I ask for so little

Listen…hear that? Well, I mean, of course you don’t. You are, wherever you are and I am here and I don’t really expect that you can hear what I’m hearing but you know what I mean. If you were here, you could stand with me in the kitchen, cup of decent coffee in your hand, mail on the counter…knitting comfortingly nearby and you could tip your head to one side, stop moving or breathing for one minute and listen for it. You wouldn’t know what it was at first, if you were me and you lived here. You would feel sort of funny, like something was very, very different and then you would realize what the sound was.

It’s nothing.

There is no noise in the house. Not one person saying “She took my hair tie/ I can’t find a hair tie/ I left my hair tie right here, who took it” (I hate hair ties. I am convinced that second only to oil and fervent religion they cause more war and hate in the world…..) Nobody saying “She has had the phone for 17 minutes and you said we could all have the phone for 15 minutes and now she says that she was timing me and I had the phone for 25 minutes so that’s what she’s getting but I told her that you made the rule for a reason and that how much phone time I got isn’t the point and she said for me to “get out” of her room and that’s no way for a lady to talk so I unplugged the phone and now she’s freaking out for…like….NO REASON.” There’s nobody telling me that she can’t possibly live like this, here, with us and the intolerable way that we do….like, everything. The phone is not ringing. The fridge is not open. There is not an inexplicable hoard of teen boys hanging around the front porch calling me “Mrs. Pearl” (Which is not my name on so many levels) trying to get all Eddie Hascal with me while Joe thinks about locking our teenaged girls in a large ventilated box in the basement for their own good and our sanity. Instead my friends, there is silence. This is because it is a high holy day in the practice of parenting. It is, in the City of Toronto, in the province of Ontario, in this country we are proud to call Canada…..

The first day of school.

You may all take a moment to silently congratulate any mother and father that you know who made it through the summer with any semblance of her sanity intact. I love my children, I even enjoy their company, but man….that summer is long and loud.

To put the icing on the cake, Megan paid me and my knitting the highest possible compliment.


Look at that. It is the first day of high school and Meg is wearing a One Skein Wonder knit by her mother. ( Knit from malabrigo “Azul Profundo“, really only took one skein of this really, really soft yarn. Very fun pattern and, not that I would mention it to Meg, and I’m only mentioning it to you this one time, but this also matches my blue dress and I’m thinking it might be cute. I don’t want to discuss that a woman cruising 40 just professed any feelings to do with any clothing that may be “cute” and I don’t know that I really will wear it, I just thought that it was worth noting that I thought about it, and that’s got to mean something.)

That Meg is wearing this is remarkable, since as I’m sure you are all aware, what you wear on the first day of high school is so important that not only do you need to stay up until practically dawn the night before, bursting into tears at intervals out of the concern that you will select the wrong outfit, but you must also face up to the shattering reality that the rest of your life, every moment, your career, your potential, your ability to upgrade a computer and make good pie….all of it hangs on wearing the right outfit on the first day of school. It’s a lot of pressure….and she wore something her mother made, which must mean that it’s really cool, since your mum’s knitting has a high dork quotient to rise above.

Now I know what you’re thinking. What will I do with this silence. How will I spend my day? (Morning really….it’s a half day, but let’s not focus on that.) With this:


Yup. It came. It’s my author copy of my new book. (Sorry, I still laugh when I write that. “my new book”. How does this happen? Really, I mean….How? It’s like I went to sleep as me and I woke up some fantastically lucky person that they mail books to. It’s a freaky, freaky feeling to see my words in there and I feel as though I won the lottery.) It’s publication date was the 1st of September, and theoretically, it’s shipping to stores as we speak. Now begins the waiting for the fantastically bizarre moment where I spot it in the wild. I’ve tried to get on the bandwagon with this copy that they have sent me, but it’s just not possible. It’s too easy to fake one copy. We’ll just wait and see if it’s a real book when they follow through and mail it to a bookstore. There’s no going back then.

(Then I can start worrying that everybody will think it sucks, but let’s deal with one neurosis at a time.)

Note to Toronto readers: I have checked the Chapters and BookCity in Bloor West village and the big Indigo downtown. It’s not there. Don’t waste precious knitting time looking for me, besides, my mother has a plan.

Tomorrow, the bike trip, where we went, what I leaned and what I knit while I was there. For now, I’m off to do three things I’ve been dreaming of. Have a phone conversation without wrestling a teenaged girl to the ground for the privilege, drink a cup of coffee without having a conversation about lipgloss, it’s colours and what exactly constitutes “prostitute lips” and take a bath where nobody talks to me through the crack in the door and asks me if I can see a hair tie.