“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“then I had a boy.” By Julia at V, J, W, and A’s house

Sunday April 15, 2018
7:30pm
5 minutes
Devices on Standby
Kelly Ann Malone

I heard the words come out of my mouth like a broken record: MOVE just like my mother used to say. And it worked. That tone, that strength. She listened and she did. Then I hugged her. Because I didn’t want her to go to sleep right after being yelled at. So then I hugged him too because he was good the whole night and i didn’t want him to feel left out. And that is what I’m learning. That girls still need hugs after being told no. And boys still need hugs after being told yes.

I keep thinking, don’t let your kids grow to be unlikeable, if I don’t like them the world won’t like them and I want the world to like my kids. Send them to my parents house so they can see what listening feels like, what being a kid feels like. I want that for me and for my kids and for the grandparents my parents will turn into.

“Sometimes I can hear Harry’s voice” by Julia at Olympic village station

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Thomas Lee
#WeAreHarryChang

When I sang to her she asked me to stop. I’d like to think if I had a child I would not let this one thing fly. Sure, throw your tantrums on the floor at the Super Low, decide that there’s too much brown in your granola bar to eat, wish for rain on the only day it’s sunny because you feel like it, fine. But I would not want a child to be a pushover unable to stand up for themselves. I wouldn’t want them to learn to swallow their tongue either and so I ask myself, how? How does one encourage self expression in others without shutting down their own organs because someone else needs to be heard? What is the balance, or is there such a thing? Do kids get to be so bold and then what? They stop needing so much? Or needing so much out loud? It’s not like you can punish a child for a crime they did not commit. It is not illegal to prefer the sound of nothing. Not even a little bit.

“As Elizabeth lost” By Julia on SM’s couch


Tuesday March 7, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
the Globe and Mail Lives Lived

It had been an hour and Remi still hadn’t called. Elizabeth paced the shiny tile in front of the door. She wasn’t angry because she wasn’t surprised. She’d stopped expecting him to get it together because Allie and Nathan needed one of their parents to show up for them. Elizabeth had given up on Remi a long time ago. She couldn’t keep space for him anymore. A car zoomed by outside and Elizabeth stopped in her tracks. It wasn’t him.

“traumatic for a baby” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Monday August 1, 2016
11:59pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Marriott in Decatur

We didn’t want to put any clowns in her room just in case she wasn’t one of those kids that loved them. I’m talking nice clowns too. We didn’t want to risk it-no marionettes (gifts from our friends, sent from Mexico), no figurines (a doll my sister in law built out of a mop head and some satin), no posters, and no photographs. We made the mistake earlier with Keegan and I’m worried about him becoming a psychopath. I blame Stephen King. I blame him and whatever mother didn’t love him enough to give him such twisted ideas. I also blame Charles, who grew up with clowns all over his damn house and never once murdered anything with a heart beat. Charles told me it would be fine, but I wasn’t convinced. There are so many things in this life that pose less of a threat to psychologically damaging a child, like bunny rabbits, and flowers, and Marilyn Manson.

“Professional photography” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday, March 27, 2016
9:13pm
5 minutes
from a flyer

Abigail got my parents a professional photo session for their anniversary. I told her not to waste her money on something like that cause it would be more of a gift for her and not them. She told me that everybody likes having nice photos of themselves and that was literally the end of that. Abi can be so stubborn sometimes. She once hired a clown to entertain at her own kid’s birthday even though he’s scared to death of clowns and spent the whole afternoon crying in the bathtub. She doesn’t want to listen, she just wants to do what ever she thinks will be best. I have stopped questioning if she ever thinks past herself and considers putting somebody before her. I know the answer. She doesn’t. My parents did the photo shoot to appease her because her temper is as unpredictably violent as you can imagine, and they are the most awkward and cringe worthy photos you’ve ever seen, let alone that my parents have ever been in. I want to take her into a sound proof room sometimes and shake the living shit out of her while just screaming NO to her over and over.

“It is important to notice the differences and similarities in the success stories” by Julia at her dining table


Sunday March 20, 2016
3:32pm
5 minutes
from authorspublish.com

When William came home from his first day of grade 1, he showed me a chart he made- a Venn diagram with the titles:

THINGS I DO AT HOME

THINGS I DO AT SCHOOL

William had scribbled in Colouring and Playing and Fun and Story Time in the At School Circle. In the At Home one he had written Eating and Bath Time and Bed With No Dessert and Chicken Nuggets
I realize how little I can control what he will do or say when he’s not around me. How I can’t protect an identity or a culture that I’ve built in my own home because people will always have their opinion no matter what the context. I realize how much he absorbs and how he defines himself as a member of my household. It makes me want to make a spinach salad for dinner and spend time cutting out magazine images for a collage to hang in his bedroom.

