My terrorism is bigger than your terrorism

I’m a bit of a news junkie. When a story interests me I want to read everything. Op Eds, Twitter feeds, you name it. I want to eat it up. Unfortunately, there are some stories I wish I never had to read. One such story is the shooting on Parliament Hill on October 22, 2014 when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down by a radicalized home-soil terrorist.

As I sift through the articles today, I’ve been reading accounts from the woman who ran toward the sound of bullets to give CPR to the fallen soldier, I’ve read comments from the shooter’s mother expressing her sorrow and apologizing for her son’s actions. I even opened up an article on what the hosts of The View had to say about the shooting. Yup…I said everything.

Unfortunately, in that article I came across the following comment by Rosie O’Donnell:

“I’m an American, I live here. I see two people shot this week in Canada and the entire country of Canada is in mourning. However, in America this happens on a daily day basis and we don’t even pay attention anymore.” And further “I get it. But 86 people a day are killed in America with guns, and you know what? That is terrorism here.” 

To Ms. O’Donnell I say: Is that how you’re going to play this? You’re an American, so your terrorism is bigger than ours? Gross.

There is no comparison between daily gun violence and an act of terror. Yes, the gun violence in the United States is terrifying, I will not downplay that in any way, but Ms. O’Donnell, you can be damn sure that if a man wielding a rifle ran through the doors of the White House and a soldier lost his life in the process, your country would be in mourning too.

This is not gang violence. This is not a domestic dispute. This act has nothing to do with lax gun laws because as you know, we take that fairly seriously in Canada. A misguided Canadian boy, (because I can’t bring myself to call him a man) who identified closer to ISIS radicals than he did with the citizens of his own strong and free country, gunned down an unarmed reservist soldier who was carrying out a virtually ceremonial service. And then that same boy made it through the doors of our parliament to hunt our top federal leaders. Do not downplay this as mere gun violence, Ms. O’Donnell.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He is not one of “two people shot this week in Canada.” He was murdered on the steps of a war memorial meant to honour those who have fought and died for our country. The other man who was murdered earlier this week, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, was struck in a targeted hit and run. A terrorist ran him over with a car, Ms. O’Donnell.

You are not allowed to belittle this country’s grief over losing these soldiers. We are sorry your country experiences high crime and frequent violence. Canada is not immune to that same type of violence, but terrorism? No, that is as unusual, unexpected and devastating as it is in your country.

On September 11, 2001 your country lost nearly 3,000 people in an act of terrorism. Our hearts broke for you. Our hearts still break for you. I would ask that you respect our need to mourn the two men we lost this week on the same scale. Whether it is 3,000 people, or 2, our feelings of grief and despair are valid. We are mourning the murder of two men whose lives were snuffed out by people who have turned on their own country.

Please don’t make light of what happened here because it’s 84 people less than you lost on that same day in the United States. Your dog may be bigger than our dog, but we have been bitten and as a nation we are wounded.

Do bees talk to humans?

As a baby, Lila’s ability to babble to herself and stay amused was uncanny, adorable and welcomed. Her days were filled with an incessant string of nonsense kind of like Charlie Brown’s teacher (wah wah wah wah), but all cute and baby-like.

All dressed up to marry Daddy

Around the age of two she took strong command of her words and began to replace the indecipherable chatter with carefully selected conversation. And now that she is the ripe old age of three and a half, this former background noise is now a never-ending project. Tylor and I are Lila’s information highway and we are
well-travelled and often suffering from gridlock.

Lila: Wow! The moon is a whole circle. I didn’t know it was a circle this year. I only saw it cracked open before. Where do the cracked off pieces go?

Me: Um…well, the sun spins around, no wait…the moon is always whole and the pieces don’t actually crack off. So, there’s this thing called the solar system…. *forehead slap*

Come on! Pull it together, Mommy! Lila just stared blankly at me and waited eagerly to gather every piece of information I was about to hand off. I could have just made something up, but I owed her more than that, so we talked about orbiting and the sun and Earth and whether or not any of it sunk in, or if she was even capable of understanding, I was as thorough as I could be because she asked.

