Parenting


My children’s birthdays have become a rite of passage as much for them as for myself. After all, the years roll for all of us whether we wish it or not. But the day where I became a mother is without question the biggest rite of passage of my life. It will probably have no equal other than the Great Passage that will occur when my earthly days end.

My dearest boy, my first born, turned 6 years old today. It is always emotional for me, not only because he is getting older, but because of how this symbolizes my own birthing into motherhood. For someone like me who was always deeply involved in thought and meditation, motherhood opened me up to the new realm of deep and overwhelming emotion. By becoming a mother, I learned to feel. It taught me compassion and fear and love and amazement.

Yesterday, we did the socially required ritual of the ‘children’s birthday party’: a first for us, I am still just barely recovering. I don’t think I was that stressed on my wedding day!

Tonight, we spent a quiet evening together. After the kids were in bed, I retreated to my room and made an offering to the Almighty for the blessing that is my son. I offered the only present I felt appropriate for the birth a firstborn son: frankincense and myrrh. I thanked my Lord for granting me such a precious ward and the Great Mother for keeping us in her care.

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I have a cute little story to share. I was putting my son to bed last night. As I was getting up to leave, he says: “J’ai peur des monstres.” I’m afraid of monsters. I start play fighting, showing him that I’m beating up all the monsters. He says: “No Mommy. Angels.”

I’m about to cast a circle and call the Archangels to stand at every corner in the kids’ room. Then I stop. I look at my boy and ask him: “What do you want to say to the angels?” My own little angel of almost 5, who has a hard time to put four words in row, scrunching up his face with the effort, looks at me and says: “Angels…. Come home.”

 

My heart swelled up. I asked him: “Can you see them?” He said yes. He turned on his side. And he fell asleep.

Hello everyone!

Our town holds an annual traditional craft fair every labor day weekend. We took the kids on Sunday and had a blast. This was hosted by a local school of traditional crafts that we are lucky to have here on the south shore of Montreal. There were booths everywhere of people showcasing their handy work: book binding, barrel making, lace and embroidery, quilting, soap making, smithing, wood and copper carving… It was beautiful to see ordinary people continue to make things with their hands and to keep the tradition and knowledge alive.  The first time that I was forced to make something with my hands was through my magic classes. I had painted for many years, but crafting was new to me and I felt like I was all thumbs! We did some magical crafts, like the corn dolly, besom (magical broom), binding a book of shadows, decorating a wand and staff… We also had a section of cultural crafts, like adinkra, pysanka eggs, egyptian plaquettes… We had to learn calligraphy (and not smudge the ink!) At the time, I thought it was all nice, but what is the point of this again? Later, when I arrived up north, I took up native traditional crafts. It was the easiest way to get in touch with the culture, so I made moose-hide mittens, moccasins for my kids, sealskin mittens for my husband. I learned to embroider the hide, which was really hard at first. And I got really into it. As my first pregnancy progressed, I took up quilting. I felt it was a nice way to honor my maternal lineage and my grandmother who was an expert quilter. The more I got involved in making things, the more I understood ‘the point’ of it all. Making things puts you in a sort of trance state. It allows the conscious, logical brain to hush up for a little while and lets that intuitive part take over. It is also a great way to experience the aspect of ‘creation’ which is part of our divine heritage. And as a witch, it grounded me in the real world, linking above and below, which is one of the main reasons I am walking this path.

My son and daughter posing in a vintage fire engine

The country fair was a fun filled afternoon. It was, in fact, the most fun we’ve had at a summer event this year. Unlike the other events we went to, it did not cost us $100 for a few hours, and we didn’t have to wait hours in the blistering sun to bounce three and a half minutes on a bouncy thingy. The kids had a tremendous time in the game sections.

The most fun you can have with a board and two elastics!

Hitting a bunch of cans with a baseball is loads of fun for a

four-year-old! A carousel ride and a cotton candy later, we went home quite content.

It’s been a crazy weekend. Whereas last weekend was a dream come true, this weekend my son lost all composure. The culmination of the weekend was having to drag my screaming son across the park to get him to take a shower before going into the pool because the lifeguard said so. Not hot.

Of course, this sends me into a mind loop of what I did to mess things up and how I should make things better and a whole lot of anger at a system that doesn’t tolerate a child to stare out the window for 5 consecutive minutes. How do those other parents muster the authority to get their children to do what they want (well, at least in public….)? Well, I have said all this before. Recurrent theme in my life.

Today was better, even though my mind did race all day with a bunch of unwanted thoughts about what will happen in the future and why is this happening. As I put the children to bed, my son starts screaming. He tells me there is a monster. I proceeded to expel the said monster, but it wasn’t clear whether he wanted the monster stay or go. I asked him, ‘Can we call angels instead?’ His face softened and he said, ‘Yes, angels.’ So I called Raphael to bring us health and strength, Gabriel to bring us wisdom and inspiration, Michael to bring us courage and a thirst for justice and Uriel to bring us love and compassion. I then said the prayer to our guardian angels. And my son fell asleep.

From the next bed, my daughter calls me to hug her to sleep. As I lie down next to her, she looks at me and says ‘Prière’. Prayer. I start saying the familiar words of Our Father (which she almost knows by heart already) and a sudden wave of emotion took over me. I looked at her steady breathing. She is only two years old and already she has this sacred place that she can go to for comfort, the sacred place of a few rhythmic words that I weave around her. She then looked at me with her peachy smile and said, ‘Marie’. I continued my weaving with a string of Hail Mary’s, the rhythm of which lulled her to sleep. As I was saying these words of power, the gifts from our tradition, I felt four pillars take hold of each corner of my house. I realized then, with deep emotion, that it did not matter how I raised them. It didn’t matter what I said and how I got them to behave or if Super Nanny would be proud of me. More important than this, is that they grow up surrounded by the Great Source, in its all its faces and symbols and songs. I don’t even need to tell them about it. It is their gift of vision that will let them see the sacred in their own special way. Four pillars of strength for a sacred place. And me, the Mother, Priestess and Keeper of this place, weaving magic and peace and fortitude for all to behold. This I can handle.

Not to say that I may not lose my mind tomorrow. But for tonight, I give thanks to my Lord and Lady for the vision of my most cherished dream: a fortress, a sanctuary, a home.