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Baby Matters

I Want to Be a Tree

January 3rd, 2017

By Trent Wilkie

“New Beginnings”, there are many topics that I could cover.

My initial idea was a rant/march/protest against the state of humanity. Let’s just say, I feel we are being pulled between regressive and progressive. Knowing it was a bit too ‘ranty’ I asked my wife and she gave me these: returning to work; my wife’s mat leave (she took only 3 months with our son and is now taking 8 with our daughter); relearning how to take care of a newborn, having a toddler that pre-newborn demanded autonomy, yet is now de-evolving to reclaim babydom (or trying); our full moon block party meetups; or trying new parenting strategies. Although great ideas, I wanted, selfishly, to tackle what is burning in my stomach.

Things are very real to me right now. One baby/spawn/offspring/crayon cruncher is fun, but two kids is a diaper line that I have trouble traversing.

Let’s put it this way, I spend a lot of time looking at my hands. I sometimes don’t recognize them as my own. They are different. What they used to do, they don’t much anymore. Then I think about my father’s hands. Did he look at his the same way? I should ask him while I can.

This reflection is a side effect of entering the second half of my life. As a father of two, and husband. I’m no longer looking towards the future, the future is now.

At 41 I still have many youthful follies: I am often filled with self-doubt, crippled by insecurities/mistrust of the world, and find farts uproariously hilarious. I try to hide these from my family, but my wife sees it all. She knows. She knows. She is the fart whisperer (ask our 3-week-old daughter).

Every parent wants to protect their children from all the total abhorrent crap out there. But, I know that you have to fall out of a tree to understand why you have to be a more tactical climber.

I would like to offer my children advice on climb preparation. A factual insight in the identification of limb density as to which ones will best hold body weight. An addendum on which trees are worth the climb and which trees offer the best payoff.

Also, trees are beautiful, aren’t they? The strength of them. Their grace with age. How they can be so many things, yet be taken for granted. I want to be a tree for my family. I want to offer them as much as I can. I don’t want them to fall from me, but I want to help them learn. I want to be a be reliable.

Not so much a new beginning, but a new perspective on an old one.

Trent Wilkie is a writer/journalist/performer in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Trent has written for everything from CBC Radio (The Irrelevant Show) to The Canadian Emergency News to Fangoria and is currently a staff writer for VUE Weekly. Trent is also a member of Mostly Water Theatre, a sketch comedy troupe and has performed in a bevy of Edmonton International Fringe Festivals to varying degrees of success. As well, Trent has also been a wilderness canoe guide for over 10 years. Having paddled all over Canada, he considers the deep dark woods a therapy that only comes at the cost of comfort. When taking time off from trying not to be boring, Trent likes to relax while watching horror movies and trying to write the perfect three chord song.


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