Sunday, May 20, 2018

Isaac is Born

A New Man in My Life

Posted on 29 August 2014 | Comments Off
Introducing Isaac-page-0
I have avoided writing a blog for over a month because I simply didn’t know how to tell about this new man in my life. I don’t understand how I fell in love so quickly, so sweetly, so purely. This is not like me. I struggle with love and relationships but in this one there is no struggle I expect nothing from him. My love is unconditional.
I do not understand the depth of my feelings. I have never been a baby person. I don’t turn to mush when a baby enters the room – until Isaac. I suppose it has something to do with this fellow being the son of my son. I am only responsible for his being in that I am half responsible for his father being alive.
Isaac reminds me of Michael when he was a baby. I remember holding Michael as I now hold Isaac. I listen to Michael and Kenzie talk about their sleepless nights and I smile… I vaguely remember the lack of sleep but I no longer feel it in my bones.
This is the pleasure of being a grandparent and not a parent. I can cuddle the baby, change a diaper, feed him a bottle but if he becomes fussy, I can hand him back to his parents. I don’t have to make difficult decisions about his development or worry about spoiling him. Unlike his parents, I don’t have to multitask and work, pay bills or do the laundry while also trying to spend quality time with him. I like this grandmother role but I must admit, I don’t like being called grandma by anyone but my grandson… and it will take a little time before he is able to use this title.
I hated saying goodbye a couple of days ago because I will miss most of his first year, the year when he will grow from newborn to active toddler. He won’t know me the next time I visit. I remember when Michael was a baby and I left him with Rob’s sister for a week to visit Rob on a film set in Mexico. When I returned my sweet boy didn’t remember me (though it didn’t take long to re-establish our relationship.) Hopefully it will be the same with Isaac.
Before leaving Vancouver, we had a farewell family dinner at the White Spot and several older women (around my age) coo-ed at Isaac and said I am lucky to have a grandson. Rob’s mother used to sigh and say “I guess I’ll never be a grandmother” – before all her children obliged and collectively gave her nine. I have never thought about it, let alone longed for another baby in my life but now that the time has arrived, I am full of smiles and oh dear, I do subject my friends to many pictures of my adorable grandson.
I have done a little research in trying to understand the unadulterated joy I feel at holding Isaac in my arms and although a few women felt old when the title was bestowed on them, the majority feel the same joy as I do. I have learned also that the pleasure grows with time.
One women writes that she learns about being present to the moment from her grandchildren and that she aspires to be role model for them  ”of ethical wisdom, emotional intelligence, generosity and kindness, respect for the environment, acceptance of life’s inevitable imperfections and challenges. Being one step removed from the front lines of child rearing, we grandparents have a precious opportunity to transmit the values we hold dear, with less risk of backlash. We also won’t be the target of teenage rebellion — another big plus.”
She also notes that being older, she knows what’s important: ”I don’t really care whether my grandchildren get into the Harvard of preschools — or the Harvard of Harvard, for that matter. Yes, I value education, but more than anything, I want the girls to be happy, healthy and live productive, richly satisfying lives. The addition of the prefix “grand” to “parenthood” means fewer expectations and agendas — as well the tensions that often go along with all those expectations and agendas.”
I especially like her idea that being a grandmother gives her “a free pass to act like an imbecile”. She can sing off-key, do any silly thing to show her grandchildren a good time, and they love her for it.
This new addition to our family’s life is a shared pleasure. Rob feels the same way I do. When Gill, Kenzie, and I wanted to go for a manicure, Rob was more than happy to babysit his grandson. (I haven’t seen the tender look he gives Isaac since our children were babies.) He wasn’t keen on returning to Vancouver until our grandson was born and now he wants to return as often as possible. We’re already planning a Christmas reunion. To hell with the expense. We will cut corners somewhere else.
Michael and Kenzie remind me of Rob and me when Brendan entered the world. We were so madly in love with our new son that every whimper had us running to his cradle. And although I think we were responsible people, we became even more so with the baby. Human beings are so helpless when they enter the world, and being responsible for his very existence made us more responsible about our own. When Michael recently told me that he is having crazy thoughts – about life insurance and college funds – I laughed. Is this my wild creative son who usually shuns such conservative things?
I watch Kenzie and him around Isaac and I am happy to report that my precious grand baby is in good hands. As my friend Helen reported to me before I arrived in Vancouver “ [Your grandson is] perfectly sublime and the parents are patient and in love. Isaac is blessed.

Our Dear Kenzie

She can’t stop kissing him

Posted on 11 November 2014 | Comments Off
Kenzie with Isaac
How can my heart not leap when my daughter-in-law can’t stop kissing her son, my grandson. How can I not love a young woman who thinks her husband, my son, is as handsome as a movie star, as great a chef as Joël Robuchon, and the kindest man alive? How can I not love this dark-haired beauty who is extravagant with her affection, thankful for every gift, and out-spoken when she feels she or anyone else has been wronged? She loves mammals – took Isaac to the PNE before he was a month old and to the aquarium a month later.
Mackenzie is an intelligent, big-hearted woman,  who is sometimes insecure and doesn’t realize her own worth. How can she not? (Okay, I understand… but I have learned if someone you trust says something wonderful about your person more than once, you begin to believe. So I shall tell her how unique and lovely she is until she understands.)

