Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I uh, don't know how to tell you this...but I may have VBS, it's pretty contagious.

It's summer vacation here (wait, wasn't it May a minute ago?) right, well, anyway, moving right along... On the last day of school I brought my daughter home in tears. The idea of spending 2 months at home with me instead of at school with her friends and teacher was just too awful for her to bear.

Adam and I have no friends (fine, maybe a couple, but seriously not a lot.) While we like to get out and have grown-up fun once in a while, for the most part we tend to stay home alone, content with each others company and/or a good book. Were it not for the demands of parenting, I think I would probably live all alone and go for days or weeks at a time without any human interaction whatsoever. Adam likes people, but he's too lazy to bother leaving the house unless he has to work. When we are forced into social situations outside of our comfort zones we are inevitably the most awkward couple in the room. I loose the power of speech and sit there fidgeting in a corner until I force myself to say something I think is funny, but it turns out that after a few hours of sullen-looking silence my hysterical commentary comes off as sarcastic and bitchy and completely inappropriate. Adam, on the other hand, can't shut the fuck up to save his life. He starts to babble incessantly and is unable to detect the subtle social cues that would indicate to a normal person that the party to whom he is speaking has no interest whatsoever the the subject matter that he refuses to drop, no matter how many times they might try to politely change the subject. Alcohol helps. A lot. It helps me anyway, actually it just makes Adam talk louder.

All of this would seem to indicate that our anti-social tendencies far outweigh our honest desire to make friends. How is it then, that the two of us combined have created the most outgoing, friendly, social butterfly of a child on earth? Skylar loves people. People are absolutely crucial to her happiness on a day to day basis. She wants friends over every single day, she adores school and organized activities and she just sucks at playing quietly by herself. While all of my school report cards said " needs to participate more in class" Skylar's report cards say "needs to remember to give the other children a chance to speak" The kid thrives on company and structured activities, which, given my aforementioned general suckyness in those departments, I am simply not able to provide her with for 2 long months.

The obvious solution is summer camp. Yay! Summer camp with the friends and the games and the crafts and so on and so forth, whoo hoo! Except I'm still out of a job and summer camp is blindingly expensive, so scratch that idea. If only there was something like camp...but free.

Thus we arrive at my decision to send her to Vacation Bible School. VBS as the cool Christians call it. VBS where children play games and sing songs and make friends and are cheerfully brainwashed by Faith. I'm not an atheist, nor am I vehemently anti-christian, but I really don't have much use for organized religion as a whole. (I'm not a bigot. I think they're all equally bullshit) That being said, I do believe in spirituality and I respect every persons right to believe whatever they like. I just wish more people would put an honest effort into deciding what that is, instead of unquestioningly following their parents religion because it's the only one they know. I want my children to be free to ask questions and be given thoughtful answers. I do not want people telling them that THIS is the only right answer and you'd better get on board with it or you're going to hell. So I was nervous about sending Skylar to a place where she would be on her own with kids who have been going to church all their lives and adults who feel called upon to spread their faith like a VD to anyone they possibly can.

I wish there were more options around here. I wish I could send her to Hebrew school one week and Buddhist camp the next to balance out her theological education, but I really can't. Around here all the churches have different names, but they all preach pretty much the same dogma. Yet another drawback to small town life.

But it's free!

So I sent her off to VBS to learn about "Joseph's Journey to Egypt" Which, hey! I saw the musical! Donny Osmond kicked ass! How bad could it be? And she loved it. And apparently she had no problem with being the only kid there whose knowledge of the Bible was less than sub-par. And she came home every day singing about being a Child of God (That part bothered me a bit but damn those songs were catchy!)

The last day arrived and we all got ready to attend the show/presentation/sneak attack church service that night. The kids were adorable in their Egyptian make-up and the brainwashing songs were upbeat. Then there was a prayer. All through the hall people bowed their heads and fell silent as Adam showed Eden how to close her eyes and fold her hands. She looked around at all the quiet adults with their eyes shut, grabbed the hand of the little girl sitting beside her and yelled "Come on! It's our turn to hide!"

We're going to hell.


