~ The Voice of Reason ~

fork

My eldest son moved out!

My thought process was that I would be fine, because, well, he was already gone for 5 years during his University days. I got used to his absence.  Then, like most do, they come back.  Nasty beer fridge, two gecko tanks and a big sack of laundry.

ryan

The day he left…my smile was fake!

That’s the joke. When they leave for school, oh the tears, the sadness, the worry ~ but as some of my friends that have already gone through this process reminded me, “Don’t worry Les, he will be back…”  Well, sure enough he was back, and I had mixed feelings.

You get used to a smallerish family and year after year, it seemed like the new normal.  Strange as it sounds, having a family of 5 is busy and when they invite buddies over, it can get crazy.  Setting the table with so many forks, meant a lot of good conversation, but once he left, it was calm, quiet and peaceful.

Once he was done his studies, he moved back into the newly renovated basement and spent a year enjoying a pretty good lifestyle.  When he left for school, he was still sharing a room with his middle brother, in twin beds, so this was a huge upgrade for him.

I can still hear them talking to each other from the time they were small. Stories of how PlayDoh was the best invention ever, to who would have the better nerf gun battle “tomorrow.” As they grew, so did the conversation. Girl talk, silly party stories, followed by lots of laughter.

Since graduating, he landed himself a great gig, and was socking away the money with some rent money coming our way!  Teachings of Life Lesson 101.

He is an adult, so I tried to give him his space.  I would however, still prepare some of his meals, because it’s what we do as mom’s, right?  I’m sure I won’t get any arguments there.  I wanted him to know he is still part of our family unit.

I also tried not to rag at him too much about keeping his space clean, and at the same time, wanted to remind him he is not just RENTING a room on our street.  Well, he had issue with this. “But Mom, I AM paying rent.” Humph, he was right!!

My husband and I have had many discussions surrounding when we kick the boys to the curb post studies, or do we let them stay, build up some equity, and let them decide when they want to leave.

Times are tough, I say, but I was reminded that “he is no longer a child, that he has to spread his wings and figure out his own “hizzle.   “We have done all the teaching we can, and it’s now his turn to figure life out.”  Ok, Ok, you win! (Voice of reason… I hate when he’s right)!

But, then one day he broke the news ~ he was just ready to go.  We never even got the chance to have the “It’s time Son, to spread your wings” chat. This was his decision, not ours, and I get it.  He expected tears, but all I could do was smile at the man he had become and admired him for taking that leap.

When he started house hunting, I wanted to help, but was told in the nicest of ways that he was fine, and could handle on his own.

Ok, again, I get it. He was so excited, and I’m all “Hey, I made you a nice pot roast for dinner.”   I felt a slight tug on my heart strings…

I was reminded by a co-worker that I will be sad when he goes and there will be a void.  Initially I said, no way.  I told her I could hardly wait to steam clean his room, and turn it back into a beautiful guest room, with show towels, and the best linens!  But, who am I kidding.  We all know the real truth here.

Well, it was huge. He is now gone for good, and I think I am ok with this. There is no coming back. (according to the voice of reason=, again) …

During one of our dinners, he asked me how much a grocery bill can be for one month.

I just smiled and told him, it’s really all about the number of forks at the table. He returned the smile, and I think at that moment, he truly understood what we were saying about life, conversation, and moving on.

Love Mumsie xo

BEHIND YOU,

all your memories,

BEFORE YOU

all your dreams,

AROUND YOU

all who love you

WITHIN YOU,

all you need

Champers and Laughing Through the January BLAHS!

champagne

Well, it’s time to do a little “cele.”  You can grab a glass if you like!   I’ve been talking about it for a while and seeing as Neighbours Jan. 2017 edition is out, I’m allowed to share the news.  So many rules I must adhere to  ~ don’t want to get me fired the first month.

With a bit of a backstory, I was approached by Neighbours magazine asking me if I would be interested in writing a monthly column. My first shot at the big leagues. *Grin*   For some, this may seem like peanuts, but for me, this was huge. I always wanted to be a published writer. Wink!  That is what my family and friends now lovingly call me.  We have had some great giggles with this.  The teasing is relentless, but I can handle that.  (Tap on shoulder) “hey… are you not that famous blogger, Leslie-Ann Williams.”  ~ “Didn’t I just see you on Oprah the other day…”

Yesterday, I had one girlfriend ask me to sign her copy!  Come on now, how cute is she!  (moving forward, she can now go through my agent). 😉

For the first article, I was asked to introduce myself, so people could “get to know me.” That seemed easy enough, but funny,  I found this rather difficult.  Don’t know why, but perhaps try it yourself.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have some endearing qualities, but it was tough.  Do I give too much, not enough, just the top line ~ married, 3 boys, 1 dog, likes beer, done?  I am most sure some people have no problem spewing their accomplishments, but for me, I struggled.

I sent my “piece”  for approval/editing, and with a few slight adjustments (which I’m still trying to get my head around), it was good to go!  How dare they take out that part….that line cracked me up!!  So much to learn!

