Planting Time Seeds

I thought I’d write a poem this time
Cuz my ideas have been low.
I like to bounce my words around
And speak aloud and slow.

I find it gets my brain stirred up
And makes me laugh in my head.
I feel just like my fourth-grader
As I review the prose ahead.

But the reality is, it’s been a long time
That I’ve been writing this blog,
This post is number two nighty-six
And some weeks it’s a bit of a slog.

I love to write and the feedback is great
Per month I’ve got thousands of reads.
But when push comes to shove, the real story is
I need hours to be grown from seeds.

Between hockey and skiing,
Now is lacrosse and baseball,
School pickups and dropoffs
It’s become quite the haul.

Time is tricky to find
In the balance as a mum,
I wish those time seeds
Could be planted with my thumb.

I’d grow some for RockTape
And the Burlington Runners Club,
My writing commitments
Could be grown like a shrub.

I’d plant some more seeds
For my New York training fears.
There’s that 42.2 looming
My first marathon in twelve years.

Let’s not forget date nights
Which are nearly non-existent.
And our evenings on the couch
Have been less than consistent.

There’s parent council meetings at school
And kids coaching to do,
We also have a puppy,
She’s sweet and her name’s Blue.

There you have it my friends
What I’m trying to say,
Is let’s see what happens
At least I posted today.

I’m at my kitchen table,
I booked an hour off the hook
To wrap my brain around ideas
And maybe finally start my book.

But all that I’ve accomplished
Is this three-hundred word poem.
Yet I’ve also built this life;
My family, house, and home.

So even though it’s busy,
Full of rush and multi-tasking
It’s what I’ve chosen, what I’m proud of,
And in that I will stay basking.

I saw this post on Instagram,
It’s the background on my phone.
I’m thankful for every piece of my life
But perhaps I need a clone.

remember


Just like that.

There are seasons of parenthood where you can see childhood stages coming to an end.  Diapers lead into potty-training, cribs lead into beds, and nursing/bottles eventually wean.  In my experience, these stages have had a build-up, a preparatory phase, a time of transition whereby I could mull things over in my analytical brain and get a handle on my emotional brain.  As a parent, of course each new childhood stage brings excitement and the chance to watch my kids grow and prosper, but another part of me mourns the passing of the previous stage.

When I was younger, being a mother was never on my radar.  I didn’t play with dolls and dream about having children like some little girls do; in fact, I used to wonder if I had any maternal instinct in me at all.  But when my son was born in 2009, my new role turned into my life’s greatest joy.  As I’ve been along for the ride of watching these little people grow, my joy has also grown.

But with each passing stage, there’s a tiny bit of me that wonders if I soaked it up enough while it was happening right in front of me.  Did I cherish their curled-up newborn bodies?  Their haphazard crawling styles?  Their oh-so-sweet toddler-speak?  Their unsteady gait?  I can’t recall their baby coos or three-word sentences unless I see them on old videos, and the clear memories of their first steps and their first words are already waning.  They say that the days are long but the years are short.  They’re right.

So, when we ended a parenting stage abruptly this weekend, I didn’t even see it coming.

You see, my daughter, who just turned seven last week, has been crawling into our bed halfway through the night for nearly four years.  Some of you may be shocked by that, but it’s never been a big deal to us.  Our house has a main-floor Master with kid’s bedrooms upstairs, and when we moved in 2015, her three-year-old self found comfort by wandering down the stairs, usually between midnight and 2am, and sleeping snuggled in between my husband and I.  At first, we attributed it to the move and all the changes in her life, and then it just became a habit we didn’t care to change.  Yes, some nights we got kicked by little feet and elbows, but most of the time she was a welcomed addition who whispered to me a “mom, snuggle” request that became our pattern.  I knew it wouldn’t last forever, and I wanted to soak it up for as long as I could.

This past Friday night, we returned from a March-break vacation in Arizona, with a three-hour time change to manage.  As I tucked her in much later than usual, I mentioned that she needed to stay in her room that night, rather than coming downstairs with us.  I had to be at work early on Saturday morning, and my 7:30am alarm would feel like 4:30am in Phoenix; she needed to sleep in and get her body rested instead of waking up with me.  And she did stay in her bed all night, likely exhausted from travel and a busy trip.  The next morning she proudly announced: “I don’t need to sleep in your bed anymore.  I’m going to stay in my bed all night from now on.”

Just like that.

And she did.  For three nights there were no pitter-patter of little feet on the stairs, no drinks from the sippy cup on my nightstand, no tip-toeing out of my bedroom in the morning to allow a sleeping child to slumber.  Done.  Onto the next stage, and I didn’t even see it coming.  And then last night, I awoke to find her beside me once again.

So although this stage is ending, it’s not finished quite yet.  Have I soaked it up enough?  Without a doubt.

But I’ll still miss it.

ash casey toque photo

My baby is not such a baby anymore.


Real talk.

Real talk.

I’ve had a rough month.  There’s been a few hurdles thrown at me lately, and I want to share those with you, in keeping with my “this is me” philosophy of transparency and honesty.

If you’ve read this blog over the years, you’ve certainly heard me talk about my love of running.  Being a “runner” is a big part of my identity, and it’s something I’ve loved to do since I was a little girl.  As a 12-year-old, I used to get up early on Spring mornings and run down to the end of my small-town street and back before anyone else was awake.  Other times, I would ride my bike over to the school track and run laps just for the peaceful bliss that I knew it would bring.

I didn’t have the vocabulary for it back then, but I do now:

running helps to keep me feeling like me.

I tend to worry about things, and running helps me to worry less.  It helps my mind to stay calm and my energy to stay high.  I’m a happy person at my core, but running simply makes me a happier person; a runner’s high is no joke.

And I think this is the reason that February has felt like such a tough one.  I had a week of a chest cold that wouldn’t let loose, four epic snow/ice/freezing rain storms that made for very tricky conditions, and a stubborn Achilles injury that just won’t cooperate.  My mileage was really low, meaning less fresh air, less group run support, less peace in my brain.  Crossfit helps, yoga helps, workouts in my basement help, but for me, there’s just nothing quite like the run.

Bring on Spring.  Bring on blue skies and clear roads and sunshine on our faces.  Bring on movement and sweat and feel-good hormones.  Bring on friendships and smiles and goals to be chased.

We’ve got this.  Happy March!

march