Friday, September 18, 2009

Why Puff the Magic Dragon Made me Weep

(originally posted on

Okay, so... a lot of celebrities have passed this year, and i generally try to stay away from posting about these people like they actually meant something to me on some level, because other than the fact that i knew who Farrah Fawcette was, or had a lot of Michael Jackson albums before he went all wonky, or even how i fell in love with Patrick Swayzee in Dirty Dancing and Ghost... i have nothing really relevant to say about any of these people.

really, i have nothing of relevance to say about the passing of Mary Travers from Peter Paul & Mary either, except that when i was driving home in my car yesterday i wept.

like i was saying, i was driving home from the doctor yesterday and was listening to CBC Radio2 and of course everyone was talking about the death of Mary Travers, who died after a long battle with cancer - and i learned a lot in those few minutes; about her life, how she grew up in Greenwich Village in the 60s, and how the group Peter Paul & Mary and their song "If I had a Hammer" was so influential in the sixties...

In tribute to Mary, they played - not "If I Had a Hammer", but "Puff the Magic Dragon" and i thought "Hey! I haven't heard this song in, like, forEVER!"

So, i cranked the volume up to eleven and sang along the best i could with my gargly voice and clogged sinuses.

Happily i imagined Jackie Paper and his dragon playing very much the way i imagine Chewie plays with his giraffe Maynard. My heart warmed as i placed my very own son in the role of Jackie Paper, frolicking in the autumn mist with Maynard by his side.

Having adventures and travelling on a boat with billowed sail, fighting pirates...

I smiled as the nobles kings and princes bowed when er' they came.

I was so engrossed in this imaginary land, watching my son play in my mind that when that third and final verse started, it hit me in the heart with a wallop.

A dragon lives forever,
But not so little boys.
Painted wings and giant rings
Make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened,
Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon,
He ceased his fearless roar.
His head now bent in sorrow,
Green scales fell like rain,
And Puff no longer went to play
Along that cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend,
He could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon
Sadly slipped into his cave.

How many times have i heard this song over the course of my lifetime? The innocent and beautiful wondrland i was painting in my mind suddenly took a turn as i imagined Puff standing on the shore of Honalee waiting for Jackie to come. His heart breaking, wondering what he did wrong, while Jackie grows up and become a man and leaves Puff for good...

Is there nothing more heart breaking than a depressed dragon who is aching for his friend? In the end, when he slipped into his cave, i couldn't stop the big fat tears that rolled down my cheeks as i pulled into my driveway. I parked the car and leaned on the steering wheel crying into my lap as the full weight of the words washed over me.


this bittersweet thing that is growing up.

I am not naive enough to think that Chewie will never grow up and leave me, but suddenly there it was... one day, i would be Puff, and Chewie would grow up and while he would always love me and always have a place for me in his heart - I won't be the best number one playmate. The best hugger. The best snuggler. The "mommy".

One Day, Chewie will stop calling me "Mama" and start calling me Mom.
Then i will know, Jackie Paper will have come no more.
And i will be brave, but inside My Puff will sadly slip into her cave.

The lesson: To do it now. Be his Puff now. He will grow up too fast.
Thank you Peter Paul & Mary

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Toddler Update

Ever since Chewie became mobile there has been a flurry of activity at Chez Diva.
Not just the ever moving baby, but also picking things up that he pulls from where ever they are, constant moving of things to higher planes, baby proofing on the go!

This new found Independence has also led to all sorts of bumps and bruises as he learns to navigate the world from 2 feet up.

Just yesterday his head had an encounter with the driveway, leaving a very nasty goose egg on his handsome little face... a tumble down the stairs gave him an owie lip... this morning he misjudged the distance between himself and the chair and wound up biting his little tongue... (he does not like the taste of blood, and tried spitting it out, but that hurt his tongue with caused more tears) and today at his friend X-Man's house, he knocked his noggin on the corner of one of those old school chests. Another goose egg to match the first.

but he's a fairly strong little trooper - and cries for a few moments, gets a cuddle and some hugs and then is off and running again. Torn between being adventurous and cautious, he teeters around the house... when he gets off and running the look of pure glee on his face is priceless! So proud of him self.

There is no more feeding the boy. Everything must be done himself, and for a while there he was content to just eat with his fingers, but eventually he realized that we were using forks, so dammit - he wanted a fork too!

He generally stabs at the food and if he ever gets anything on there he's so excited he waves the fork, and the little morsel of food that fell prey to the prongs of the fork goes flying through the air.

Stairs are no match for Chewie. He is a master at going up AND long as he remembers to crawl down them, and not attempt to walk down the stairs. To show us how good he is, he will climb all the way to almost the top, then go back down to almost the bottom - look to make sure we're watching - then all the way up to the top again... and repeat.

I am beginning to fear for our cats Kozmo and Cinda. Before they would just walk away whenever Chewie got too close, but now that he can walk, it won't be long before he gets running... and chasing those poor kitties.

Daycare was an adjustment, but he's starting to get the hang of it, i think. My favourite part of the day is showing up to get him and the big smile he gives me when he sees me.

there are definate times when i wish i was still at home with him every day, but seeing him interact with other kids every day and learning to share and be social is a lesson i'm glad he's able to learn now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tuesday Toot.

I've been trying to find balance, lately, between being a mom and being a wife, a friend, a spouse, a sister, a sister-in-law, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, and auntie.

Having almost all my extended family living close by has been simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Where - in all of that - does a person find time for herself?

So, i've taken up trying to Push my way through the program outlined in Julia Cameron's book, "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" and one of the challenges is to get up a half hour earlier to write 3 pages of Stream-of-consciousness writing - nothing fancy, it's not even good! Just as long as it is three pages, it's okay. Using this form of writing as a kind of active meditation has really cleared my head. And even on days like today where my eyes are so heavy that i can barely keep them open, i really try to keep going... i know i'm not there yet, but i can feel something in me shifting. I think it's giving myself permission to be a creative person.

From the book:
"...never ask whether you can do something. Say, instead that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow"

Anyway, i have been getting up early for the past three weeks and having a half hour of quality me time - no baby, no husband, no work, no phone, no tv - just me, my notebook, my pen... and three pages of terrible writing. ;) and that's okay.

**visit my review blog for a sweet giveaway ending Sunday!!**
Your Ad Here