Just letting myself experience

There has been lots of action in our household since last week.  Baby has a crib and change table, and mommy has a rocker for those late night feedings.  Many of my friends recommended purchasing one of these even though I wasn’t fully convinced.  Hopefully in a few months I can write a blog about how much Baby loves being rocked to sleep at night.

Through my entire pregnancy I have avoided reading too much.  I didn’t pick up What to Expect When Your Expecting, any of the Doctor Spock books or actually any other parenting books in general.  Now if you know me, you know I’m inquisitive by nature so for me not to do this, it is a big deal.  You might as why?  Well I’ll tell you…my thought on the whole process is that I want to experience everything for the first time in the moment.  I think being a mom for the first time over the age of 35 might be one reason for this.  I could either drown myself in information from books, websites, online applications, other mothers, etc., or I could actually take the time to feel this blessing inside of me as it practices its Cross Fit.  I swear this kid is either going to be a soccer player or a boxer and I love it!! All of the little moves, hiccups, etc., that you feel are amazing bonding opportunities that I might have otherwise missed/lost if I had been enthralled in reading about that moment.

Circling back to our preparations for Baby, so many people talk about the pregnancy, but not many people discuss what happens once you give birth.  I had a friend offer to tell me the “dirty details” of giving birth if I wanted them.  I gratefully thanked her for the offer but declined.  Again, whether I know about it or not, it isn’t going to change what I have to go through, nor will my experience be exactly like hers.  So knowing about it, in my mind, isn’t going to necessarily help me.

So many people have told hubby and me that our lives are going to change forever.  I sit here and I ponder that.  Yes I realize that things will change as now there is this little miracle that we’re responsible for.  I realize that we may not necessarily be able to pick up at a moment’s notice and drive to Buffalo for a Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee—at least not until we can get Baby a passport.  I realize that a random weekend getaway won’t be as easy since we now have to pack for the wee one and for little people I’ve already come to find out they need a lot of things!  Clothes, receiving blankets, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, bibs, creams and lotions for their sensitive skin, and all the things that I don’t even know that I’ll need.  I realize that we’ll be sleep deprived and probably irritable in the beginning as the wee one won’t be able to communicate with us.

But as I ponder I’m also thinking about watching this little one sleeping in its crib for the first time and watching as they smile up at us.  I’m thinking about when they start to crawl and eventually walk.  I’m thinking about first words and when they start to cheer for their (or mommy’s) favourite sports team..sorry dear!  I’m thinking about the lifetime of memories that we’re about to embark on and how that will start yet another chapter of our lives.

 


 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Coffee with a friend turns into a religious experience

I had the pleasure of catching up with a former volunteer who turned into a friend on Friday.  We met at a local coffee shop and were all ready to catch up.  Before I know it the first hour of our conversation had been taken over by chatting about religion.  He being Catholic, me being Greek Orthodox, we have many similarities in our religious backgrounds.  He went to Catholic school growing up and a Catholic High School, as did I.  The only difference was the location–mine in the States and his in Canada.  It was interesting to chat about how religion in our lives helped to mold us into the adults that we are today.  He recalled a hockey tournament in Detroit where his parents made him still go to Sunday Mass even though they were away and I recalled walking to church as a child during a snow storm so that we could get there.  Now I’m not writing this to spark a huge religious debate, I’ll leave that to the professionals, it was just interesting how this somewhat taboo subject by some had us gabbing for over 60 minutes.

One story that I relayed to my friend is a conversation that I had when I was in my 20’s with a Catholic Monsignor of the High School I was working at.  No I never taught, I worked in their fundraising department on a multi-million dollar capital campaign.  I remember joking with the Monsignor that if I wasn’t going to Heaven on the Greek Orthodox card for some reason, I better be going in on the Catholic card.  My friend let out a hearty laugh.  Yes some people would call that ballsy, but I truly believed it.  I am a good Christian, I follow the Golden Rule, I help wherever I can and I pray that I will be rewarded for that in the after-life.

