Summertime…and the Living is Easy…

Hi Jack,

Incidentally? This is my favourite summer song. It’s sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. It always makes me think of summer.

This summer is completely different, isn’t it? We are used to living in the suburbs…hot days with the blow up pool in the backyard, avoiding the dog poop and squashed tomatoes.  The sweet, cool, air conditioning and Copa barking across the street and Jim’s stinky wood stove/fire pit next door. And now? Now we’re out in the country where all we can hear are birds chittering (the wren in the next out front), the robins calling their babes to come home at night, the high pitched ‘peeruuuuweee’ of the goldfinch.  The wind in the leaves of the manitoba maples surrounding the house (Bertha, Betty, Beatrice, Brittany, Barb and Brenda) and sometimes if it’s quiet and the river is high, you can hear the little waterfall at the top of the swimming pool. You can see the pinky sun setting every night at the top of the hill. It is so beautiful here.

This summer I am paying you to kill bugs in my vegetable garden. Do you remember that?  You were mowing one day (incidentally, you and I love mowing with reel mowers. You throw on Adventures in Odyssey on your headphones and go for hours) and you started getting weirded out by these bugs landing on you. It took me five days to figure out they were rose chafers. And they were devouring my beans. So now you go out, wearing your leather gloves, and catch them and throw them into a bucket full of soapy water. Ew.  And now the colorado potato beetle has come. Sigh. But you’re doing it. And you’re tough about it.

Your dad built a raft yesterday – out of a piece of plywood on top of two inner tubes. We padded up our creek to the pool and you got to jump off it, repeatedly. Oh, the joy on your face.  You didn’t even care that you were kicking up old weeds or that you had a small leach on your ankle.  That matters so much to me. That you can find joy in simple pleasures of swimming in a mud creek and mowing.  You’re truly turning into your dad. I love that. Your dad is an incredible man.

Today you’re helping cut trees. You have been dubbed the ‘bush-dragging beast’. And you work so hard for your money. I’m so proud. You’re tough. Did you  know that?


I think you’re the bees’ knees, kid.





Dear Jack,

Your character and maturity always astound me. You have so much compassion for others.

Last week at gymnastics, one of the boys there, Eric, is known for saying rude things and inappropriate words.  And for some reason, he began a conversation with you, saying that he’s bullied a few people at school, and now, the popular kids, and his friends, aren’t speaking to him anymore. And you patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Well, you may have lost all your friends, but you have a friend right here’.

I know that you don’t completely understand what he’s talking about yet, and it’s probably because you don’t go to public school.  But you showed kindness to someone whom you knew to be unkind. And that’s pretty impressive for a 10 year old.


Yesterday you were at the sitter’s for the day, so Dad could go to his meeting, and I could have some alone time, and she handed you a book on religions. And you hesitated, concerned that maybe it wasn’t appropriate for you. So you decided to look up Christianity. And it said that these people believe in one God, and we believe that He sent His Son to earth and He died for us.  And you said to A, that it wasn’t completely accurate because we don’t need to just believe, we need to accept Jesus into our hearts. And A said, ‘Well, everyone has their own opinion.’ And instead of arguing with her, you thought to yourself, ‘I’ll be quiet now’.

So I’m proud of you. You could have argued with her and it could have pushed her away. But you didn’t. And you were respectful because she is older than you.

Bravo, sir.


Have I mentioned lately, how much you make me laugh? Ohmygoodness, you always make me laugh. You still speak in that crazy voice and try to imitate me, with my big, frizzy hair and my stomping around.

I hope your wife laughs.  Because you shouldn’t marry her if you can’t make her laugh.  That would be a very boring life.

I love you, crazy-pants.