Ta-daaa – 180 Days of Magic

Sleights of moment, waving the family wand


Ta-daaa – so exclaims my 2 ½ year old son Noah-David when he is engaged in something wonderful – a sleight of moment. Relatively speaking it seems to happen quite often. 180 days – well that’s pretty much the amount of time I have off on parental leave. Magic – that’s what this gift is and presto! we’ll be making the best of it. This blog will echo the waving of wands, documenting months full of wonder for a 50 year-old dad on his first ever parental leave thanks to the support of his wife Mélanie and the birth of his six-month-old daughter, Nellie-Rose.

I hope that 180 Days of Magic will encourage other fathers to take extended parental leave if it is an option available to them. Years from now, I like to think that our little ones will look back on these scribblings and appreciate the choice that Mélanie and I made to spend this invaluable time with our sproglets. This blog is also posted at canadianparents.com.

I also have 2 gifted, intelligent and beautiful older daughters. The youngest is graduating from high school and ready to embark on a gap year that will involve work and travel. The eldest is a veterinary assistant, a lover of raves and a sometimes actor. They are both jewels in my eyes.

Over the past year or so I’ve started to dabble in this social media, Web 2.0 world and am intrigued by the continually expanding potential it has to fashion new non-commercial communities across cultures, countries and creeds. This is my first sustained foray into blogging. I have a couple of others that are suffering from neglect – Random Passages and the more recent Worlds of Wonder. If you’re a non-expert like me in this wild new frontier, take a peak at What is Social Media.

I’m a first generation Canadian by way of Scotland who spent my early years in Toronto. I now live in Nova Scotia on Canada’s east coast after stints in Europe, the Caribbean and Ottawa. I’m a communications professional and fell into it by happenstance. Nearly 30 years ago I naively strolled into the offices of a Toronto community newspaper to volunteer the services of a good friend. I walked out with an assignment to cover city hall debates on public housing. Since then, I’ve been practicing and trying to perfect the craft of telling stories.

Along the way I’ve been a small part of some great regional and national stories – the Atlantic Film Festival, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canada Council for the Arts, the International Centre for Ocean Development.

I’ve also had the chance to help other people tell their stories here at home and around the world. One of my greatest thrills as a freelancer with CBC was signing off with the words – “For Radio Canada International, I’m Alex Smith in Halifax, Nova Scotia” – and wondering how our local stories resonated on the international stage.

Whenever I drive by the big Radio Canada International towers in Sackville, New Brunswick I dream of those days I made words skip across oceans and continents. I hope the words in 180 Days of Magic will find a skip beat of their own.

Once a dad, always a dad that’s what my papa taught me. I’m interested in hearing from other dads about their trials, tribulations and magical moments.

There seems to be some ongoing photo caption difficulties. Above and to the right is la belle Mélanie and myself practicing freestyle dreamcatching on the Isle of Scalpay in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. To the left are the youngest sproglets with papa at the Point Loma Hostel International in San Diego HQ for our Ca-li-for-nia adventure.


One Response to “About”

  1. Lucy Collins said

    I don’t know if you know me, but I know Alexa as another girl I used to see in the summertime. We used to play together… My family is friends with the Cudes (wilf & mary pat). We live in Cape Breton.

    I ran into the Cudes the other day and I asked about Alexa. They told me that she got into nscad and was wwoofing in the uk. I was surprised to hear she’s taking Fine Arts. I’m doing the same thing at Mt. Allison.

    I couldn’t find her on facebook so I resorted to google and your blog popped up. I was wondering how I could get in touch with her… Ask if she remembers Lucy.
    Hopefully she hasn’t forgotten me. haha
    thank you so much!

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