P.S. Yes, Adam and Eden. Ha ha ha. Irony.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Classification of Little Old Men.

My year of serving the public as a cashier in a small town convenience store has given me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of human beings and to judge them unfairly for my own amusement.
People generally fall into one of several broad categories- Male, female, kid, geezer etc. Which can be further divided into sub-categories such as hippy, farmer, rich bitch, hot guy, crack-head and so on and so forth. One of the most interesting and diverse groups is the one broadly know as "Little Old Men" I have classified them into six easy groups for people-watchers to spot.

1. Cute.
The Cute Little Old Man is one of my favorite types of customer. Cute Little Old Men have white hair, sparkly eyes and rosy cheeks. They may well have little round bellies that shake when they laugh like bowls full of jelly, but it's not a requirement. They mostly buy milk and lottery scratch tickets. They have adorable nicknames like Jigger, Sonny or Bear. They give change to small, stupid children who can't afford their baggies full of penny candies. They call me Sweetie, Love or even Beautiful. They may well be racist child molesters in private, but they give off an air of old fashioned gentlemanlyness which I find very endearing. They are grandfatherly in a way your own grandfather may never have been. They wink.

2. Angry.
The Angry Old Man has come to your place of business today because he wants to argue. He is an ass-hole, but you're not allowed to refer to him as such because he is over the age of seventy-five. Ass-holes grow up to be Angry Old Men in the same way puppies grow up to be dogs. It's unavoidable. The Angry Old Man is very good at finding reasons to be upset: Perhaps he feels the small jug of milk is ludicrously overpriced in comparison to the larger jug of milk but he doesn't want the larger jug of milk because it will spoil before he can drink it. He will explain this predicament to you loudly and repeatedly, secure in the knowledge that he will be able to carry on being Angry because there's nothing you can possibly do to ameliorate this situation, particularly because he is unvaryingly deaf as a post and unable to hear any solution you might suggest to him. They never call me by any name.

3. Lonely.
The Lonely Old Man is sad. He is quiet when the store is busy, but given the opportunity he will stand at your counter for hours on end talking to you about his youth. You talk to him because you feel bad for him despite the fact that you have an extensive to-do list and talking to Lonely Old Men is not on it because your manager is kind of a jerk like that. They mostly buy chocolate bars. They call me by the name on my name-tag.

4. Dirty.
Dirty Old men must be further divided into literal and figurative sub-groups.
Dirty Old Men (lit.) are old farmers and mechanics so deeply encrusted with dirt that no amount of bathing will ever get them clean again. They stink of manure, gasoline and tobacco. They are generally missing one or more fingers. They communicate mostly by grunts and hand (stump) gestures. Their overalls, shirts and hats are stiffened with sweat and filth to such an extent that they could easily maintain the form of their owners even after having been removed from their bodies. They mostly buy cigarettes and coffee. They call me *slight nod of the head* if they are in a good mood.
Dirty Old Men (fig.) are aging perverts. They mostly buy porno magazines. Sometimes they claim they are too old to climb the stepladder which is required to access the top shelf where such magazines are kept and ask me to climb up for them while they stay below, ogling my ass and giving directions such as "The one on your left...further...further...reach a little further...yeah, that's it Honey." Or asking for a description of the magazine's content, specialty or price, claiming that their eyes are no longer strong enough to read for themselves without acknowledging the fact that if their eyes are that far gone this magazine will do them little to no good anyway. They call me Honey, Baby, Cutie or Sweetheart.

5. Crack-headed Old Men.
They are usually dirty (lit.) They have long, straggly hair that is grey or tobacco yellow. They have red or yellow eyes and teeth rotted by meth. They may not actually be all that old but their faces are made of creased leather so it's hard to tell. They mostly buy penny candies or individual coffee creamers and rolling papers, for all of which they pay with pennies, nickles and the occasional dime. They smell of piss, sweat, pot and failure. They don't call me anything, Thank God.

