Hello! My name is Danielle Chassin and I am pleased to have recently joined the Enfants Terribles team. Some of you know me as @hippieindisguise from Instagram, VSCO, and Pinterest. By day I work as a Policy Strategist for the Canadian Government. What this really means is that I write recommendations for decision makers about policies and programs that the government should invest in. That might sound very exciting or terribly boring to you, but what I would really like you to know about are my passions: family, art and adventure, which I love to share photographically through social media.
Before I talk about what I like to do with my spare time, first, let me introduce my two little loves. My first is Ro, my daughter, who is 9. Ro is a natural born artist, she loves to dance, sing, and draw. She is the definition of a social butterfly. She has a heart of gold, is fiercely loyal, and has been known to stand up to bullies more than once.
My second is Sen, my son, who is 3. Sen is very head strong, yet deeply loving with friends and family. He is full of energy all, all, all, day long. He loves to dance, pretend he's a rock star and practice his ninja tricks. If it were up to him he would never wear clothes. Even in the depths of winter here, he runs around our barely heated home in nothing but his birthday suit.
In the evenings and on the weekends, I spend all my time with my children. We bake and cook. We draw and paint. We have impromptu dance parties. But most of all we love to wander and adventure around our city. We are fortunate to live in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. Because it is the capital, Ottawa has many galleries and museums, festivals, and public art displays, but it also has lots of green space, gardens, and even a large working farm in the downtown area. We are avid pedestrians, walking virtually everywhere we travel to. While our pedestrian lifestyle started from an interest in minimizing our environmental impact, it has turned out to have cultivated a love for the path as much as for the destination. We often walk out our front door with no destination in mind, just an interest in discovering something new, whether it is an alley full of graffiti, an empty lot overgrown by wildflowers, or new features on well-worn paths. We often spend our entire day wandering from one spot to the next.
As a mother my priority is to develop deep and genuine kindness and creativity in my children. I'm not too concerned about my children learning maths and spelling, playing on the A-league sports team, or mastering some other 'hard' skill. In terms of life skills, and in terms of what I think this world needs, it is kindness and creativity. Humanity and this earth will (and already do) face many difficult political and environmental challenges; our children will need to be immensely creative to develop solutions, and I don't think it's a new idea that being kind not only to our friends and family, but to all people, will be critical to living together in an increasingly tumultuous world. But for me, kindness goes deeper than being nice to people, I talk about holistic kindness with my children. This is means being kind to animals, to all life, including plants. and of course kind toward our ecosystem and planet. I want my children to thoroughly love and be connected to the earth as though it were a member of our family. This is why we spend most of our free time out in the world, connecting and communing with the natural elements.
Thank you for stopping by and reading my first post, I hope you will come back. I look forward to sharing my love for public art, crafting with natural materials, and wandering the city, fields and waterways near my home. Peace and love, Danielle.