Father’s Day


me and daddy

My father migrated to Canada in his early 20s from Italy. He left the life he knew, his parents and siblings to marry my mother and try to build a life. He didn’t speak a single word of English, had a little money that he saved up working as a tailor in Italy, and had a heavy heart as he left his family behind to journey into the unknown.

Once in Canada, he continued his trade for a while and tailored suits. But eventually he moved on to work in a factory that made different food products. It was there that he swore his children would never drink juice.

Later on in life, he went on to work for the Toronto school board. He made those terrazzo tiles you see in many elementary schools. It wasn’t easy work. He was on his knees a lot, and always hunched over. I can remember all the evenings he’d be in so much pain on the couch. But every morning, he still got up and went to work.

My father did what a lot of Italians did, he followed something…hope. He wasn’t following a dream. He had no idea where he was going or what to expect when he got there. The only thing he knew was that where he was going he could find work. He could attempt to make some kind of a life. He had hope. And that’s all he needed.

He worked so hard. He saved all he could. He sacrificed a lot of things, did without the luxuries he would have enjoyed just so he could provide for his family. And he has. He’s raised my brother and me into two successful adults. Sure, he was hard on us a lot growing up, but as adults we can look back and see the fear that drove him to be so strict. To push us to be our best. To accept nothing but our best efforts. As children, we couldn’t have understood how hard he worked to give us all we had and how important it was to him that we take advantage of all the things he was deprived of: education, opportunity, a chance at a good life. But now, we can look back and see how lucky we are that he took a risk, and followed hope.

I remember when he used to tell me how rich we were every Christmas at the dinner table. I used to look around at our narrow kitchen, small living room and then towards the driveway with the single vehicle he and my mother shared. What the heck was he talking about? He used to tell me that I’d understand when I grew up and had my own family.

He was right. I understand. We are rich. Ridiculously rich. Out of this world rich. I know what he means now. And I’m so glad that he is the kind of man who knows what it means to be rich, and made sure his children knew the difference.

On Father’s Day, I’m reminded of how much my father has done for his family. His life was hard. But if I were to ask him what he’d do differently, I know he wouldn’t change a single thing. He accomplished exactly what he came to Canada to do. He followed a little light of hope and built a simple life.

I love him.

I’m still his little girl.

I always will be.

Life’s Good


hands

I’ve been looking over my posts from the beginning. Most of them were written during what I refer to as “the dark days” of the first couple of months.

Nine months later, I can actually look back at them and smile. Relief floods over me as I thank God it got better. I remember thinking it never would. I felt like the sleepless nights and evenings of non-stop crying would last forever. Wow, how times have changed.

Today life’s full of giggles and play, strolls and messy meals, stories and songs, and lots of hugs and cuddles. What I’m trying to say is: it gets SO SO SO much better and fun. Once you have a routine set and get to know your little one’s needs, life becomes a little simpler.

The “dark days” seem like they weren’t so dark. And believe it or not, I’m already pining for another little baby. I want my family to grow even more. I’m forgetting how exhausting the first couple of months were, and instead, remember how easily Jacob fit into the crook of my arm and how he nestled his little head into my neck. At nine months, he’s already squirming out of my arms. Since he’s started crawling, he wants to break free from mummy’s grip and explore his world.

Every day I wonder what type of boy he’ll become. What kind of man he’ll grow into. I love watching him watch things. We have some potted plants on a wall shelf in the kitchen, and while he sits in his highchair as I feed him, he gazes at these plants with wonder. I forget sometimes that he’s seeing most things for the very first time. He’s so curious about everything. I’ve let him feel the leaves with his little fingers. At first he’s cautious and gentle, and then, he yanks a leaf off with fierceness so he can bring it where? To his mouth of course!

He’s becoming more aware of Pepper our cat and Chester our dog. They used to carefully sniff him when they could, and now that he’s crawling, they’re darting out of his way because they know he’ll be after their wagging tails. Right now, Jacob likes Pepper more. I think it’s because Pepper’s more his size whereas Chester towers over him. It melts my heart how close their all becoming. Jacob looks at them as toys right now, but as he gets older, he’ll love them like we do. The pets already love Jacob. I can see it when Pepper meows as he walks over to Jacob, purrs, and rubs his head over Jacob’s feet. And Chester will clumsily saunter over to Jacob on the exersaucer and stick his wet nose into Jacob’s neck, taking in the baby scent that’s already beginning to fade.

I love our little family. I’m glad the “dark days” are over, and I can finally say: it was all completely worth and I’ll do it all over again.