6. Utterly Bat-Shit Crazy Old Men.
Always entertaining, the UBSCOM can usually be identified by his wild, staring eyes and the smell of goat and vomit. He may well have forgotten one or more important articles of clothing this evening. He will be carrying something- possibly a broken walkie-talkie, possibly a can opener, possibly a human foot. He believes aliens may try to communicate with him via the ATM in the corner. Sometimes they are furtive and paranoid and you feel bad for them, but other times you luck out and get an UBSCOM who has embraced dementia with open arms and he will regale you with stories better than anything you might see on TV. They usually don't bite under the bright lights inside the store. There's no telling what they might buy, but it's possible that they will try to pay with cat food. They call me Susan.

Friday, May 21, 2010

PHD, it's real.

Hi! I'm back from Florida!

Right, fine, actually I've been back for like, two weeks now but I've only just got over the post-holiday depression. Does everyone else get this? It's almost enough to make me swear off vacations all together, but that's an even more depressing thought so then I figured I'd plan my next vacation right away to give myself something to look forward to, but I have no money so I really can't justify another holiday for a few years yet...I have almost decided to give in and get married just to have an excuse to take another trip. That's totally a good reason right? Stop judging me or you will not be invited to my fantasy Caribbean wedding cruise!

Basically, on the final day of every trip I've ever taken I start to get mopey and sad because it's over and I don't want it to be over and it will be I forever before I get to go away again so I have nothing to look forward to anymore and suddenly my life is so boring and I hate my job and the weather back home sucks and my house is extra cramped and messy and I hate hate hate having a routine and so on and so forth. This time it was even worse because while I was away I got to meet the family I never knew I had and (much to my surprise) I fell in love with them, hard, and I'm not likely to see any of them again for an extremely long time, sigh.

Then the night I got home I found half of my fish swimming in an aquarium full of green tea (the other half were no longer swimming) because my well-meaning aunt had decided to feed them from an unmarked Tupperware container instead of the little jar with the picture of the fish on the label so I got to spend several hours cleaning out a fish tank (FYI if you don't have fish: this is a dirty, smelly, awkward, messy, time consuming job.) after having travelled since 8 am with a 6 year old through 2 flights, 3 airports and a 2 hour drive.

The next morning I picked up my 2 year old from her grandparents house. It felt wrong. I had missed her like crazy and I just wanted to pick her up and squish her back into her place in my heart but somehow... I don't know. She was different. It's as though she has always been a part of me, an extension of my own body if you will. But by abandoning her for 10 days I had strained that connection. Suddenly she was her own little person, independent of me. I was not ready for that. Much guilt ensued.

The next day I went back to work at my crappy minimum wage job at a convenience store, which is still the best job I've ever had, only to find out that the store will be closing at the end of the month and I'll be out of a job with rent to pay and credit card bills freshly rung up from holiday making.

Soon after that I developed a massive rash. It's ugly and so itchy I want to take a potato peeler to my skin except then I would have no skin left because it's all over my body including my face: ears, nose, motherfucking eyelids I tell you...but yet not on my feet or my butt which is cool because scratching that all the live-long day might be socially awkward. My doctor's official diagnosis, corroborated by 3 other medical professionals (one of whom was googling my malady on his phone I swear) was: "Huh, weird!" He referred me to a dermatologist who called to set up my appointment: November 8th. I will have no skin left by November 8th people! Sorry, being itchy makes me grumpy.

Seriously though, it was an awesome vacation and I will totally tell you all about it when I'm in a better mood, m'k?

Monday, April 12, 2010

There's a perfectly good explanation

My six year old takes a gymnastics class at the local high school every Monday evening.

Because this class starts before Adam gets home from work, I have no choice but to take her two year old sister along to watch.

Because she's a two year old, she has no interest in watching; she wants to join in and climb on the balance beams and bounce on the trampoline and run around with the cool flowy rainbow ribbon things.

Because I don't want to spend an hour and a half wrestling with her while she screams in the bleachers, I opt to take her out into the hallways of the school and let her run up and down, playing with combination locks and trying to outrun the reflections of the lights on the tiles.

Because several lockers are empty and unlocked she likes to hide in them, then jump out and yell BOO!

Because she told me to, I ran away from the locker and hid in a little alcove after she shut the door.

