Peaches & Beaches

Art of the Everyday

when a mom coach falls down on the ice during practice. {Oh yeah.}

Day 25~ Falling down skating and bigger lessons. 

Skating coupleY

photo source 

Years ago while dinosaurs walked the earth I used to skate.  Skated probably 5 times a week.  The quonset arena, he sat at the skirts of town willing the locals to come and use the ice.  With my vinyl blue hockey bag slung on my back, I’d head up the ramp to the change room.  The double wood doors would creak behind me sealing out the bright sunshine from the dim foyer.

The smell of fries and rubber mats still take me back to the red rink bleachers and my dad waving to me.

There’s little to do in rural saskatchewan on a January night other than lace on skates and shoot a puck (or a ring) around.  Rink culture was embedded in those little towns.  I think the light stands all over the prairies at 5:30 pm were burning bright as beacons for all the families who drove in from the farm for practice.  When it gets up to minus 20 degrees in March we talked of spring around the corner.

The ice was REAL from November til March. 

This is where I grew up.  My prairie life address.

Last night I stepped on the (artificial) ice (said with some smugness) and felt my skating legs again.  Slowly following the young teens around and taking a turn shooting on the goalie.

We stand in a huddle and talk of focus, teamwork and effort.  There are no french fry concessions by the bleachers.  I was an athlete in my youth unaware, but these kids, they are walking and living protein, apples and balancing electrolytes.

My role as a coach is pulling from my knowledge of the game and making me turn around and offer it to those are learning.  For some of us this takes courage.  Trust in ourselves that we have wisdom to share.  And maybe we can still learn a new thing in teaching others.

So, in the middle of practice, I was role playing as a pylon in front of the net and one of the little speedy whipper-snappers skated right into me and down we both went.  The poor girl looked at me in terror that she had hurt me and I was equally concerned that I fell on her.  We got up, laughed with a pat on the helmet and I held up my goal sign arm as the team cheered and tapped their sticks.  Let me tell you, next practice I’m putting on knee and elbow pads.

This was something I volunteered for, I chose to do.  To be in the role of teacher, mentor, trainer, caregiver.  To be the one falling down and getting involved.

But sometimes life gives you no choice and suddenly there you are with a child who needs extra help in math.  You weren’t good at math.  Maybe your overly social child has gotten into issues with bullying and you are an introvert who cannot. understand. why. teens need to be so mean.

So many times in parenting we must draw on our old wisdom, our deep inside truths that we can do it.  You have been equipped with experience or the ability to ask for help.  But you must be prepared to fall and get involved.  It takes courage.

Be brave.  True connection with our teen children is made when we step in and speak honesty.  Maybe even laugh at yourself?  Don’t give perfectionism the power it craves.

Today I’m off to sharpen our skates and prepare for our weekend of games.

What’s your weekend look like?  How are you getting involved?  Do you have a falling on the ice story? 

This post is part of my 31 days of teenagers.  You can find more posts on this page and follow along as well.



the {teenager’s} inheritance

Day ~ 23 I’ve been mulling around with notions of what it means to pass on.

What am I passing on to my children, the next generation of thinkers, believers changers?  Is it good?  Will there be more to their humanity than a bank account with numbers?

So I pause to challenge my unconscious self beliefs and how I sustain them and unwittingly speak them as I drive, where I shop, what I eat.  For if I am learning one thing for sure the family of origin is the foundation blocks of all people.  Like it or not the responsibility on parents and grandparents is influential.

Then I came across some poetry this morning that says more than I can.  My favorite line is that “inheritance is accidental.”

I don’t want that to be the only truth.  

Thank you Lily Myers.

A Birthday Wish for my Son

Day 21 ~ Birthdays and all things Changing

I’ve been out of town on coaching commitments and literally SWAMPED with copious amounts of reading, that there has been no time for writing.  So I will lean into this time and do what I can.  How I’ve missed you my blog.

Yesterday my oldest child turned 18.  The only child with a secure reality prior to 1994.  As my kids ask me how many children did I want before I was married I tell them one.  Somewhat truthful and yet not because I didn’t really think to much about having children.  It wasn’t even on my mind.  But the answer of one reminds them that although the plans we make are necessary they aren’t secure.  There are bigger forces that be.

It's just that easy.  Shirt color of burnt umber.
It’s just that easy. Shirt color of burnt umber.


A prayer for my son,

I wish for you many more years than 18.

I wish for you friends to play video games with and ones to ask you about your art.

I wish for you peace in choosing your university courses.

I wish for you that someone special will love your pancakes and your science fiction stories.

I wish for you safety on the highway when you drive home on the holidays.

I wish for you love for your brother who borrowers your computer and tries to keep up with your size 11’s.

