Several months ago I walked into a beauty salon for advice on a skin problem. Kayla

Dewdney appeared from the back of the shop. She looked at my skin and offered her advice. It worked! Today I made an appointment with her for a facial, which involved lying down during the treatment. I felt very good during the treatment.

I have known Kayla since she was in Grade 3 at Hidden Valley School. Kayla was talented in the arts and I remember her singing for the whole school in Grade 7. She was exceptionally passionate and we were in awe.

After graduating in 2009, Kayla stayed in Whitehorse and worked three jobs as a waitress, often for 14 to 17 hours a day. She doesn’t like to be bored, and by the sounds of it she never is – even now. She is proud to say she furthered her education without any student debt.

Kayla auditioned for a theatre program at Red Deer College and was one of 26 who were accepted. The program was intense. Kayla lived on campus where she shared a room with two visual arts students.

Kayla calls one of the students “the poor girl,” saying she didn’t know how she survived. “She was studying business and had to endure the antics of us, the other three, doing our stuff, practising performances and making collages, right there in the room.”

Kayla completed one year of the program, was in several productions and went to New York City for a week. She loved New York with all of the different people: the perfect business man side by side on the sidewalk with a Rasta, straight out of a Bob Marley movie.

“Yet I didn’t see a future in theatre,” Kayla said, “but I learned that I really liked the special-effects, makeup part of it. I went back to Red Deer and did a nine-month course in aesthetics. Before i was done, my current boss called me … she had a job for me as soon as I was done. I have worked here now for three-and-a-half years.”

“And then there is Aria, who is two and a half now,” Kayla said. “I love her so much! You probably know the story?”

“Well, I know you have a daughter but …  what is the story?”

“Well,” Kayla continued, “I didn’t know I was pregnant. On the day she was born, I thought I had thrown my back out bowling. At 3:15 a.m., I was in so much pain that I went to emergency. By good fortune, the nurse who was helping me happened to be a midwife. She said, ‘You’re having a baby!’ They quickly phoned for my best friend to come, who came immediately, and at 4:30 a.m. Aria was born.”

Kayla lives with her mom and stepdad, and with the help of Grandma, they all look look after Aria. Kayla works four days a week so she can spend as much time as possible with her daughter.

When Kayla was pregnant she booked a two-month backpacking trip to Ireland. It was something she had wanted and had saved for. Her parents encouraged her to go on the trip as planned; they would look after Aria. So Kayla went.

Aria was six months old at the time – two years ago. Aria is the love of Kayla’s life. She is visibly proud of her daughter who is super cute.

Motherhood is a beautiful thing … It is why I am writing these stories. It is the mother in me … proud of all of these kids. Time flies …

The hour for the facial has gone by all too fast, and I feel rejuvenated (and my skin feels so soft).