Because I thought it would be funny, I jumped out of my hiding spot and grabbed her when she eventually came out and ran down the hall looking for me.

Because she laughed, we did it again.

Because I had to move fast to hide before she opened the door, I stopped paying careful attention.

Because I heard little feet running, I leaped out with a yell to grab my daughter.

Because the child in front of me was not my child, he started to cry.

Because his mom was clearly wondering what the fuck was wrong with me, I apologized and explained that I had mistaken her son for my daughter.

Because my daughter was nowhere to be seen, his mother looked at me like I was on crack.

Because she has awesome timing, my two year old started banging on the inside of her locker, begging to be let out.

Because I'm a psychopath who likes to scare the bejezus out of toddlers and then trap them in school lockers.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


We went for our first bike ride of the season this morning. I strapped Eden into her seat in front of me on my bike and took off down the street. She began to laugh and called out:

"Da wind! I'm catching da wind in my mouf! Uh Oh, I swallowed it, now I'm eating all da wind."

Thank God for spring time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Price of Luxury

I have had an amazing stroke of luck. March break has coincided with the best phase ever. Skylar has taken a liking to playing restaurant. Specifically, she wants to bring me breakfast in bed. Every day. How cool is that? She made a menu, with options such as: cerel, toast, waffles, watr, milk and juos. Sure, improvements could be made. Perhaps the toast could be topped with something besides air, or the waffle could maybe not be floating in a bowl of syrup, but hey, if I get to stay in bed an extra half hour, it's all good.

Yesterday, Adam was off work so he was looking forward to partaking along with me. We lounged in bed, listening to the kids fight downstairs until Eden was banished from Skylar's kitchen and came upstairs to crawl into bed between us where things might have gone on being peaceful if only Adam wore a shirt to bed.

Eden: Daddy, what's dat?

Adam: Armpit hair.

Eden: I don't got armpit hair?

Adam: Nope.

Eden: Mommy got's armpit hair?

Me: Nope.

Adam: Liar.

Eden: Daddy, what's dat?

Adam: My nipple.

Eden: I got's nipples, too!

Adam: Yep, so does Mommy.

Eden: No, Mommy have boobies. You have boobies too Daddy!

Adam: No, I don't!

Eden: Ya, you do have boobies right d'ere. See? Biiig boobies!

*Adam rolls onto his stomach to discourage further remarks*

Eden: Daddy, you got spots on your back. See? I count dem for you. One...Two...Free...Seven...Eight...Nine...

Adam: Hey, hey, hey what are you doing?

Eden: I moving da blanket. I gotta count da spots on your bum too!

Adam: No, you don't!

Eden: D'ere are spots Daddy! Spots!

Adam: I don't need my spots counted!

Eden: What dat hair is d'ere for?

Me: It's not there for anything, it's just a big mutant hair on Daddy's back.

Eden: I get it off. *much pinching and pulling ensues* I can't geddit! Da hair is stuck! Mommy you get it!

Sorry, Adam. I should have warned you. You get either breakfast in bed OR personal boundaries. Not both.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making a Memory

In my earliest memory I waddle into an enormous kitchen, squatting on my heels. My grandma is washing dishes. She looks down at me and asks if I have a tummy ache. I nod.

In my next memory we are moving. The hallway is full of boxes and I am digging through them, looking for a doll named Brenda, scared that she will not get to the new house. We moved when I was three.

I remember being in the hospital to get tubes put in my ears and being offended when the doctor told me I was going in a "big girl crib" instead of a bed. There's no such thing as a big girl crib, stupid.

And then being in the hospital again, waking up suddenly to find my bed surrounded by strangers, rolling me down the hall. Screaming for my mom.

I have a lot of fantastic memories from later on in my childhood. I know I was loved and played with and spoiled. So why are the scary or painful memories the earliest ones my mind chose to keep? I guess trauma makes a big impression. Then I wonder about the things I don't remember, at least not in any concrete form, and what effects they may have had on me.