I wish for you patience with your chatty sisters and her friends.

I wish for you patient employers for when you make mistakes with the lawn equipment and run over the new seed.

I wish for you courage to speak for truth and to accept the discomfort it might bring.  

I wish for you joy in the journey of searching for you.  Unique you.

I wish for you a faith in the one who is always keeping you in his hands, moulding a creation of love.

~~edited from the archives~~


on Being an Authentic Parent

october 13-086We’re doing our weekly Sunday night tradition of going around the table and saying something we’re thankful for.  We started this in September and great conversations have come about this. It’s hard to complain and say what you’re grateful for at the same time.

{If you want to create a generation that isn’t entitled, practice gratitude}

It’s my turn and the eyes are on me.  My daughters are watching me close as I share about the walk I had with an estranged family member.  We had a fall out earlier this year and they’ve been monitoring it.  They saw the hurt and anger I was holding on to.  It was crippling me and leaking on to them.

october 13-090

The teens have been paying attention to how adults handle conflict.  

The teens have been noticing what happens when grown ups fight.       Ouch.

The teens are witnessing the power of forgiveness and grace.

Although we do this great thing at the table with gratitude, I’m still a work in progress in many other areas of my life.  Me, fighting with another adult? Yes.  That’s me.  Clearly it’s not exactly fighting with fists, but holding on tight to hurt and anger by not answering calls and avoiding ‘someones’ at functions.   Fumbling around with experiences and interpersonal relationships.  

And this issue I’m talking about, it was pervasive.  It had spread like spilled milk all over the counter, floor and walls.  It splattered where I didn’t even expect.  Like on to the example I was setting with my kids.  I might have been in the right but I wasn’t handling it right.  And the only reason why they were watching it was because it involved a close family member.  

If it was a co-worker or acquaintance I could have hid it forever.

october 13-088

And surely God has made something beautiful out of something ugly.  A fresh start with love and kindness.  More filters to be used on our words.  Living through empathy not personal perspective.  The walk and talk became mercy alive.  For both of us. However, let me tell you, I FELT very uncomfortable, think: shaky, sick, and winded.

It’s far from perfect but perhaps its the process we are all in.

The cracks in our jars of life are shining out the grace abundant for us all.

october 13-092

And one thing I know for SURE, is that if you apologize to your children and really mean it, they are the MOST forgiving.  They’ll forgive you all.  Even more than that, when you mess up big, and then do something really difficult to fix it, they stand at the side cheering for you. Silently absorbing all you’re doing.

And this perhaps is what I want you to really know;  they don’t expect perfect parents, just AUTHENTIC ones.

This post is part of my 31 days of Teenagers.  Feel free to follow along by email or in a reader.


Happy {Canadian} Thanksgiving


On this thanksgiving weekend,

May you find your peace in the knowledge that your sins have been forgiven and so forgive.  Have awareness that you don’t have to account for the future and stand in trust.  And may thankfulness erase dissatisfaction and give you a bounty of joy.  For surely God gives his children a fish not a stone when they are hungry.

Happy {canadian} Thanksgiving






High School P.T.I’s

Day 11~ What Happens at Parent Teacher Interviews in High school

photo source

I race into the school with my almost 13 year old, up the stairs and past the office staff drinking coffee and eating the cookies laid out.  I’d really like to stop and get a coffee and are those chocolate chip?… but instead I walk quickly down the hall to Mr. D’s room; we’re almost late.  Apparently he’s super strict and I’m to ‘toe the line.’  Ah, she really doesn’t know me well.

I have the greatest stink eye and teachers can’t make me toe the line. But I digress.  

It’s parent teacher interviews and I’ve made a point to get to know her gr. 8 teachers, especially because she’s in a different high school than her siblings went.  This school is for french immersion. The same camaraderie and trust that has been built with the older kids’ teachers hasn’t happened yet.  I must pave a path of mutual understanding again.

My presence is a show to the teachers that I care.  Despite the fact that if I didn’t come to these appointments it wouldn’t affect my level of involvement.


We get through each class and I’m given her marks, told that she’s sweet, and that she’s a pleasure to have in class. Then we walk out of the double wooden doors, laughing about the silent Japanese you tube video I showed her while we waited in the hall.  I forget to grab a coffee.


This is a little dance with the teachers I’ve been doing for the last 13 years and I have 4 more to go.  Each school does these interviews a little differently but I’d have to say that the majority of the teachers I’ve met in high school really care.  GENUINELY care.  Some of the formality is a little irritating and seems unnecessary but still important.

