As of this writing, it’s been exactly 4,950 days since I met your mother. On Wednesday, it’ll be our 13.5 year dating anniversary and our 10th wedding anniversary.
By the time you read this, you’ll probably think we’ve been together forever. Sometimes I feel that way too. It’s hard to imagine my life without her.
The two of us have been through a lot together. She’s helped me through some of the toughest parts of my life. To you, she’s just your Mum, but I don’t think you’ll ever understand how much she loves you. (I’m not sure she does either.)
If there’s one thing you have to know about your Mum, it’s that she’s always thinking of your best interests. (Well maybe not always, but in all the big things.) She wants you to be happy.
She’s not perfect; she’ll get completely sucked into a game or story. She can get overwhelmed and get grumpy. She’s WAY too hard on herself about almost anything. But no matter what, she will drop anything for family, friends, and especially you; to listen and support.
She throws herself body, heart, soul, into her relationships. Because of that, she leaves herself open to being hurt, but so often she makes amazing friends. She sees the best in everyone and loves everyone.
If you reach out to her, she will always be ready with a hug, an attentive ear, and a kind word.
There’s a lot in this world that’s scary, a lot that is bad,
and even more that’s sad. Count yourself lucky that you have a Mum that will
hug you and be there for you when you need her. The world can’t be all that bad
when it has someone so open and willing to love.
She’s my favourite person, my best friend, and by far the
best part of me. Remember to take care of her the way she will always take care
I’m terrified because you are a perfect target for cults. When your Gramma was young, she joined a cult. They separated people from their families, fed them little, sleep deprived them, and made them believe that the central figure was faultless if not deific.
When I was young I noticed similar behaviour in school. In this case, it was a teacher with bad intentions who used all the same tricks to turn the class into his own private cult and he took advantage of select people. Even when he was caught, there were elements of the conditioning left in the class to make people want him to return.
You are growing up in a different age than your Gramma or I,
and in some ways it’s wondrous. The entirety of human knowledge is available to
you with little to no effort. As is the entirety of misinformation and hate
that we as a race are capable of. It means that cults today don’t need a
compound, they don’t need their old tricks. They have direct access to you
through multiple channels and they prey on your fear, distrust, hurt, and
Modern digital cults are cults of hate. They’re not new but they are much more far reaching. I’m scared I won’t have the ability to save you from them; I’m scared I won’t be able to prepare you to defend against them; and I’m scared they will steal you before you know what’s going on.
Your Mum and I do, and will do, our best to raise you and
your sister to think rationally. To look at the evidence, opposing views, and
make a critical decision based on that and your values.
I just hope it’s enough. I hope that in your darkest moments
where you consider joining or participating in these things that you know you
always have us to talk to.
As a parent, my goal is to help you be the best version of yourself you can be. That’s the goal, but on a daily basis I’m usually just trying to make sure you and your sister survive with limited trauma.
You’re on your way, two months now before you get here and I’m
terrified. I feel like I just got used to having three members of the family. I
have no idea what you’ll be like, or how you’ll get along with your sister and
it scares me.
I also harbour a strange fear. I’m not sure how to raise a boy. I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by girls and when I made friends with boys it almost always ended poorly. I often have no idea what to say or how to act around other males. I can count on one hand the men I’m close to and feel comfortable with.
Gender is a social construct, but with it comes social constructs on behaviour and shared truths. I feel like I missed the “male” seminar and that means in groups of men I often feel like I’m missing something. Some subtext that I just don’t follow.
Yes I’m empathic, yes I’m a writer, and yes I am a man. But those are despite my anxieties, not because of them.
All that to say I have no idea how to raise you to be a
good, great, or any sort of a man. Sorry.
What I do know is that I’m going to do my best to raise you
as a caring, intelligent, and good person. It means I’m going to try and ask
myself if I treat you differently than your sister and if it’s because you’re a
boy. I want to make sure you don’t just respect others but have genuine compassion.
No matter what, know that your Mum and I love you and want
what’s best for you,
With Pegasus coming, I decided to get another tattoo to match. Again I commissioned the incredibly talented S.M. Carrière to design it and went to Living Colour Tattoo in downtown Ottawa. I requested the same artist Patrick Drouin. He and S.M. worked fantastically on the tattoo and we got a wonderful result.
Here’s what the Dragon Tattoo looked like when I first go it.
After a few years it has faded a little but still looks great.
And without further ado here is the new tattoo.
I expect that the colours will fade a little and take on the same pastel hue as the Dragon one has. Here they are together.
This year has been extremely busy. I’m trying not to fall into old patterns of stress and overwork but it feels hard to avoid sometimes.
I’m surviving and I’ll be okay.
The past few weeks I’ve written a Ghostship story for July. You’ll get the next instalment in the Sun Speaker Series while we recover from the arrival of baby Pegasus.
Beyond that, I’m going to try and push to continue writing the novels that are calling me. I have two on the go and little to show for my writing this year. But I’m going to start… today even. I hope.