Just after my mother brought me home from the hospital when I was born she had to take me right back again. I had meningitis and I have been told that I owe my life to baby fat. Had I been a 6 or 7 pound baby I wouldn't have had a chance. As it was, I was nine pounds and might possibly survive, although I would definitely be brain damaged and probably blind and deaf as well. I was spinal tapped and had IV's in my head because my veins were too tiny anywhere else. I got better. I'm not blind or deaf and any brain damage I suffered didn't prevent me from getting on the Honour Roll. I don't remember this, but does it explain my hatred of needles?

I learned to walk when I was nine months old. At that time my mother was working and I stayed with a babysitter. One day my mom got off work early and came to pick me up. When she pulled in to the sitter's house a little boy ran up to her and said:
"Oh good, you're here! She's been crying all day!"
My mom was worried and asked if I was hurt or sick as she headed into the house. The kid said:
"No, she wants out of her seat. Mom keeps her there so she doesn't fall down the step."
It turns out the woman had been keeping me strapped firmly in a stroller for hours every day, supposedly so that I wouldn't topple down the single, three inch, carpeted step between the kitchen and the living room. I never had another babysitter besides my Grandmother again.
I don't remember this, but does it explain why I cannot stand to be physically restrained in any way, for any reason, by anyone?

We try to protect our kids. But everyone gets hurt, or sick, or hurt by someone sick at some point in their childhood. We may not be conscious of the memories, but are they deep inside, shaping the people we will become?

Will Skylar remember me holding her down on an X-ray table as she screamed and tried to claw her way into my arms while a nurse pulled on her broken leg just before her first birthday? I know I'll never forget it.

Will Eden remember being bitten by that dog?

Are my children's first memories more likely to be of us laughing as we jumped over waves at the beach last summer or wrestled in the snow last week, or of us yelling at them for doing something bad?

I have been guilty of assuming my children are too young to remember, telling myself they are not quite real people yet. I have had bad days and told myself it wouldn't matter. I loose my patience and yell at my kids to CALMDOWNBEQUIETSTOP! and longed for the day when they will be old enough to talk to and enjoy being friends with, while telling them that no, I do not want to play hide and seek or Barbies or Snap! I have to quit this or they won't want anything to do with me when they are old enough to do the things I want to do. Skylar is six years old now and she has an awfully good memory. I have started asking myself 'Is this what I want them to remember?' when the urge to yell creeps up on me. I just hope I can put on a convincing enough act of being a happy, involved, playful mom to make up for the times when I am not, and that we can make more good memories than bad.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Don't Know Which Way To Go

A while ago Adam and I went to Toronto to visit a friend of mine, Erin (people who know how to work their Internet would make her name glowy and then you could click on it and be magically transported to her blog to read about her adventures as she lives my dream life, but seeing as how I barely know how to turn my computer on, all I can do is this: http://madhatter848.blogspot.com/ So, there ya go) who was passing through as she works her way around the world. We went to the hostel (yeah, hostel not hotel, she's that bad ass) where she was staying. It's called the Canadiana and holy shit is it ever Canadian up in here, y'all. You can tell by the stuffed animal heads on the walls and giant wooden Canadian figures and free pancakes for breakfast with real imitation maple syrup..erm, yeah. This is where they got all that shit for the Olympics closing ceremonies. Anyway, the guy at the desk presented me with an envelope marked "Top Secret" which contained the directions we were to follow in order to find Erin and the Band Camp reunion she had organized. (Band rules, tell your friends!)

Erin, like anyone who knows me at all, knew that these directions would have to be painfully detailed and clear, since I am quite capable of getting lost in my own kitchen. When I visited her in BC this past summer she had to write out step by step instructions to get me through bus/skytrain/ferry transfers that would otherwise have left me sobbing on the sidewalk or bound unwittingly for Yellowknife. Even with those instructions I failed to get off a bus at the right place and missed my ferry, then on the return trip I gave up after only the second of eight or nine steps and instead made friends with a nice young man on the ferry who took me on a bus right inside the boat that then took me all the way to the train station, where we parted ways... and I proceeded to get on a train going in the wrong direction. Yes, I'm that dumb. The point is; I require really good directions. Erin certainly delivered. I am going to share those directions with you now, just in case you ever need to get from the Canadiana Backpackers to the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto.