And besides, Mr. D wasn’t that bad.  Must have been the stink eye after he grilled me about what her marks were.  Of course I knew~

This post is part of my 31 days of Teenagers.  Follow my blog posts for more truths about teenagers.


Education that is more than reading and writing

Day 9~ Education that goes beyond reading and writing

I think it’s important to really think about what you value in education for your teenager.  Up until high school there is a mass accumulation of skills and knowledge.  Junior and senior high school is the beginning of their personal synthesis and involves much more than just textbooks and homework.

Our messy education…

october 13-062 october 13-055

october 13-058

1.  I want them to learn what is useful.  Communication, mathematics and creating.  I think that pretty much sums up what someone needs to learn to survive in this world.  Firstly, my children must know how to communicate beyond acronyms in texting and how to express emotion without relying on an emocon.  Secondly, we live in a cash based society where counting and collecting are necessary.  Lastly, creative expression is the language of the soul.  Any artistic endeavour like music, drawing, photography, poetry, painting is necessary to holistic learning.

2.  They need to be able to self solve.  Problem solving is an internal muscle and I can attest that it comes easier for some than others.  This muscle has to be flexed and challenged.  For a parent often this is a tough one because it means letting go of your control.  Guidance vs. advice.  Should I spend time studying or going to the party?  How am I going to earn some money for  __________?

3.  I want them to care about their health.  A person is made up of flesh and blood and sometimes we leave this part out of education. Exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and good hygiene become skills we as adults take for granted.  Teens are learning how to own these.

4.  They need to know what they believe in and why.  I’m talking about their faith culture and where their truth comes from.  Our family believes in God and the work of Jesus Christ so I teach about that through our choices and actions.  Social justice has been on my heart a lot lately and I’m just trying to figure out how our family is going to live this out.  It’s a challenge when we live in an affluent area and see very little injustice done in our social circles.  It’s hidden well.  Teens are so optimistic about helping others it is a shame to not involve their ideas and thoughts.

5.  Teamwork is an important value.  In my opinion the best way to learn this is to be a part of a social group that does not involve sports.  Yes, I am getting really cynical about organized sports.  I feel it breeds competition and a cutthroat mindset, not collaboration which is exactly what team work is. For the value of physical exercise and discipline, we allow our kids in team sports but for that reason alone.  The best place for learning teamwork I’ve found is musical groups or artistic productions. These foster trust, mutual appreciation of each other’s talents and include the value of having accountability to a group.

Our kids go to public schools because that is what works for us.  I respect those who homeschool and my wish is that people within these two philosophies would not constantly try to defend or convert others to their position.

When our children are adults all that will matter is how we cared and loved on our child and their education.  I’m just happy that there are options to do both systems compared to when I was going to school.

I confess, we dreamt of taking our family around the world, homeschooling them and showing them the world versus reading about it, but we realized that it is a very privileged and costly thing to do.

It didn’t happen for us, nor did we really try to.  Besides that, I think happiness is adaptive and that after 3 months on the road the novelty would have wore off and I’d be craving a closet not a suitcase.  That is just my personality.

What would you add to these values of education?  


Social Justice Art

Day 10~ The original quest for doing social justice work.  


the respectful teenager

Day 8 ~ Respecting the teenager.

When I decided to write about teenagers, I will admit I failed to realize a very important challenge to me blogging about this.

spring2012-159I believe in stories.  I believe they tell us more than if I gave you advice.  But most of my teenage stories are under a privacy guideline.

I can’t tell you a lot of teenager stories (which are teaching moments) because they’re not my stories to tell.  They’re my kids stories.

And maybe by talking about the challenges of keeping sacred their lives and and respecting them as people I’ve hit on the main point.

Teenagers are people.  Not to be defined as a stage or terrible period in our lives; human beings who have a lot to give and the right to tell their story.  

There has been a paradigm shift in the way we respect each generation.  I was told to respect my elders just because they were that, my elders.  Then over time I could change my mind based on if they earned it or not.  Hierarchal.  Whether we meant to or not we’ve switched that philosophy for our kids.

Now earning respect comes first, then we offer authority; independent of hierarchy.   Maybe we did this because so many of the older generation disappointed us with hypocrisy that without meaning to we shifted the authority to ‘earning’ versus ‘being.’  Or maybe it’s because the culture in North America values critical thinking and not taking authority at its word but encourages examining the word.

Obviously both frameworks have their merits and both their downfalls.  There are times when I want my kids to do what I say “JUST BECAUSE I SAID SO” and most times this command is for their good, not because I’m lazy.  But I tell my kids to never take blindly what is taught at school because every curriculum has an agenda, to think critically.  Hmmm, see what’s going on here?

What do you think?  How do you teach respect in your family?

This post is part of my 31 days of teenagers series.



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