My Growing Family

Like all parents, I worry about my kids. Are they getting enough sleep? Are they eating properly? Are they interacting well with their peers?

My maternal worries especially surface when the family undergoes a major milestone like what we just experienced: the addition of a new baby. And so….

Mother-daughter picture: Karen and Ria

Mother-daughter picture: Karen and new family member, Ria of VOLLEYBALL VIBE.

…welcome to the world, dear Ria! I hope you will be happy in your new family with your glorious siblings!

Since it feels like time to update the family portrait, I called the entire group to gather around the piano for a photo shoot.

Of course, it’s hard to get everyone looking at the camera and — kids being kids — someone is always glowering, or yawning and complaining it’s too early, or telling me to hurry up because they’re hungry. But eventually, I snapped this group pic:

Is it just me, or are these the cutest kids ever?

Is it just my maternal bias, or are they the cutest kids ever?

As for the newcomer, Ria seems to be adjusting well to her new family. In typical form, she spent the first few days hiding behind her cell phone and not talking to anyone.

Ria, Simone and Brett


I finally insisted Ria put her phone away, at which time she did a dramatic sigh and grabbed a volleyball. She then invited Simone and Brett to join her in the park to practise.



Jonas soon followed them to the park. I think he was most interested in showing off on the track. He came back shortly after and reported that Ria, Simone and Brett told him to “get over himself.” Jonas is now sulking upstairs in his room. We will all chat about this later.

Vienna (SAVING GRAD) and Zaine (PUSH BACK).

Vienna (SAVING GRAD) and Zaine (PUSH BACK).

The older teens, Vienna and Zaine, are my most serious kids. They recently became serious coffee drinkers as well, and are discussing life over massive, steaming mugs.

(They generally clam up when I walk into the kitchen so I’m eavesdropping from the living room.)

Winston Turkington, aka "Turk" of DOG WALKER

Winston Turkington, aka “Turk” of DOG WALKER

Turk has now joined Vienna and Zaine in the kitchen. I know I can count on Turk to lighten things up. I also know the kitchen will be a disaster if I don’t get in there soon — because Turk never puts stuff away and he still hasn’t figured out how to use a dish cloth to wipe the counter or the stove.

That said, all seven of them are great kids who make me proud. And thankfully, Ria is already finding her place in our little family, where she is warmly welcomed and dearly loved by all of us.


Many thanks to my publishers, James Lorimer & Co. Ltd. and Orca Books, for helping my darling family continue to grow. I invite everyone to (safely) explore their local bookstore or library if you’d like to get better acquainted with any/ALL of these sweet kiddos. And please tell them, from me, to mind their manners, to stick together, and to get home before dark. Because their mom tends to worry.

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