family, life

Mom fail

I’ve literally been counting the minutes.

As much as I love the texts telling me how well things are going, and the fact that the bathroom stays MUCH cleaner, I have really, really missed my boy since I left him in Ontario for university.

So that wonderful creation called reading break has arrived, and all day I’ve been giggling and wheee-ing (not weeing!πŸ˜‰) to myself that I get to see him tonight.

His room is clean. I’ve bought his favourite groceries and left some treats on his bed. My husband and I have discussed how we’ll split the driving to pick the girls up from rehearsal at 7:30, and our son from the airport at 11:16pm. As usual, he’s going to do both because that’s the wonderful kind of guy he is.

So, all I had to do was wait in anticipation.

Around 5pm, I get all excited that he must be on the plane and on his way.

At 5:15pm, I get a text: “Where are you guys?”

😳🀯😱🀬πŸ€ͺ

Um, yeah. Nice welcome home. Poor kid had to cool his heels for 45 minutes until we got to the airport.

Note to self: Double check arrival/departure times ON THE DAY. This is not the first time something like this has happened. #brainfog

Good thing we all have a good sense of humour.

Now it’s time to enjoy having the clan back together. This is one happy Mama!!!

❀️ Amanda

life

Endings and beginnings

He’s off. Settled. Installed at university – across the country.

I’m always a proud Mama, and never more so than when our son was accepted into one of the top universities in Canada. The fact that it’s four provinces (4029km/2504miles) away, is something my husband and I have been digesting, with a smile on our faces, for months.

I’ve just returned from a four day trip to get him organized and set up in residence. It was one of the most wonderful, but more emotionally challenging experiences I’ve had in motherhood.

He’s doing exactly what he should be doing, moving into the next phase of his life with the skills, values and independence we’ve worked to instill in all our children.

But hugging him goodbye and having to leave him there, no matter that I know he’ll do great and be just fine, was almost as hard as when I had to leave him in the OR for surgery on his broken leg when he was six.

I sucked it up (mostly – poor Uber dude) until I hit my hotel room. It was only in writing out all the fantastic details of the day to email his dad, that I got a handle on the Snuffluffagus tears. Writing is therapy.

I flew out so early the next morning, I was hardly conscious. I was one of the last to board the plane, psyched to have an aisle seat near the front. The middle seat was empty and I thought I had it made, despite the huge manspreader in the window seat. (wtf is up with that???)

Then a young mother boarded with her 9 month old baby boy, and smiled at me apologetically. I jumped up to let them in, remembering well my many trips with young kids and the obvious looks of horror from fellow passengers, then realized the father was there too. I offered to move but they said he was in the middle seat at the back of the plane. Yeah – not happening.

I was happy to help her out and thrilled to hold the little monkey. He was such a happy guy, with a shock of blond hair, huge blue eyes and a ready smile.

Then a three year old boy walked up the aisle and spotted the baby. He stood and gazed at him with such fascination for ages, it was adorable.

Do you see the pattern here? Okay, Universe!!!

I didn’t let myself say the usual, ‘it goes by so fast’, ‘appreciate every moment, even the most frustrating ‘, ‘you never get this time back’.

I didn’t want to be that person.

It’s all true though, but you can’t really understand it until you live it. Like everything in life.

I lost it a bit at the airport when I saw my husband, a couple of times on the way home, but walking up to the house was really weird. He’s not just out, he’s away.

So sniffling away in my bedroom, I pulled out my phone, and there was a text from my boy.

I thought you should know, I had tomatoes for lunch.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Thank god for technology.

And perspective – he’s only away at school, he hasn’t moved out! Home for a visit in two months!

This is not the end of anything, it’s the beginning of everything.

❀️ Amanda

family, life

Tiny House Escape: Pender Island

We planned to take our tent trailer over to Pender Island for a couple of nights, until we heard the forecast. When we saw it was supposed to pour rain the whole time, the thought of driving an hour west to pick up the trailer then an hour south to get on the ferry, made camping significantly less appealing.

So two days before our trip, I looked on AirBnB and found a tiny house available for rent. Like many people, our daughters are fascinated by the tiny house movement and the minimal lifestyle so it seemed like kismet that it was the only detached accommodation available.

And boy, did we have fun!! Hiking on the nearby trails, getting caught in a cloudburst, playing cards (Cheat – such a hilarious game), watching the random movies left in the tiny (Mermaids – Cher and Winona Ryder= bizarre movie), playing tetherball and just enjoying being together away from regular life.

