Well. That was a week.
After this post goes up, I have a full day of quarterly meetings + quarterly and annual reports are also due…but then comes the weekend and I. Am. Ready.
I tend to start these Casual Friday posts with the “biggest” news of the week; last week, the fact I washed my sheets got top billing. But where to start this time? Being late to a funeral? Plumbing issues? Or…wait for it…The Knitter came over for supper and sat in my living room and…KNITTED. The Knitter. In my home. Knitting. (She is absolutely lovely, by the way. And a fabulously creative/talented knitter.)
Some highlights/lowlights from the week…
Each Christmas we organize a scavenger hunt for the kids; most recently it led them to a personalized coupon book. Levi used most of his “coupons” immediately, but Abby has been much slower to claim hers. Friday she asked to cash in a “Get Out of School for Lunch” coupon. It wasn’t anything elaborate – she asked for Subway and was back to school just as the lunch recess bell was ringing. But it was special to carve out that time together (without Levi) in the middle of an ordinary school day.
I’ve already filled you in on Chopped, but Saturday was eventful in other ways, too.
The mother and stepfather of a close friend recently passed away and the visitation was scheduled for Saturday morning. The event was being hosted almost 2 hours away and was to start at 10 am. While we’re very close to our friend (and the rest of his immediate family), we had not met his parents and I thought it wouldn’t be appropriate to arrive first thing. So when we were planning our departure time I suggested we arrive at 10:30; when we pulled up to the church at 10:35 (after getting stuck behind a very slow-moving vehicle), we opened the door to discover it was a joint visitation and memorial service. And we were 35 minutes late to the memorial service. Everyone was so kind about my error and their response made me appreciate the loving nature of these friends even more.
Home in time to prep for Chopped.
And then the kitchen sink started backing up. This has been happening since Christmas (perhaps related to the water fiasco during renovations – readers might recall the day I discovered water had leaked all over my WRAPPED Christmas gifts in our guest closet). We’ve taken the pipes apart (no blockage), we’ve used Draino, baking soda and vinegar, hot water. You name it, we’ve tried it.
But this time the sink wasn’t draining at all. In fact, BOTH sinks were full of water; I decided I should use the release valve. John warned me not to – he told me the bucket I had under the drain pipe wouldn’t be big enough to hold all the water. I believe he said, and I quote: “I don’t think that would be a good idea.“
Did I listen?
Hint: I spent the next 15 minutes mopping water up from the floor and cabinet on my hands and knees.
So, no I did not listen. And 10 gold stars to my husband for not once saying “I told you so.“
This was all happening right before guests arrived for an enormous cooking event. Every pot and frying pan was dirty, the counters were covered in stuff, and I had things baking in the oven. And NO WORKING SINK. And WATER ALL OVER THE FLOOR.
(Yes, I was overwhelmed.)
I did dishes all evening in a little basin, making trips to the laundry sink over and over again or dumping the water in the backyard.
When the final course was served and the kids were occupied, the adults sat down to talk and I turned on the dishwasher. Though we’ve had recurrent issues with sink drainage, it has never impacted the dishwasher.
An hour later I walked out to the kitchen to find BOTH sinks were full to the top (another 1/2 inch and our floors would have been covered with water). Apparently this time the dishwasher was impacted…
So I bailed water out of the sinks (it was also now leaking into the cupboard below; on the bright side, that cabinet has never been cleaner) and called it a night.
Saturday was quite an adventure.
SUNDAY | Mother’s Day.
I got in a picture with the kids (relatively rare!) and we went to church. Abby (unbeknownst to me) had volunteered to hand out flowers; it was such a nice surprise to see my girl waiting to give me a flower.
Abby also bought me Twizzlers (my binge candy which I only get a few times a year) and The Best Card Ever. Seriously. It has hamsters with placards spelling Mom and it lights up and sings. (And the back of the card says: #BestCardEver which makes it official.)
En route home, I discovered that I had misplaced my debit card and spent lunchtime (delicious Chopped leftovers) calling the bank to cancel my card. Sigh.