Step 1: Put your party pants on.

Step 2: Remember your room key. Trust me.

Step 3: Exit hostel. You are now standing on a wee step in front of the hostel, facing the street. Get the fuck out of the way, you're blocking the doorway! You're not the only guests here for chrissake...

Step 4: Walk down the steps. At the bottom, you'll be standing on the sidewalk of Widmer street. Turn to your left and begin walking. Widmer dead-ends very quickly, with an Extreme Fitness on the right-hand corner and a parking lot ahead. The street you have dead-ended at is Richmond Street.

Step 5: Turn right. You will need to keep walking, passing Extreme Fitness, a cinema and Chapters on your right. Chapters is on the corner of Richmond & John Street.

Step 6: Look up to your right. Oooooh! CN tower! Like a freak accident between a Tim Hortons doughnut and a Juno award. The World's Ugliest free-standing structure!!

Step 7: Turn left and cross Richmond Street. Walk away from the CN tower! Flee the tower! Run, run away! You will now be walking North on John Street. Do this for ONE BLOCK ONLY. You will see a pub on your left called the Friar & Firkin. Ignore this pub. You do not want to stop for a drink. Resist the urge. You've barely begun your quest!

Step 8: After ONE BLOCK on John st. you will find yourself on the corner of Queen st. & John st. Looking to your right, you will see Much Music's famous studio. To your left will be a Second Cup and across the street is a Starbucks. Resist the urge for overpriced refreshment and walk to your right, past Much Music. You are now on Queen street.

Step 9: Pass the Condom Shack. Giggle. (*note: after exiting the shop, be sure to go RIGHT to keep yourself headed in the right direction).

Step 10: Walk, walk, walk, walk. You will pass Duncan st, Simcoe st, University Ave, The Sheraton Centre, Nathan Phillips Square, Bay street, James street and the Hudson Bay building. You will then find yourself at the corner of Queen & Yonge st. This is NOT your final destination. Do not sit on the curb and cry. You're almost there! Cross Yonge street.

Step 11: Turn left and walk North on Yonge street, AWAY from the monstrous tower. The Eaton Centre Mall will be on your left. You will be on the right side of the street.

Step 12: Walk, walk, walk. The Hard Rock Cafe is on the right-hand side of Yonge street, corner of Yonge and Dundas.

Step 13: Enter the Hard Rock Cafe. Ask hostess for the 'reunion table' if you are unable to spot me dancing on a table already.

Step 14: Get your party pants hitched up and join the fun!

Step 15: Get Erin very drunk!

Step 16: Read these instructions backwards to find the hostel again. Unless they've moved in the hours since you left. Then you're fucked.

Follow the pencil mark route, for optimal sight-seeing pleasure.

Then there was a hand drawn map, complete with route marker and Points of Interest.

I think Erin needs to work for GPS. I would never get lost again. The best part is that the directions would be delivered in the truly fucked up Scottish/Australian/Canadian West Coast accent she has cultivated over the course of her travels. Entertainment AND accuracy? Done.

I didn't get lost! Whoo! We found the place and a good time was had by all...all five people, including us and Erin, who showed up that is. But no matter, we ate, drank, and made merry all evening and walked back arm in arm singing horrendously offensive camp songs (and this was a military camp so the songs were truly filthy) Then sat around at the hostel drinking with interesting young people from around the world for a while, until Erin got sick (she claims it was food poisoning, not booze and I'm inclined to believe her) and Adam and I retired to our private room, because having sex on bunk-beds is embarrassing enough without six other people sharing your room.

P.S. all this happened over a month ago. I'm just writing about it now because I only just found those directions in my coat pocket last night and I was pleased to find I hadn't lost them.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Eden: Mommy, I have some apple pie, pleeeease?

Me: We don't have any apple pie, Baby.

Eden: Ya! D'ere's a apple pie in da fridge. Daddy put it d'ere. Come see!

Hmm, could this be correct? Maybe that nice grandmotherly lady Adam works with has been baking again. Those cookies he brought home last week were yummy! Mmm, pie. I could really go for some pie. I wonder if we have any ice cream...