I do have an outline for another novel, which is awesome, but it’ll be a while before I get to it.
I’ve been frantically roasting coffee. I’m roasting almost 150 lbs this year which is more than we’ve ever had before. We’ll have 17 flavours available for Ottawa Comic Con.
I’m loving the new roaster and the new method is working great. I’m still getting used to getting the perfect roast, but overall I’m extremely happy with it.
I have the edits for A Case of Synchronicity and will work on those this week. I’m still waiting on the second round of edits for Everdome but they should be here soon.
I’ve been playing very few games. Haven’t touched Lego Incredibles in a few months. With most weekends dedicated to roasting, I don’t have as much time.
I have been playing Elder Scroll Blades on my phone. It’s an extremely beautiful game. It’s also repetitive and nearly impossible to do anything without paying. There are chests you can never encounter in the game but you can buy. Overall, it’s very much a micro-payment play-to-win style game.
Preparations for the baby are in full swing. We have a room, it has a bed, we have decorations, and a GIANT pile of clothing.
I got my tattoo this weekend. (More on that in another post.)
Things are feeling more real. I think after comic con, I’m going to quickly transition to impatiently waiting.
So in an eggshell (Easter joke intended) things are going well and I’m busy.
Now lets get to writing… after some breakfast and coffee.
The way we treat babies inside is slightly different than outside. Here’s a list of the top five differences according to my observations.
5. Input and Output
Oh the joy of not caring when or how a baby eats or poops. While pregnant no one really thinks about it much except for how cool/weird a process it is. But once the baby’s out EVERYONE tells you how to do it and how you’re doing it wrong.
Sometime soon after birth kicking goes from a joyful, “OMG” moment to an annoyance and eventually a real pain. Tiny toes and fists hurt.
3. Control to Judgement
When the birthing parent is pregnant there are laws, rules, and pressures to make them do specific things. In most cases, it’s to protect the baby. Unfortunately, sometimes they prioritize the baby over the birthing parent instead of protecting both.
However, once the baby is out, the health and mental health of all parents is often ignored or considered secondary to the baby. Resources that would be available before disappear and the laws change completely.
2. Abstract to Concrete
The ultrasound, the kicking, the heartbeat, and even (for some) the growing of the baby is all sort of unreal and abstract. You’re afraid to believe and it all seems like a big prank.
Then the baby arrives and you have a baby… Like it’s there and it needs you to do stuff. Where are this kids parents? Wait, that’s us… And you now that you believe, you’re afraid. It eventually settles back to real from surreal, but it’s always a little bit of a shock.
The thing that’s growing has your affection, a deep feeling of attachment, and terror. It’s completely impossibly there. But you don’t Love it yet.
Then it comes out and your heart melts at this tiny, wrinkled, screeching, proof that you don’t know what you’re doing. And sometime between holding them and going home you realize you’d die or kill for them. But you don’t Love them yet.
I’m not sure the exact moment it happens, but sometime after the birth and before the first year, they smile, or wiggle, or something else and you suddenly feel like squishing them or howling in joy, and just like that you love them.
A lot of people and media will tell you that life isn’t fair. It isn’t always, but your Mum and I will try to be.
We understand that your sister is a strong personality and demands a lot of attention. She’s adorable and uses that to get her way. It’s her strength that makes her both impressive and a little frustrating.
We will try our best to make sure you both get our attention, you both get to do what you love, and most of all, that things are fair for you.
It might not always seem that way. If you need more sleep but refuse to get it, we might give you an earlier bedtime. That will make you feel like it’s not fair, but it would be unfair of us to let you be tired all the time. (Trust your Papa, it’s not fun being tired all time.)
There will be times where one of you demands that you deserve something (bad idea – I don’t like demands) but we’ll try to make things work.
The absolute most important thing is to talk to us. Not yell at us, throw a fit, but actually talk and discuss. I’m sure you’ll hear this a lot (your sister certainly has) but we have reasons for what we do and we will gladly explain.
We want you to have everything you need to make you the wonderful man I know you’ll be, but sometimes you won’t get what you want. You’ll feel it’s unfair but we always have a reason.
You could have had a normal nickname, Lump or Bean or something, but that’s not how your mom and I think. We like geeky and strange things, I hope you will too.
In my first letter to your sister I told her we weren’t
perfect, and that is still true. I can be impatient, prone to being loud, and
sometimes I’m impossibly dense.
As your parents we’ll do our best for you, we’ll try to
help, understand, and encourage you. At some point we will fail. I’m sorry for
that but it’s inevitable. I hope you’ll forgive us. No matter what, there is
one thing we’ll never fail to do and that’s love you. No matter what, we’ll
always love you!
If I have one wish for you, it’s that you grow up to
understand the strength in love, in emotion, and in knowing yourself. That you’ll
understand the power of words and the unmitigated strength of kindness.