This is the same logic we’ve always applied to words. It is not a buh-buh, it’s a bottle. Don’t ta-ta, just hand it to me, please. It’s not a pee-pee, it’s a vagina (much to Tylor’s horror of course). Side note: It is a most hilarious situation when you come home from work to find your husband really in need of a hug after he had to use the
V word and the P word while explaining that Lila’s vagina would never be long…you know, like Daddy’s. I’m certain a small part of him died that day, but even still it was a valuable conversation to help Lila understand how she fits into her little world.

Our insistence on proper words comes back to haunt, naturally. Lila corrects us if we call the Jeep a car, or if we call it a sweater instead of a hoodie. And on more than one occasion she has schooled me hard for not saying please. Fair enough. Right is right.

When she uses words like permission, appropriate and correct it’s baffling and wonderful. I suppose it shouldn’t be all that surprising when she re-uses the words we give her, but we’re always amazed at her ability to apply them correctly. I’ll admit I was even a little proud of her when she correctly used an f-bomb in a sentence…I’m the worst.

Last night, while tucking Lila into bed, she started asking questions about bees after having watched Bee Movie. Super, I know a ton about bees, er…

Lila: Do bees talk to humans?

Me: No, that’s just pretend for the movie.

Lila: I know that, Mommy. But movie bees talk to humans, don’t they?

Me: Yes, I suppose they do.

Lila: They do. They talk and talk and make friends with humans and then they just act like bees.

As you can see, I learn a lot from Lila as well. Coupled with her hunger for words, is a wild and beautiful imagination. She once told me that I should have a headband in my short hair because they are baby headbands before they are ponytails.

Double Crown

I admit, coming up with an answer to “what does my blood do all day?” isn’t easy, but it forces us to question what we think we know and wonder how this world actually operates. And the challenge is not only in getting the information, but in delivering it in a way that is fairly accurate to a little girl who believes that movie bees just hang out with movie humans all day. She learns, you learn. It’s a cool side effect of parenting.

Even when you are adamant that you don’t have the time to properly answer the 572nd question your child has asked you that day, you’re going to wish you did when she says, “Aunt Gertrude? Mommy said you’re old and crazy and that’s why you have a beard like Daddy.”

There’s a First for Everything

My famous first words. I thought, as your gracious host, it would be appropriate to introduce myself and my family. I am Christie and my partners in crime are Tylor and Lila. That makes us TLC. Not planned (I promise) but it’s the way we sign our greeting cards all the same.

You and me and Lila makes three

You and me and Lila makes three

We live a pretty cool existence in our little bungalow, in a small town with our friends and family close at hand and our wee pooch Tinker by our side. As most of the readers of this page and the countless posts that follow will either fall into the family or friends category, I doubt there is much further need for introduction, however, here are a few things that dot our tiny family’s history:

  • Tylor and I met in kindergarden, became each other’s first significant other in Grade 5, separated tragically after a kiss in the playground and then reunited seven years later at a local coffee shop. That was 14 years ago and we still mostly dig each other. We got married in 2007 and welcomed Lila into our lives in 2011.
  • Lila. Where. To. Start. She is a bundle of sass and intelligent conversation. She is stunningly pretty, but equally as kind. She demands the use of manners, proper vocabulary and she thinks farts are funny (thanks, Ty). She schools me daily on the wonders of this life, she asks questions when she doesn’t understand and absorbs absolutely every detail that is handed to her. As a reader, you’ll get to know her pretty well. I sorta love talking about her.
  • As far as hobbies, Tylor is an avid gym-aholic; he lost 85 pounds in the last two years and has even accomplished getting his wife to enjoy working out…for reals. I love canning, cooking and simple crafting. Lila enjoys painting, watching movies and general toddler mayhem.

I am excited to share a little bit of our lives with the world. The greatest gift I have received from motherhood is the ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. I hope I can impart some of that onto you. It is a beautiful way to see the world.

I haven’t decided which post is coming next: my conversation with Lila about why I shouldn’t drink wine from a box, my abysmal attempts at crocheting, or why you shouldn’t cringe at the thought of eating pickled eggs.