“ASPARTAME CONTAINS” by Julia on her couch


Saturday October 31, 2015
5:25pm
5 minutes
From the pack of gum

My mama told me from an early age that I was to stop drinking my diet colas and she told me it was because one day they would kill me. I would tell her from an early age that I did not like being talked to like an idiot and if she was going to tell me not to do something, she better bet her big behind that she isn’t doing it herself already. And I remember clear as day each time, my mama would say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And I would say back, “Stupid is as stupid does.” From an early age my mama didn’t like me watching any movies with Mr. Tom Hanks in it if it was just going to “come back to bite her in her ass” each and every blasted time. I drank my diet colas whenever I felt like it, watching my mama guzzle back 6 pack before lunch. She didn’t want me to end up like her, and I knew that I wouldn’t because though I loved her, I didn’t respect her. She couldn’t get me to do what she said with a gun in her hand and a million dollars in her pocket.

“Let me just say he did some pretty terrible things” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Friday, June 12, 2015
5:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Valens

Graham was finally allowed to see his daughter in two years and he wasn’t going to sabotage himself this time. No chance in hell was he willing to risk anything getting in the way of that sweet angel face. Gina didn’t want to bring her. She said a prison is not the place she wanted Olivia to associate him with. She said this isn’t good for the baby. Graham wanted to believe that she was still too young to be affected by this or anything that he was guilty of doing. But Olivia wasn’t a baby anymore. She was three now. She had nightmares and daydreams and memories. And graham had missed the part where she didn’t have those. Where she hadn’t grown up without a daddy yet.

“the landing cure” by Julia at Hunter’s Landing


Saturday August 30, 2014 at Hunter’s Landing
2:25pm
5 minutes
Hunter’s Landing menu

Tawny lost her tooth at the supermarket and she’s really bummed about it, Kev. What are we supposed to do about the tooth fairy now? Cause she literally lost the tooth and the whole premise is that the tooth fairy takes the tooth and gives her a loonie. A loonie for a tooth, Kev, and now because she got knocked in the head by a box of Lucky Charms, she has no tooth. Some other kid probably has her bloody tooth and is making money on it right now. I mean, do we tell her the tooth fairy just has an intuition? Or do we shape her up for some good quality reality, and tell her that the tooth fairy will not be coming this time because rules are rules and she didn’t follow the protocol. I mean, this is the school of hard-knocks am I right? That girl has to learn sometime. She has to learn to be careful and not lose things of value! She has to learn to be more aggressive while looking for something that has value! She has to be more thoughtful of her surroundings and be more observant so that when one thing changes, ie, her tooth is now somewhere on the floor when minutes before the floor looked a different way, so that she can recognize when she needs to be on guard because consistency is like the thing before they have deja vu in The Matrix!

“You can grow” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, September 19, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
5:09pm
5 minutes
Mindbodygreen.com

Herbs, he was thinking. Big basil in the back yard, big love in the kitchen. He watched his father build a beautiful garden filled with every kind of tomato and green leaf and rhubarb. He didn’t know his wife hated rhubarb when they first met, but when he realized he was hopeful that he would change her mind. His mother, on the other hand, loved the stuff so much they were eating a rhubarb pie every 4th day. And nobody complained. Big love in the kitchen. He sometimes questioned his ability to read people. He was on occasion disappointed with his wife’s narrow minded pallet, her stubbornness when it came to trying new things. How was she raised? He’d sometimes wonder out lout and let his brain move back to the days where his parents didn’t even give him the option. Eat what’s on your plate, they’d say.

“My psychic friend Leila” by Julia on the 506 going west


Sunday, April 21, 2013
5:39pm
5 minutes
Why I Moved To The Country
Ruth Schwartz


She ain’t tellin’ nobody the truth! I even axed her if she was playin’ and that bitch couldn’t say a single word. Uh uh not in my house. Make me pay for some cheap ass readin’ and not tell me the simple truth? Now I know my mama raised me better than that so I have to go ahead and wonder if she an orphan or if she just aint got no common courtesy. Now that’s important. It’s like sayin’ your please and thank yous or washin’ your hands after you done usin’ the bathroom. Shit. It was like every wall could tell if you was lyin’ so ain’t worth mama raisin’ her voice in the first place. If she even had to get that far…boy you’d be tastin’ her boot in your mouth, she’d kick your back side so hard.
But now this here woman in my house who has my money is tryin’ to fool me. Tryin’ to jerk me around. And that’s when I want to lie to her if she ain’t gonna do me the decency and tell me the truth. But I know my mama would roll over in her grave if I stooped to that kind of level.