Ready for a dose of honesty/vulnerability? I’m especially conscious of my shortcomings as a mother on Mother’s Day. Highlighting my role – and the importance of it – just makes me aware of all the ways I’m screwing up. (My family is absolutely wonderful and go out of their way to make me feel special on Mother’s Day which, admittedly, also makes me feel guilty).
Do my kids have extraordinary lives? Yes. Do I put tremendous effort into loving them and being intentional in how I raise them? Yes. Does it feel like an overwhelming responsibility and that there is no way to do it all right but I want to do it all right? Yes. Do I (ironically, perhaps) feel unequipped and like a complete imposter in my role as a mother on this day devoted to mothering? Yes.
I was wallowing in these feelings when I snuck away to my favourite coffee shop. I started reading Bittersweet by Susan Cain and it could not have been more fitting. I realize I feel a deep sense of longing on Mother’s Day. A desperate (bittersweet) longing to do what is best for my kids, knowing how hard it is to balance their needs and wants and my desire to raise independent, empathetic children while caring for my own needs.
A deep longing for them to stay small enough so I can tuck them in and kiss tiny cheeks while longing for them to be more independent and just let me read my book in peace. A longing for them to make wise choices; a longing to protect them from the hardships of growing up. It’s a deep soul ache to see my kids thrive and motherhood feels heavy and light, euphoric and boring, contrived and natural. Basically, motherhood is a non-stop emotional rollercoaster (for me). And then I put pressure on myself to feel rapturous on Mother’s Day. By the time I reached the end of my tea, I decided: I don’t have to feel warm fuzzies on Mother’s Day. I get them dozens of other times throughout the year and it’s okay for this day to feel, well, bittersweet.
Meanwhile, the small humans that made me a mother were off living their best life (John took them on an epic woods 10 km+ woods hike).
MONDAY – WEDNESDAY |
- A 5 km run (felt great). A 6 km run (felt even better). I think I hate running every spring when I start to ramp back up but, in reality, I mostly just hate the first 2 km.
- A doctor’s appointment for a Pap Smear (PSA: please, please get pap smears and mammograms; I know women whose lives have been saved by regular screening. Make scheduling these appointments – if you’re due/overdue – a gold star this week).
- I also hadn’t had a tetanus booster since…Grade 10? So the doctor gave me a tetanus shot while I was there (adults need boosters every 10 years).
- I got a cancellation appointment at the dentist. No cavities!
- As mentioned, The Knitter (and The Knitter’s Husband; their kids were busy at extracurriculars) came for supper.
- 10 minutes in the bank sorted out the problem with my missing debit card.
- We read a great picture book:
John and I hiked Cape Split. It’s a favourite local trail (I blogged about it before), but we haven’t been in several years (pre-pandemic) and they have added on a whole new loop. Ahead of my busy work day Friday, I took most of Thursday off for adventuring. The views are always lovely. We spotted snails, a rabbit, and hundreds (!) of trillium flowers (also known as wood lilies). And at the end of the trail, a red squirrel became very curious about our snack!
I fit in a few hours of work after the hike, and then we headed off with the kids for some more adventuring.
For 35 years I’ve driven by an abandoned textile factory; it’s a bit of a local icon, and one portion of the factory was recently demolished. We finally got up close (well, as close as the safety barriers would allow).
I turned around and saw Levi blowing dandelion seeds – I remember loving to do this as a kid!
We also explored some abandoned train cars on an old railway track. There is something hauntingly beautiful and sad about seeing nature take over man-made objects left to rust in the wild.
As I watched the kids run wild I couldn’t help but think…while they fight a lot (I remember posting about this before and several people chimed in that their kids rarely/don’t fight…this is NOT our reality), they really are great little adventurers! They love to explore and have eagle eyes for spotting interesting things when we’re out and about. Levi, for instance, was convinced he saw a “baby lion by the side of the road” on our drive home. We were unable to confirm this sighting, but I’m expecting it’s highly unlikely in rural Canada?
Home for mini pizzas. We have these a few times a month and they are so good. Mini Naan bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni, fresh basil, and pre-shredded cheese (broiled on low for about 5 minutes). So good. So easy (and the leftovers reheat well). Can’t recommend this meal enough.
And that’s a wrap from me. Happy weekending folks.