Thursday, February 12, 2015

1st Piano Recital

A few weeks ago, my daughter had her first piano recital. She worked hard at practicing her recital song, called "Grumpy in the Attic" at least 5 times a week for a month.

On the day of the recital, she put on a pretty plaid dress, had her hair tied back neatly in a half ponytail and wore white dress shoes with little bows at the front. Even before her recital, I was already so proud of how much she had learned in the past 5 months.

My daughter had always been shy in front of crowds but since she began kindergarten, it seemed that she had gained confidence and was a bit braver than before. As someone who always felt nervous presenting in front of a group of people, I could only imagine what she was feeling times ten! Performing solo in front of 50 pairs of eyes must've given her a lot of pressure. (I knew I would feel that way)

She was listed as the third person to perform and when her turn came, my husband and I gave her encouraging smiles and held our breaths (while getting our video cameras ready). When she sat on the bench, I could tell that she was nervous.

In the first measure of her song, she fumbled on a couple of notes. When she realized, she paused for 3 seconds. 

In those few seconds, I was nervously thinking, You can do it! Don't cry. You can do it! Don't cry. 

She took a breath...looked at her music sheet...and continued to play her song to the end.

We were SO proud of her for composing herself and continuing to play!!!

After finishing her song, she slid off the bench and gave a small curtsy, grinning from ear to ear.

I hugged and kissed her and told her how proud I was of her when we sat back down.

I think what made me feel even happier and proud of her was when she said to me,"Mama, I'm proud of myself!" because it meant that she knew her accomplishment required a lot of courage and confidence.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Parenting: Feeling Guilty

My daughter wet her bed and mine last night.

She had taken off her pull-up before going to sleep (without me knowing).

Even though she was wet, she still crept into my bed in the middle of the night without telling me.

This morning, we had 20 minutes to get ready for school and work. Imagine my reaction when I flipped over the duvet cover to wake her.

RAGE. Disappointment.

I yelled, lectured, and pressured my little girl to hurry up and change. Of course, doing that only made her more upset.

I knew she felt bad, but I couldn't stop lecturing as I ran about wrapping up the soiled sheets and blankets and hurrying it down to the laundry room. Throughout the whole 20 minutes, she cried sorrowfully and asked for hugs from me. When I couldn't bring myself to hug her, I felt awful. Was I a bad mother for not wanting to hug her own child when she needed it the most? I was so upset that I couldn't give her a sincere hug.

When we got to school, I had calmed down enough to tell her that I loved her and that I wasn't angry anymore. She began crying all over again. I hugged her this time and told her how great she was at doing things by herself and that I knew she could be that big girl again.

She had calmed down but was still teary when I left her.

GUILT and disappointment weighed heavily on my heart throughout the day. Guilty that I had lectured her and made her feel bad. Guilty that I had yelled and didn't control my own feelings. I was very disappointed in how I behaved and reacted to the situation. I wished that I could go back in time and do the complete opposite of what I did. I wondered if she was having a bad day at school because of me.

Later that day, when I picked her up from school, I apologized for how I behaved in the morning. I explained to her that I lost control of my emotions and that sometimes even adults need a time out to calm down and do some deep breathing.

She looked at me with forgiving eyes and said, "It's okay Mama. I know you were frustrated."

At that moment, I suddenly felt like the child and she became the mature and sensible adult that I should've been.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Beauty of Nature

Despite the overcast skies with periods of rain in the forecast, I decided to bring my family to Sasamat Lake for a leisurely hike. I was happy we went because it sure beats sitting around at home either in front of the TV or computer screen. Sasamat Lake is part of the Belcarra Regional Park in Port Moody, British Columbia. The hike around just the lake itself is about 3.2 km long and takes an hour on average to complete the loop trail. If you have a curious child, however, your leisurely hike will easily take double the time to complete. 

White Pine Beach, located on the northeast side of the lake, has an open area with several picnic tables, clean (warm) washrooms/change rooms, a water fountain, and a concession building (open during the summer). On this hike, we didn't bring a bucket or shovel for our daughter to play with but I highly recommend it to parents who have kids. She enjoyed sloshing and splashing in the sand puddles (and all puddles along the trail) with her boots anyway.


I forget, sometimes, just how much there is to discover and learn about mother nature. As we walked along the trail, we stopped to look at several mini waterfalls, waded in shallow creeks in search of tadpoles, observed funny-looking fungus that grew on logs, and irregularly shaped tree trunks that curved towards the lake or around fallen trees. In one area of the forest, the trees and plants were completely covered in bright green moss and it reminded me of the lush, tropical forests as seen in the Sci-fi movie, Avatar (but of course, on a much smaller scale). The rain was intermittent throughout our hike but we didn't mind one bit because it wasn't very cold out. In fact, my daughter seemed to enjoy walking in the rain as much as does in the sun - skipping, hopping, and running throughout the whole hike.

There is a great board walk that stretches across the south side of the lake that makes you feel like you're walking on water. Many people walk across it to further enjoy the beautiful backdrop of the lake and mountains in its surrounding forest and to fish for trout (stocked a couple times a year). We soaked in the serenity of the place as we chewed our lunches slowly and took deep inhales of the fresh air. Being so close to nature makes you feel like you're on vacation or somewhere far, far away from the busy bustle of city life.

Along the hike, our daughter told us how much fun she was having and complained that we don't go on "discovery walks" enough. I promised her that we would go on more hikes and visit more beaches so that she can continue to enjoy the wonders of nature and spend less time indoors.