As long as I don’t get any hate mail, I think I’m going to enjoy this whole process.

I’m breaking out my favorite pen, journal, and channeling my inner goofy girl ~ Oakville style!  Booyah!

The first article is below ~ I’m thinking of having it blown up to poster size, framed, and hung in my family room – just a gentle reminder to my boys that if they step out of line, they may find themselves on the end of a poison pen! *anothergrin*

Cheers to you all – may you have a happy and healthy 2017.

with love,

leslie-ann2

 

Let me introduce myself, just so you know what you are getting into…

My name is Leslie-Ann Williams, and I’ve lived in Oakville for 19 years. I have been married for 29 years to my husband Paul, and have three boys, ages 24, 21 and 15.

We transferred here from Calgary with goldfish in hand and we’ve never looked back!

I spend my days working for an IT company and I love to write, so I was over the moon excited when Neighbours asked if I would be interested in writing a column. I didn’t bat an eyelash, didn’t call my lawyer, and without hesitation, answered “Yes, of course! I’m all in!”  I’m a tad compulsive, but I’m working on that.

I blog about the funny things in life, share real truths that everyone can relate to, all from my perspective. Which means you can read this and then visit me for more.

So, where to begin? Well, it’s January, so let’s go with #januaryblues for all you hashtagers. Am I right? January can be so blah, lackluster, but don’t worry, a bunch of us feel this way. Writing this makes me happy because I now have something to focus on other than where to plug in my light therapy lamp.

The truth is I am a huge Christmas fan so when we absolutely must take down the tree and all the “sparkly” around the house, it’s like losing a best friend. January in my house seems so dark, dreary and empty. Coming down in the morning for coffee just isn’t the same. I walk to my mantle only to remember all the lights and glittery things are tucked away in their bins for another year.

I am that person who decorates early and leaves it all up to the point where the water in the tree base has a bit of a funk! I try to extend the festive season as long as I can. My urns end up looking like they have mange, and the tree–well it must go.  Anytime someone sneezes or passes wind, we lose about 50 needles.

I don’t do resolutions–because, well, I’m lazy or mostly, I know thy self! The whole “I’m going to lose weight, run a marathon and climb a mountain” never happens. I’m a realist. I love food, beer, and socializing! Those three things don’t equal commitment. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll lock down a party date anytime and prep a menu plan for you. Now THAT, my friends, is true commitment!

Let’s get through these January blues together and focus on the fun things that lie ahead. I’ll try to keep it real, because at the end of the day, we all just love to laugh.

 

 

 

 

A Tangled Mess ~ Good news for yours truly!

journal

Most days I try to jot notes down in my personal journal if I hear something I want to remember.  Then there can also be lags of time where I don’t use it at all.  I think we can thank our IPhones for this.  I make good use of my “notes” app, and will use it to remind me of anything and everything ~ a quick grocery store list, best place to buy Spanx, bars I like, restaurant recommendations, and most importantly, all the Netflix movies I discuss with others.  As an aside, I think I really need about 6 months alone on a deserted island (except for power and a really good internet provider) to get caught up!  Doesn’t that sound heavenly! Throw in a lounge chair and a drink with an umbrella in it, and I may never surface again!

AAAAANYWAY, my notes then reminds me to Blog.  I do however, often think that, as much as I enjoy writing them, my following is not that large.  Who really cares.  Do you really want to hear about my day and the craziness it can be, or my random thoughts, “From My Perspective” as my blog is titled.  Well, then, as luck would have it, something happened… a direct message from twitter.

At the time, I was busy in my room trying to sort out my tangled necklaces.  I know, you’re jealous right?  How much fun can YOU have on a Thursday night.  They were all in a muddled mess and can make me late for work some days!!  I just happened to glance down at my phone and saw a message.

Long story short, this lady told me that I need to reach a wider audience than just a few of my pals on WordPress and would I be interested.  I won’t go into great detail about how she pees her pants laughing at some of my drivel, but she did want me to call her asap.  She had an opportunity for me too good to pass up.  After I replied back (without thinking or even consulting my lawyer),  we set a time to connect. I couldn’t focus anymore, and threw the clump back into my jewelry box.  I’ll soon have people to do this for me, I thought! 😉

I threw a fist pump in the air, muttered a soft “yes” under my breath, and flopped down onto my bed.  I then took a quick gander over to my window to be sure my blinds were closed. They were…Whew!   For me, this was exactly what I have always wanted.  It’s going to start out small, but I feel a motion picture isn’t too far from reality!  OK who are we kidding. I’ll stop…

So for now, it’s back to reality, and The Crown! I’m still trying to get the image of the Queen out of my head after that naughty little scene where her hubby aka King, so eloquently stated …

Two options, either I get some stilts so I can reach the heights of my new tall woman, or…(slight dramatic pause)…or, she can get on her knees! 

Hot Damn!  That was good wasn’t it!