The bulk of our conversation focused on the Eucharist: commonly in the form of a wafer placed in the hand or on the tongue in the Catholic Church and a teaspoon of red wine to be followed with a piece of bread in Greek Orthodox Church.  My friend told me how he was a bit relieved when he saw the Eucharistic Ministers in the Catholic Church use a hand sanitizer prior to receiving and then passing out communion.  I returned and asked him if he knew how we received communion in our church?  He did not so I explained to him that it was actual wine on a gold spoon.  The parishioners lined up and received the body and blood of Christ in that way.  He couldn’t believe that everyone partook from the same spoon.  It wasn’t only until my recent years that I wondered truly how ‘safe’ that spoon was.  I remember once asking when I was younger and the answer I was given was because it was 18K or 24K gold it killed all germs.  I know that was just an answer to appease a child 🙂  But really how else could they distribute Holy Communion?  I remember a woman I encountered who was Byzantine Catholic and a member of a church in New Jersey who told me that in her church they used plastic spoons?  My question around that was what happened to the spoons after Mass?  How were they disposed?  Burned, thrown in the garbage, recycled?

At coffee our discussion continued on was it right to try and change something that was written over 2000 years ago or do you just go on believing?  We didn’t solve the world’s problems but I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion.

If you are interested in reading more about the common spoon/chalice, I found an interesting article here.


 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Here goes nothing!

Well its official, I’m back to my blogging ways.  Different site, different focus but the same little ole me.  A lot has changed since the last time I was writing.  I celebrated another birthday, I’m now closer to 40 than I am to 35.  I left my senior level management job in downtown Toronto to start working on my own.  Primarily I work on social media marketing, along with some website work.  It has been completely great to be my own boss and to make my own hours.  The biggest change in all of this is that I’m a soon to be Greek μαμά (aka mom).

To say that the last few months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement.  I haven’t been crazy hormonal, although my hubby is probably a better person to ask about that, but to have this little being growing inside you is surreal.  You worry about things that you normally wouldn’t, or at least I do. You have to make sure you’re always taking your vitamins, of which I wasn’t the best at remembering before.  You have to prepare, as best you can for the little bundle of joy that will soon be joining your family, and of course you’re doing all this while being the best Greek wife, daughter, friend, co-worker, and soon to be μαμά that you can be.  No pressure right?!??

To give you some perspective, I guess I should start with the Greekness.  I am 100% Greek-American that has been transplanted to Canada.  I also am married to a 100% Canadian-Greek.  Yes you read that correctly, I put the Greekness first and hubby puts it second.  More on that another time.  My parents immigrated to the United States in the 70s in search of a better life for themselves and their future family.  I was raised in an all Greek household.  This means we spoke Greek, we ate Greek, we did everything but watch Greek TV as this was the age before satellites.  Everyday I’d go to school like every other child but three days a week I’d go to Greek School.  This was in the afternoons after regular school.  I remember my mom picking me up from school, taking me home to change clothes (I went to a private school so I wore a uniform), giving me something to eat, and then driving me to Greek School.  Here I had the opportunity to interact with other Greek children from my church and make bonds that are still in place until this day.  I’d then go home to do my homework from regular school, which in the early days was a struggle.  I was the first grader who needed to go visit my 80 year old tenant for help with my spelling list on Thursdays as she was the only other person in the house who could help me.  My father always says, “I didn’t learn English so my children will learn Greek.”  It wasn’t until I was much older that I finally understood what that meant.   Look out for this story in a future blog. J  I was a member of GOYA, the Greek Orthodox Youth of America and went to their dances and basketball games.  I event was vice-president of the Hellenic Society at my college and lead the charge in the March 25th parade.

All of this would lead me to deciding I wanted to spend the rest of my life with a fellow Greek.  This was very important to me.  Not that I didn’t date non-Greeks but I knew that when push came to shove the values, traditions and things that were important to me, needed to be important to him as well.  I didn’t want to fight about sending the kid to Greek school, or what religion they would be raised in or even what languages they would study.  For me all of this was important and non-negotiable.   Now before the bashers come in and hate, I must say here that I have many friends who have married non-Greeks and are leading very happy lives.  I am just sharing with you what I was looking for.

All of this comes with some pressures—or at least perhaps a pressure that many Greek women I know manifest on themselves.  The pressures to be the best at whatever it is we’re doing.  The best wife, daughter, mother, employee, boss, friend, etc.  Through this blog I hope to share with you my journey through life and the challenges that this soon to be Greek μαμά faces.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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