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Lynn Colliar

Lynn Colliar

Growing up Teagan – by Lynn Colliar

To all those who mean well, but sound mean…
My beautiful girl is turning 6 in a few weeks. She is off the charts in height and weight – she’s also a great conversationalist… so many people make the honest mistake of thinking she’s older than she is.

 

She’s been in the 99th percentile since her first year… back then it was only me who had to explain her age compared to her size.

 

One example stands out to me, and i’m sure you’ll understand why.

 

It was a beautiful spring day – we were at the park with lots of other littles running around. The moms were standing off to one side when my 18 month old ran over to me and gabbed something only I could understand, we both laughed and she ran back to the slide… one mom gave me a “knowing” look and said – yes, out loud – “That’s what happens when you have children when you’re older.”

 

I was so shocked at the inference I’m sure my jaw dropped. I said “she’s 18 months old… and who cares if she’s 3 – you don’t say things like that to anyone!”

 

We left the park.

 

Now Teagan is getting it first hand… most comments are coming from the right place, wanting to say something kind – but not realizing for her little brain to hear over and over again “you’re so big” “it must be hard to be so tall” “no one’s going to push you around” “you must be the biggest kid in kindergarten” “are you bigger than all the boys?”…. it starts to stick.

 

She asked me the other day if she’s always going to be a giant. If everyone is always going to tell her “she’s so tall” like she didn’t already know that… my almost 6 year old is already aware she is somehow “different”. Her chin wobbled as her eyes pleaded for me to tell her she was going to be “average”.

 

She’s been trying to conquer the monkey bars at school. It’s tough when you weigh 60lbs and you can only get 2 rungs along before you fall. And your 40lb friends are hand over hand scampering across.

 

But she is tenacious. She isn’t giving up. In a week she’s managed to get to 4 rungs… the end goal is in sight.

 

She’s so proud of being almost there. My tall, strong girl.

 

So, if you see her on the monkey bars, sweaty-headed trying time and again to do them, please – feel free to encourage her.  She loves talking to people – so please chat with her – but remember, their wee brains are sponges and your words will stick with her.

 

 

She hears the same comment over and over… and no one is saying it to the kid beside her.
I’m tall. Glenn is tall. It’s a no-brainer T will be tall.  But we want her to be proud of her height. To own it. Not to feel it’s something “different” that she should be ashamed of.

 

Now go, my monkey, go.

 

UPDATE:

monkey achieved her goal yesterday!!!! That’s one tenacious girl  see video here:

IMG_1733

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Lynn Colliar

An Only has an Only – by Lynn Colliar

Lynn and her daughter Teagan.

I am an only child.
You know… spoiled, horrible, always get my way, indulged… all things I heard while growing up.
(*hint: even the littles hear and remember. Especially when it’s repeated time and time again.)

I actually thought I WAS spoiled and horrible. That it was all about me. To the point that as a “grown up” I became the “all inclusive”… everyone MUST feel part of everything. To the exhaustion of many of my friends.

In groups, when people were talking about their families and asking about siblings it was always the part of the conversation I loathed.
Admitting I was an only. The eye rolling. The assuming that I was, in fact, a spoiled brat who always got her way.

It was like everyone was trying to program me to be that way – so I made sure I was the exact opposite.

I was the best sharer. In fact I gave a girl in my ballet class my ring because she admired it.
I gave Shirley Mullens in Grade 1 my egg salad sandwich because she asked for it. She promptly threw it up.

I try to make sure no one feels left out. But there were many times when I was. All kids are – but for me, it cut deep.

Another side effect… I am a terrible arguer. Growing up I didn’t have anyone to argue with. Sure, my dolls and stuffies, but seriously, they lacked interesting perspective and vocal skills.

We moved a fair bit. It always seemed to happen at the worst time. Grade 1. Halfway through Grade 5. Every time I was launched out into a new world… alone.

My parents had all the faith in the world in me. You’re great. You’re funny. You’ll find friends. But they weren’t there the first day of school after spring break when I had to walk into a Grade 5 class full of kids that had been together for years. All looking and knowing… there’s the only child.

She’s probably a spoiled brat.

I used to cling to friends. Afraid they would leave and I would, once again, be on my own.

I am an only child.

Now I am a mother to an only child.

I used to make myself promises as a kid that I would never, ever, do this to another child. Make them grow up in isolation. Alone.
I look back now and realize I was never alone. I have cousins and great friends that have been by my side since grade school.
I have a tribe.
We tried to have many children. I would have had ten if all the embryos had stuck. But only one stuck.
When she was two, Teagan asked when she would have a little brother or sister. Then again at 2.5… 3… 3.5… 4….
She’s seen many of her friends get siblings and keeps asking when she will get hers.
I don’t tell her she’s an only child. I tell her she’s ours. And she has a tribe. And she will never be alone. So please don’t tell her she’s an only child. She’s not.

note from Jody: this is what #mybackyard is about. I could see Lynn and I having this conversation over wine and triple-0 burgers at white spot.  I didn’t request this reaction,,,,I woke up to it in my inbox. Thank you Lynn! We love your perspective here. Let’s keep these conversations going.

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Guest Contributor, Lynn Colliar

My IVF Journey – by Lynn Colliar

Image: Jillian Kirby

Image: Jillian Kirby

Most people know my daughter Teagan is an IVF baby. That’s because we (my husband Glenn and I) made a decision to talk about it. Because when we were on the infertility “journey” no one was talking. We were heartbroken. Frustrated. For the first time in each of our lives there was something unattainable no matter how hard we worked to get it.

We couldn’t achieve one of the most basic human life stages – we couldn’t conceive a child.

Quick flash back. I had never really “really” thought “what if I can’t get pregnant?”. I had (full disclosure) a couple of panicky days in my twenties when my period was late and I thought “what if what if what if” and spent a day or two alternating between freaking out about the possibility of being pregnant and wondering what this wonder child would look like. Of course I was never pregnant, but it never occurred to me there was a problem, just that “it wasn’t meant to be” or “I got lucky”. Little did I know that twenty years later, when I really, REALLY, wanted to get pregnant… I wouldn’t be able to. Continue Reading

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