Me: Eden, this is not an apple pie...this is a pineapple. I'm horribly disappointed. Get your boots, we're going to the store.

Friday, February 19, 2010

On Raising Heathens

I'm not into religion. I believe in a greater consciousness and a sort of immortal spirit and the interrelated miracles of life in the universe and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. But I don't go in for mass religion. It's too impersonal for me and too tainted by terribly un-divine human beings. That being said, there are times when I wonder if I should make more of an effort to educate my children.

Times like when we went to a church rummage sale and my then 4 year old asked:
"Is this a jail?" as she gazed around the church hall.
"Of course not." I told her, smiling nervously at the three Mennonite ladies who were selling baked goods. "This is a church."
"Oh" she replied. "What's a church?"

Or when, just before Christmas this year, we were driving past a cemetery and the child, now aged 6, asked:
"What's with all those big lower case 'T's' over in that dying yard?"

Yes, these are the times when I wonder if I've failed her somehow. But then this week we helped to move Adam's parents from their big old farm house and I came across this composition, written by Adam while he attended a Christian School. Brace yourselves folks.
The original is in italics and my commentary is added.

Christian View on Rights

In Canada there are a lot of rights that go against what the Bible teaches. One of the people responsible for two of these rights is "Pierre E. Trudeau". Trudeau changed the B.N.A. Act the Canadian Bill of Rights and Freedoms. This new constitution gave a lot more power to the Courts and Judges. Damn you Trudeau for trying to separate Church and State!
One problem which was against Bible teachings and was legalizing homosexuals. Now, the gays and lesbians are trying to get more rights such as same sex marriages, spouse benefits, maternity leave for 2 men or women who adopt a child. They should not be allowed to adopt. It is emotionally damaging and disturbing to the child. I really don't think I can even begin to cover how wrong this is. Encouraging hatred is emotionally damaging and disturbing to me.
The second was abortion. In my eyes abortion is basically saying have as much sex as you want and don't worry about the baby. We'll just kill it! Abortion should be put up there with murder. It is just like walking up to someone you don't know but have seen and kill them. God probably created diseases like AIDS to stop abortion. Which came first? Disease or abortion? It's a chicken or egg kind of question isn't it?
By allowing too much freedom, we have started worshipping material gods. Money, gold, silver, treasures or any other material possession that is treated and thought of more often than God is a God. People used to be punished by God and probably still are but it is not made known. There is no fear of God. Freedom is never a good thing. Down with Freedom!
Canada should be more harsh with criminal penalties. Criminals are getting off easy because Canada is getting More and more whimpy. Capital punishment should be brought back in. "Those who kill man shall be killed by man." Wait, I thought we were against killing. Didn't the bible say something about not killing? I'm sure it was in there, maybe somewhere near the back?
Honouring your parents doesn't seem to happen too much anymore. The kids think that when they're 18 or 19, it's party time, no respect. Dude, if you can get past 13 you're doing great.
Keep the Sabbath day (or Sunday) Holy. Stores are open, people are shopping, working. Gangs fight, there are killings. This day doesn't seem Holy anymore. There was punishment for these things just a few years ago but they have been lifted. I don't care if you've got kids to feed! It's Sunday, get home and sit on your ass! And you gangsters can just wait until Monday for your killings like everyone else!
In conclusion there should be more respect for what the Bible teaches us.
Adam, Gr. 8

From the mouths of babes.

This, this right here? This is why I'm never sending my kids to Christian School. Things like this make me glad my daughters are ignorant, because they are also innocent. They have crazy values like not hurting other people and being free to enjoy your own life. As they get older I want my daughters to explore beliefs from around the world. I want them to remain open to new ideas but to think about the things they hear before accepting them as facts. I want them to benefit from spirituality, but not to be enslaved by it.

Teaching them these things may take more effort than shipping them off to Sunday School each week, but I think it will be worth it.

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. - Abraham Lincoln

P.S. Adam has evolved, thank God (or whatever) but I'm still opposed to brainwashing children, you know, just in case it should stick.