- As much as we love Nova Scotia, it felt great to drive across the border to see my parents. The month-long heat wave we had all been enjoying, along with near constant sunshine, came to its eventual end and we encountered some rain and cooler temperatures. But after six months of separation, the weather didn’t much matter to me. The kids helped Grampie split wood and collect water from the spring; they feasted on all the foods that “Grammie makes best” – Mac N’ Cheese, meatballs, a turkey dinner with all the fixings, chocolate chip cookies. I drank cup after cup of coffee. The kids attended a day camp (literally next door!). And John and I took work calls with views like this as our backdrop. It never gets old.
- I made an effort to unplug. Aside from pictures – because, hello, lake – I mostly stayed off my phone. I set that OOO of message and tried to stick with it, only checking emails once a day or so. I tramped through the woods with the kids, roasted marshmallows, caught up with old friends; I cut down trees with my Dad, and chopped vegetables in the kitchen with my Mom. I slept 8 hours a night and never felt any pressure to clean up. We boated and we fished and we bonfired. It felt good.
- John and I got away on a day trip – we drove through Fundy National Park, visited Cape Enrgage (finding fossils on the beach was a highlight of the day), and ended up in Alma at lunchtime. We enjoyed delicious fish & chips and a lobster roll at a picnic table by the ocean, literally sitting in the shadow of a fishing boat. While I’ve only visited this little seaside town a handful of times, it holds a special place in my heart. John proposed on a beach in Alma and, as we were driving away, I realized it marked 13 years to the day since we got engaged in that very town. A very happy coincidence.
Love of the Week: Daycamp
The kiddos were able to attend a local day camp for the week and it was balm to my weary Mama-soul. It has been almost 18 months since I’ve been away from the kiddos overnight and 2020/2021 has been…intense. I can feel the built-up pressure, recognize the signs of burnout. I know this is a busy season of life: juggling careers, active kids, the early stages of homeownership. Though it’s normal and expected and manageable, parenting is hard and finding white space feels great.
The day program ran from 10 AM – 6:30 PM and having them return home fed was a gamechanger. That period from mid-afternoon to bedtime can feel brutally exhausting. I’m not deluding myself that one week will cure what ails me, but it was so nice to miss the kids. The school day never feels long enough; my list is never checked off to the point I feel like I have enough buffer to both enjoy the kids and take care of their practical needs (lunchboxes, showers, bedtime routines, homework, supper). Not to mention easing into a second shift after bedtime where I might tackle emails or even schedule work calls.
At the end of the day it was pure joy to see them come bounding toward me, evidence of tuck shop plastered all over their sweaty faces. They had so much fun! There was no pressure for me to provide entertainment. Just a week of that ol’-fashioned camp magic – for both kids and Mama.
And coming home to round out each evening with a bonfire was just icing on the cake. Or marshmallows on the chocolate…