Stay tuned my loyal followers…

leslieann2

 

 

 

 

Salty Contacts – I Hope You Dance…

It’s the month of June, and so much is happening – life changing things that are making me fussy! Well, not really life changing, stay with me, but changes non the less.. On the eve of my youngest graduating from grade 8, I felt it was time to do a little blogging … it’s good for the soul!  fussy

I have 3 boys, all of which have attended the same school since JK.  (Well, the eldest started in Grade 1 – details, details).  All in all, we have spent 17 wonderful years at this “Little School with the Big Heart.”

I moved here in 1998 and didn’t have a single friend.  I sat in our local Starbucks putting paper to pen, to share my thoughts with my mom. (no texting yet…the iPhone wasn’t even on the shelves ~ Seems strange I know)!

On January 9, 2007 Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld convention, receiving substantial media attention, and that it would be released later that year. On June 29, 2007 the first iPhone was released.”

Boy, I was lonely. I would see many ladies come in for a coffee, all laughing and making plans for the weekend with their “besties.”  I thought I would never meet anybody…but then, alas, the first day of school and things changed forever.

I have always said that school is the best remedy for people to meet others in your neighbourhood.  It happened to me.  It started with a pre-first day of school “popsicle party” and by Monday, we already had some familiar faces to connect with.  I sound like such a child, but this was big for all of us.  My kids didn’t have friends, nor did I.  I wanted someone to have a coffee with.

Day one, I met a woman who soon discovered we had boys in common.  Next thing you know, I’m at her house, meeting other ladies, and within no time, I’m hosting the dinner club hanging chiffon from my ceiling for my Indian Feast!  🙂

These were the best of times.  I created a bond with these women, who all like me, now have children done University and making their own way in the world.  It was all due in part to the many bonding school field trips we volunteered to go on –  to apple farms, pioneer village, butterfly sanctuaries, museums, art schools, Christmas concerts, school work displays, Camp Tanamakoon, Quebec City, the list goes on.

I have LOVED this school and I guess it does make me a bit fussy knowing it’s coming to an end. Perhaps because this is my baby graduating, which in turn, makes me feel old!

I, like so many others, have been involved with this school since day one, volunteering for everything from flipping flapjacks, to creating craft nights. I have sat on the ‘school council’ for years, and listened to many a debate over our back field, recess restrictions, and where our money would be well spent for the good of the children.  I have driven my boys to school in my jammies more times than I wish to share (and yes, some days sans the bra), all the while dodging the teacher that thinks it’s ok to come to your car (open your car door)… and start chatting….they’re  all,  “Hey, good morning”, and I’m all, “Back off, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet!”

I have shed many a tear over silly little things, but at the time, seemed like such big things.  I have seen teachers come and go, good friends leave our school, chased many school buses down the road after our ‘tardy’ morning’s, seen principals come and go, seen our school expand with the addition of portables, and spent a worrisome year hoping that they were not going to close our school due to low attendance.  I have wandered the hall ‘illegally’ without a pass, sat on teeny tiny ill fitting jk chairs, painted crafts, bent hangers, glued gunned anything and everything, and wiped a few snotty noses along the way!

Tomorrow night, my youngest is graduating and moving onto high school.  This means so many things ~ a bigger school, more peer pressure, more cliques, but also new friendships and more opportunities.. They will split up, go their own way, meet new friends, and embrace all that high school has to offer.

I’m feeling very nostalgic and I don’t think my boy really understands. Nor should he, he’s only 14.   He was fortunate for what he was given; the love and attention by so many of the teachers, the staff, other families, and even the weekly visit from his Grandma for his Wednesday special lunch!  All this will now change.  They are big boys.  I’m actually finding it hard to explain to people the impact this school had on me, on us as a family, and how lucky I feel to have had the opportunity for all my boys to be blessed with such a great experience.

The bonds our family has formed with the families at this school are solid.  We will never lose touch, and because of this, we know our boys will always be friends.  (This may involve a lot of socialising on our parts, but I’m good with that…Cheers, Clink!!).

I was talking with one of the moms who said she tried to read our final newsletter, but the salt was building up inside her contacts, so she couldn’t finish.  I so get that.  This morning I stood in my washroom trying to put on my makeup when the song “Time of your Life” by Greenday started.  This, as most of you know,  is the song that most elementary and high schools play during those adorable “through the years” slideshows.  Always a good one to get the perimenopause mommy’s wailing!

The graduates will get their diplomas, and we will shut the door on another little moment of time. I will admit, I am envious of those still with little ones at this school, who won’t, like me, really ‘get’ how much it means and how fortunate they are to be creating their own memories, until this day.

Tears will be flowing, but they will be tears of joy as we all celebrate their graduation and remember fondly all the good times together as friends, families, buddies, and mommy’s. .

Happy Graduation my son, it’s been a wild ride..  grad

p.s.  If you dare, two of my fav’s   My Wish – Rascal Flatts and I Hope You Dance – Leann Womack