a peek inside the fishbowl

19 May, 2011

Parent as dreamcatcher, matchmaker

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|parenting

Sometimes I ask myself: what’s my job, as a parent? The way I see it, part of my job is to make sure my kids are safe, that they have good memories, that they are healthy, and that they are prepared for what lies ahead of them along the path of Life. Part of my job, I think, and this is rather abstract, is to help make my children’s dreams come true and to help provide the match that lights a fire within them.

As parents we don’t know what that match will be and when it will strike. It could be a newspaper article about a tsunami in a faraway county that leads to a career helping others. It could be a trip to the ER that kickstarts a lifetime of saving lives on the operating table. It could be a trip to the planetarium that launches a young Carl Sagan on a journey among the stars … whether it’s literally or figuratively.

Sarah's rocket - (small)

Who knows.

I can only speak for my own match. I remember my heart turning over upon itself the first time I saw my name in print. It was perched quietly on top of a grey column of words, words that I had chosen so carefully. That feeling of my heart turning over never left me. That was my match.

I’ve had the opportunity to provide my daughter with a match too.

Some of you already know about 4Cats Arts Studio. They’re a blog patron. I’ve written about 4Cats a few times before. The girls have taken workshops there and Sarah had a birthday party there too. A few weeks ago the owner, Emaly, sent out an email to a group of us, wondering whether we wanted to lend a finished canvas or two to a special art show taking place at Chinatown Remixed. Our answer had to be yes.

Ever since she was small, Sarah’s had a thing for art. She’s come up with the most incredibly imaginitive designs, doodles, projects. And they just keep coming. It’s clear that art occupies a vast space inside her, so much so that I know that some day this is what she’s going to do for real.

To see your art hanging in a public space for everyone to see, well, that’s just amazing. Perhaps it will be a match.

And the desciption of the event (which is tonight!) makes it sound all the more official: A vernissage with young 4Cats artists of Ottawa whom are displaying their prized work for the Chinatown Remixed Art Festival May 15 – June 15th. Showcasing masterpieces created by the talented artists from 4Cats Arts Studio Hintonburg.

It’s at Shanghai Restaurant. Look for the blue-petalled flower if you happen to be there.

I am so glad we are able to do this for our dear Sarah. I can’t wait to see where she takes it.

11 Responses to "Parent as dreamcatcher, matchmaker"

1 | Sara

May 19th, 2011 at 9:46 am


I’m kind of misty-eyed. It must be the rain. I hope she has a wonderful night!

2 | Valerie

May 19th, 2011 at 10:05 am


simply excellent!

3 | Valerie

May 19th, 2011 at 10:05 am


and LMAO that one word is too short to post as a comment!

4 | andrea

May 19th, 2011 at 10:09 am


Thank you Sara! And Valerie!
re: the one-word comment. I have never been able to figure out where to change that! Sorry about forcing you to use two words instead of one. :) :)

5 | Alina M.

May 19th, 2011 at 11:05 am


I wish her a fun evening! And good luck!

6 | LO

May 19th, 2011 at 12:18 pm


Great post and VERY cool about your daughter. Hmmm are we twins on this post. I wrote something very similar at http://www.sandiandlola.com
this week!

7 | Chantal

May 19th, 2011 at 12:21 pm


that is so sweet. My niece had a similar ‘match’ moment earlier this year. A teacher recognized that her artistic talent did not fit into the traditional talent show mold and suggested that she create a display of her art for parents to view on their way into the talent show. She was so excited and proud. It was a wonderful experience for her.

8 | Capital Mom

May 19th, 2011 at 1:17 pm


Awesome! I imagine she will be thrilled to see her art hanging on the wall.

9 | Lynn

May 19th, 2011 at 8:45 pm


Good for Sarah – I think she is really talented. You both deserve to be proud!

10 | Sasha

May 21st, 2011 at 10:06 am


That’s so exciting! Congratulations to Sarah, and her proud mom :)

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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