Waiting for Nora

Mom works on the toy

These and more of our pictures of Vivian this Easter can be seen at our Flickr page.

Happy Easter to all my friends, Christians and non-Christians alike. We said goodbye to my visiting mother-in-law and her husband. Vivian was devastated to see them go — she’s at that awkward age where she knows they’re going, but doesn’t know where or why — but she recovered after about an hour. She’s currently sleeping upstairs, after playing on the floor and being a delight.

It’s now about a month and five days before Erin’s due date. I’m sort of hoping that our second child will be born on May 2nd, although we may feel differently when we reach the “get this thing out of me!” stage of the pregnancy. May 2nd would be cool, because then Nora would be born on the day Vivian turns two-and-a-half.

This time last pregnancy, we were a lot more nervous than we are now, and heavily focused on what the childbirth would be like. It’s interesting, because now we’re not really so focused on the actual birth, but looking with a bit of dread at the six weeks or months or so when night feedings disrupt our sleep cycles and turn us into coffee-ravening zombies. With a two-year-old in tow.

That’s just the way it goes, I suppose. We’re worried about the things we haven’t experienced yet, which we don’t yet know how to handle. We handled the childbirth okay, even though Erin eventually had to have a C-section. We don’t know how Vivian and Nora will get along.

But if we were first time parents again, the advice we’d probably give ourselves is not to focus so much on the birth. Erin goes into labour and, after a couple of days, it’s over. Raising the baby is a lifetime thing.

But I suspect that we, as first time parents, would just ignore that advice.

Waiting for a Boycott

As we hear about China’s increasing response to the protests in Tibet, including a possible preventative crackdown on other ethnic minorities, I’m firming in my belief that Canada needs to boycott the 2008 Olympic Games.

Maybe it’s too early to actually announce a boycott. Maybe it’s sufficient to boycott the opening ceremonies, but at this time the world is supposed to be watching. And while the world watches, China is behaving deplorably. Engagement doesn’t seem to have worked in taming what is the world’s largest dictatorship, so it’s time to express our disapproval as best we can.

And, you know, there is more that other nations can do. Like get Walmart to close up shop in that country. Perhaps our actions could encourage other actions, which will increase the pressure to the level it deserves to be at.

Some have mentioned that the Chinese could mount a retaliatory boycott of the 2010 Vancouver games, but I would point out that it’s not like China has its own Soviet bloc, to do to the 1984 games what Moscow did in retaliation for the 1980 games — not that this should be our first consideration in any event. And while it would be a considerable disappointment for the athletes who have spent so much time and energy preparing for their moments this summer, some things are more important. And, besides, I would be happy to watch a set of replacement games, possibly held in Canada, hastily organized though they may be, for those countries which choose to sit out the 2008 Games. Call them the Freedom Games, or the Humanitarian Games. It gives the athletes the spotlight they deserve in a new symbol of our desire for humanity to be something better than it is.

That’s my take, anyway. And it should be very interesting to see if this site is allowed through the Great Firewall of China after today.

Hat Tip to Scott Tribe.

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