My son recently wrote: Happy Birthday my beautiful! You’ve enriched my life more than I could have ever imagined possible. I’m madly, deeply in love with your beauty, wit, levelheadedness, recklessness, and everything in between.
My daughter wrote: I always wanted a sister. Lucky for me, Michael Young fell in love with a beautiful, strong, intelligent and loving woman who quickly became a part of our family. Mackenzie I am so grateful to call you my sister. You make my brother happy, you are already an incredible mother, and we’re all lucky to have you in our lives.
And Rob would say that she is his daughter. She has been in our lives so long, he can’t imagine life without her. He also loves how she kisses and cares for his beloved grandson while, at the same time, complaining of lack of sleep.
Sorry Kenzie, this is a little late for your birthday but I want you to know that you were not forgotten – even when I’m too busy to write – and that you are very much loved by our crazy family.
And a little birthday advice. Don’t forget to dance – another art you’ve perfected – even if it’s in your living room with Isaac in your arms.
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?” – Gabrielle Roth

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Hello my old friend

I am really angry at myself. I let the hosting of my new blog go (on GoDaddy) and just to make sure, I googled myself and found my old blog site, last entry 2010.  Six years of my life are missing.

I shall have to decide whether I want to resurrect this one or not.

Monday, September 27, 2010


It looks like my new website may be lost forever though I hoping, probably beyond hope, that it can be found as so much work went into creating it.

Michael just found it. Yeah.

So if you haven't gone there already, my new (not so new now) site is

Monday, January 25, 2010

Change of Address

Please note that I am moving my blog to an expanded website at It is still developing and will become more comprehensive (hopefully) as time goes by.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


It looks much better in the pictures than live. The damage is not great but the soot and smell are horrible. Tomorrow a cleaning crew arrive.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Fire

Yesterday, Rob and I were up in his office, the attic, trying to get my email to work when the electricity went out. Rob went down 3 flights of stairs and saw a light was flashing in the fuse box. He opened the door and flames lept out. He called up to me. I came running down and when I saw the flames panicked. "Get somebody," he yelled. "Call the fire department." Neither of us knew the emergency number. I ran to David's house and screamed our house is on fire. He said he would be right there. I ran to the Patisserie and asked the owner to call the fire department.

We watched the flames climbing up the wall and still no fire department. Finally, twenty minutes later they arrived. I have no idea how many fire men and women there were but they appeared to move in slow motion... Rob was furious but couldn't do a thing. The police arrived. Our small street was crowded and I nearly cried as I watched the fire spread while the firemen talked about what to do.

Several used an extinquisher on the fuse box. They were about to leave when Rob yelled, "There's smoke coming out of the second floor. In slow motion again, they went for a ladder and hoisted it onto the next roof. Firemen went in with smoke masks and opened the first and second floor windows. (Oh yes, they did, while we stood there shivering in our pjs, helpless.)

In the end, the bottom floor, ground level, one wall was destroyed. The first floor (second in our language) was destroyed and the firemen sawed it up and then lay plywood. The whole house is covered in soot and smells like smoke. No electricity. No phone.

The electrician came. Our builder came. The insurance agent came. No one knows how this could have happened when the whole house was redone a year ago. The insurance agent simply said "restore it" in French.

And so Rob and I slept at Susan and David's last night. At 6:30 in the morning, we left for our planned "holidays". Rob is in London, taking a French course. (Yes.) And I am in Paris with Gillian, awaiting our Irish cousins (mother and daughter.)

C'est la vie.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The First Days of the New Year

The house is silent again. On January 1st, Brendan, Gillian, and Yeliz returned to Paris after celebrating too flamboyantly New Year's eve whereas Rob and I had a quiet night in the company of friends where we dined and played games - charade and dictionary - because Adam's two young boys were there. I secretly desired a little ruckus and music but still it was pleasant.

After the trio left for Paris, I went to a noon champagne and oyster party at Susan and Davids - a yearly event attended by English and French-speaking villagers where glasses of bubbly and platters of oysters are continuously replenished. I never liked oysters until last year when David begged me to try one (he'd bought too many) and I was surprised not to mind the texture and taste. After several, I began to enjoy them.

Isobel Allende in "Aphrodite" says that "Oysters are the queens of aphrodisiac cuisine, protagonists of every erotic scene recorded in literature or film. The best way to eat them is raw, after squeezing lemon over them to test whether they are alive..." Ah, I didn't know that's why the platters were filled with lemons.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I did not feel any great pangs of desire after slurping up 5 or 6 this year, but I can imagine they could be quite sexy at a table set for 2, with white linen and candles, half shells (top discarded), lemon squeezed liberally... in slow motion, raising the pearly shell to my lips, mouth open, oyster slidding down, down... (Allende says a lover may put the oyster in her mouth and then deliver it to her love's lips.)

After an hour, I left the party and went home to nap. I am not used to staying up past midnight. Finding myself not able to sleep (the oysters?) I went through the day in slow motion.

Today, I woke early, and felt a need to do something, anything, outside, wherever and so I drove to Gaillac and wandered round the Sunday market. I've been feeling housebound and needed some air and alone time. (I miss my small house in the garden though Rob and I seldom disturb the other during the day. He is on the fourth floor. I am on the bottom.)

I bought an almond croissant and went to Cafe Sport for coffee. The place is crowed. A line of men stand at the bar drinking beer (and it's not 11 a.m.), a number of grey-haired men sit a tables playing card games, and a woman across from me (there are few women) sits with her small dog, a long-haired mucky little thing, with a straight-up ponytail (tied with a red elastic) but you would think him (her?) her true love, as she positions him on her lap, paws on the table, and strokes his body, back and forth, absentmindedly.

And so the new year has begun slowly and I'm in a quiet frame of mind.