nibbling on a delicious treat that your grandmother baked, and comparing it to a cookie from Costco. Everything tastes better when a grandparent made it, and my love for the cabin is no different. I think I’m so partial to this place because it is a representation of my family: The Quinney’s, The Campbell’s, and the Desautel’s.

It’s curious how a space, especially a shared space, can be a perfect mirror of the personalities that inhabit it. Although my grandpa passed away when I was only two years old, I can imagine who he was by combining the stories I’ve been told, who my father is, and who my aunty is. I know that my grandpa and I share a common experience: the drunk tank. Although I am not proud of going to the drunk tank, I can look back and laugh because this shows me that Fred Quinney (my grandpa) knew how to have a good time, but could get a little carried away, and these are characteristics I see in my father, my sister, myself, and even my aunty.

Even though my dad can have a bit of a temper, he is also very helpful, and fairly carefree. My father’s personality connects to my auntie’s in this way because she too is very helpful, but she is much better in the communication department. Contrasting to my dad, my aunty is structured, pays close attention to detail, and doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit. Although I don’t remember much about my grandmother either, judging by various stories, I can only assume that my aunty’s headstrong, detailed and structured traits come from my grandmother (The Campbell side). As for my father, he certainly did not pick up on the same Campbell traits as my aunty; in fact, I believe that he rebelled against them, which gives him a more carefree attitude.

camping, summer, 2013, tulameenMy sister and I are two very different individuals. My sister is very much like my dad, and I’ve always been told that I am a lot like my aunty. Although he would like to claim otherwise, my dad is a softy. He is compassionate and loving, but often shows these traits through jokes. Similarly to my dad, my sister is also very compassionate and loving. Both my sister and my dad would help out anyone who needs it, although my dad might curse a bit prior to doing so. I, like my aunty, am compassionate, headstrong, and stubborn at times, which brings all of my family’s traits into a full circle. My dad, my aunty, my sister, and I are all a family-sized salad; we have a similar base, but we all add in new, exciting aspects, which together create contrast, harmony, and variety.

Alone in the cabin, left with my thoughts and my kitty, I look around and remember the lovely memories within these walls. The table reminds me of the Thanksgiving my mom, dad, sister and I spent up here. The oven was old, and the turkey didn’t cook, but the first thing about that weekend that comes to mind is drinking hot chocolate and playing an old trivia game that was probably from the 60’s. I remember being shocked at learning that the person who invented the toilet was named Thomas Crapper.

The old, orange couch reminds me of mornings of fuzzy cartoons that came in and out as my dad repositioned the rabbit ears on the old television, the scent of bacon, and the sounds of laughter.

camping, summer, 2013, tulameenAs we got older, the front door was our get away. But that damn door was so squeaky! Fortunately, my dad snored so loud that my mom had to wear earplugs, which made sneaking out a breeze. Which brings me to the memory of being taken home in a police car. My best friend and I were out past our curfew, which prompted the adults to send the cops out looking for us. Other than being out a little late, we weren’t doing anything wrong, but I can still remember the ocean of guilt that flooded my veins as I pulled into the lawn in the back of a police cruiser. I was in big, big trouble. For years after that, however, my dad and his friends would make fun of my friend and me for what happened. My dad is always quick to forgive, and quick to make jokes.

Since my dad and aunty were kids, until recently, there was an infamous bread box. My mom had accidently left a loft of bread in this bread box one summer, and when we returned the next summer, my mom opened the tin box, and the bread was still just as fresh as it was the day she left it there. At the time, we all thought this was amazing, now, I wonder whether it was the insane preservative overdose in the bread, or some kind of anonymous chemical in the metal bread box.

camping, summer, 2013, tulameenAlthough I don’t remember my grandparents very well, I can imagine who they are through who my dad, aunty, sister and I have all become, and I see a little bit of every family member throughout different aspects of the cabin. The personification of a space turns a wooden shelter, equipped with couches, a stove, some beds and a water pump, into a home that provides warmth, full tummies, rest, and appreciation of the past. This cabin may not look rich, but if memories were monetary, these wooden walls would be Persian Princes.