The bridge between South and North Pender

This sign on Mt Norman cracked me up. I didn’t see at the time that someone had scratched out Steep Trail and wrote ‘falling zombies’. It was very steep, we didn’t get to the top because we were just scoping it out on our morning walk. Next time…

We love going to the playground at the community school to play tetherball. It’s the only ball sport I’ve ever enjoyed – probably because the ball’s attached! It brings back great childhood memories at the same time as creating hilarious new ones with our youngest; we end up laughing so hard we can hardly play.

Not so into tetherball. 😴😴😴

The most incredible thing that happened was that this Prairie-born girl finally saw whales on the ferry! Despite the ferry running late, the captain was kind enough to slow down when he saw the whale watching boats congregating.

After 30 years living here, never seeing whales on the ferry (off the ferry? πŸ€ͺ), I was skeptical and didn’t spend too long looking. For whatever reason, at the last minute I decided to stand on the edge of the truck so I could see over the edge of the ferry and – oh my! Humpback whales!

So small and insignificant in my little photos, but there is something so magical about the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. When we are blessed enough to see them, even for a second, it’s an important reminder about the magic and beauty of this world, and our place in it.

So even though we were disappointed to not use the trailer (grateful after the cloudburst!!!), it ended up being a great trip in a completely different way.

Life is funny that way.

❀️ Amanda

life

Walking on the moon – Gabriola Island

Instead of camping in the very wet rainforest on the west coast of Vancouver Island, I took my second camping trip of 2019 on beautiful Gabriola Island, one of the Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The landscape was incredible, sandstone rock formations and erosions all over the beaches and a beautiful, dry forest to tent in.

I didn’t bring our new trailer because it hadn’t been safety inspected yet so I wasn’t going to drive it up-island to Nanaimo where I met my camping partner-in-crime and we caught the short ferry to Gabriola. Good news – the trailer checked out beautifully, all she needs is a new set of tires! We’ll get that done next week before our upcoming trip to Saltspring, another Gulf Island.

It really did feel like walking on the moon in some places.

Do you see the face in this photo? πŸ˜‘

Unbelievable sunsets!

Of course, a wonderful visit with one of my dearest friends was the biggest highlight. I’m not sharing details about that though – the less said the better. I’ll just say we earned our camping battle scars. πŸ€•πŸ€£ 😏

I’ve decided to stop being a sugar cookie (you should listen to this if you haven’t yet) and push myself beyond the very careful parameters I’ve been living in since my diagnosis, out of anxiety of causing a flare or exacerbating symptoms. I’ve been reluctant to make plans, to put too many things on the schedule, always feeling the monster lurking in the background, waiting to attack.

Truth is? Since I’ve been pushing myself to get my butt out of bed in the morning despite the pain and fatigue, I’ve felt better and better. Once I get going, I’m distracted from the awful ache and I get focussed on getting things done. I tell myself to get out in the garden just for half an hour every day, to do some light weeding and pruning, seeding or harvesting. Almost always I end up out there for at least a couple of hours, getting steps in, bending, stretching, reaching and using this body of mine. It may be a tad defective, but it still works! Use it or lose it, right?

I may have overdone things by going on three rides at the fair with our youngest – the monster didn’t like that and symptoms have creeped in again. Whatever. So worth it.

Like Nike says – just do it.

❀️ Amanda

life, writing

50 Word Thursdays #4 – Gringa

Maybe I needed to learn to stay more alert when traveling in a foreign country” – Lisa Bullard, Turn Left at the Cow.

Gringa

The urchin scampered up as I parked the van. Huge eyes shone out under his mop of hair. When I popped the sliding door, he broke into a smile. Irresistible. I invited him in to practise my Spanish. He left with his pockets full. I realized the next day. Oops.

50 words

Westfalia camper, pop-top, travelling, campingTrue story. But no regrets, I didn’t miss any of it. Such a cute kid! This is also the van where I had my first relapse. Click the picture to go to that post.

This story is in response to the written prompt for the 50 Word Thursday challenge hosted by Tales From the Mind of Kristian and Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith. Thanks to both of you for hosting! If you haven’t checked out their blogs, head on over for some great stories and writing challenges.

Rules:

1. Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!

2. Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments.

3. Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.

4. HAVE FUN!