I awoke this morning to the sound of a gentle rain pitter-patting over the eaves of our roof. I thought of the rows of seedlings we'd put into the earth last evening. A comforting blanket of satisfaction rippled with an electric burst of cool excitement over my body.

And then I realized: I am a complete doofus.

It's May. What was I thinking, putting my seedlings into the ground so early?

I grew up in Leamington, where as of this day in May, they've already had several days of 30-degree weather. Tomatoes go in the ground in early May, in a good year. When we first arrived in the Maritimes nine years ago (good golly, has it been nine years?), I laughed at the gardening tradition of not planting until after the first full moon of June.

But then again, yesterday was the warmest day we've had in more than a week, and we barely hit 18 degrees.

I'll tell you what I was thinking. I spoke yesterday with my dad. He talked about his pepper and tomato plants already in the ground. I told him we were waiting until the first full moon in June.

"That's almost a month away," he said.

I looked at the shelves of seedlings growing in my south window. So perky. So ready to jump into the ground.

"But we had three frost warnings last week," I said.

"Did you actually get frost?" he asked.

"No. We're on high ground."

"I say plant 'em."

This from a man who was sitting on his patio in the 32-degree heat.

I sound like I'm blaming Dad. I'm not. At least, I won't until my plants die of frost the second week of June.

Nah, I made up my own mind. I wanted to see my tomatoes in the ground. We may have a couple of frosts left, but I have the tarp all ready to cover them when it comes. And, I held back several seedlings to replace any that may die.

We'll be fine.

The kids frolicked barefoot in the grass yesterday while we planted, completely oblivious to what we were doing. This morning, we put on our boots to go splash in the new puddles. Jane was the last out, and she detoured by the garden on her way to the splash party.

"Dad! Dad!" she screamed as she ran towards me. "The garden! It's full of plants! The garden is growing!"

I had to break the news that it wasn't a spontaneous miracle, but that Erin and I had planted all the little plants that were in our window the last two months. It didn't spoil the excitement for her.

Spring: a miracle every time.

Best phone message ever

Voice: Message one. From an unknown number. Received yesterday at four forty-nine p.m.

Henry: It's Henry. It's four forty-nine. Four fifty now. The clock just changed. I can make my own paper airplanes now. And, by the way, I love you. See you in a few minutes, Daddy.

Alice: Ah!


Jane's understanding of the universe deepens every day

Driving. Henry and I are having a mild argument. I truly cannot remember what it was about. I only remember the ending.

Me: ...and yet, here we are. The sun rises and sets, and we're all still alive.


Jane: Grandma D isn't.

Another one...

...for the list.

Alice sat at the table playing, placing Cheerios on the horns of a toy triceratops.

Me: That's a nice dino.

Alice: (nodding) Yap.

Me: What's his name?

Alice: Sean.

You had to be there

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee," sang Jane from the backseat.

"What's that you're singing there, Janey?" I asked.

"Oh, just: doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..." she sang in reply.


She kept on going.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

It was kind of catchy. Henry joined in.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

So did Erin.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

So did Alice.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

So did I.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

It was just a quiet little ditty, at first. Every now and again, one of us would break face and laugh, but then join back in with the rest of the family.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee. Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee..."

Jane began a flight to a crescendo, and we all obediently followed along.

"Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee! Doo-doo doo-doo bow-ee!"

Until we were all shouting (musically).


It all fell apart when Henry started laughing in hysterics. We were helpless. It was wonderful. My face hurt from smiling.

Henry: We're the best family.

Giggles and the gang

I was turning over the front garden yesterday when my spade uncovered a bit of white plastic. I picked it up, dusted it off, and found it was a toy zebra.

"Brenda!" I yelled. "I haven't seen you since last summer."

It struck me we have some toys with names that may be forgotten if I don't record them. This post is another for the historical record, rather than for public consumption (read along, if you like).

Tim: a giraffe with no ears (Henry bit them off, if I recall correctly)

Giggles: a tiger (he was with us until a few months ago, when Jake ate his head)

Brenda: a zebra

Hoompra: an elephant

Globotron: Henry's first dinosaur

Himpy: Henry's second dinosaur

Himpy: a hippo (Henry forgot he'd already used the name, and it stuck)

Lobsty: a lobster

Snow Guy: a man in an old fur parka

Snow Girl: his girlfriend

Snow dogs: their two dogs

Beebee whale: a small killer whale

Mumma whale: a large killer whale

Creamy: Henry's favourite stuffed dog

Pink: Jane's pink dog

Moley: the felt mole Erin made Jane for Christmas a couple years ago

Blurtle: a blue turtle

Blue puppy: a blue puppy

Cugga: Jane's baby doll

This seems like a lot of toys. Keep in mind many are no longer with us...