My family and I often go on hikes. We love exploring the different mountain trails that living in vancouver offers. When my husband and I were first married we lived in Windsor, Ontario. If you have ever been, you will know that there are no mountains to be seen or oceans to explore. When we moved back to British Columbia after living in Ontario for 3 years, we learned to never take our beautiful province for granted.
During the beginning of our hikes we often find ourselves walking in a dense cloud. The fog sometimes prevents us from seeing more than a few feet infront of ourselves. When I hike I often don’t look more than a few steps in front of me as I focus on my footing each step at a time. I am normally found carrying my daughter on my back as she asks thousands of questions about the trees and leaves or tells me pretend stories about what the different rocks look like. My husband is normally holding our sons hand helping him and encouraging him along the way as he learns to become an independent hiker.
Our hikes start in the Fog, But with each step we take the fog gets thinner and thinner and eventually we find ourselves at our destination. As we approach the top, the fog finally lifts and each time our eyes catch a glimpse of the reward our legs worked so hard to get us, it is always followed by a synchronized “Wow” from all four of us. What a beautiful Province we live in. No matter what hike we have done the view is always worth it. Sometimes the view is of other mountains. Sometimes it is of the City far below. Sometimes it is of the ocean. Sometimes it includes all of the above. No matter the view we stand up high and feel very small. We get a better picture of where we live and how blessed we are. Our son loves it when we point out where our house is, where the aquarium is, where his school is and where the ocean is. We all seem to find peace in knowing where we are and where we belong.
I am finding myself at a new stage of motherhood these days. I am watching moms around me entering motherhood for the second or third time and trying to find that balance between toddlers and newborns. Trying to manage nap times and snacks. Juggling diaper bags and strollers. I used to be the one joining them. I used to be the one so busy and my hands so completely full that all I could offer my fellow juggling mamas was a few words of encouragement and a friendly smile. Now I am finding myself helping them to the car. I have the opportunity to be able to grab a carseat and a toddlers hand to help them cross the street. I only use our stroller for early morning jogging sessions with my drill sergeant husband and we have emptied my diaper bag and now carry a purse! I know! Like a real Lady.
The Fog of early motherhood is lifting. Not being able to see but a few minutes into my day is something of the past.Living nap time to meal time to nap time to meal time to bedtime is no longer my only agenda. I have been hiking along for the past 4 years surviving step by step and losing myself in the fog only to now find myself reaching the summit and enjoying the view. My children are far from being grown up and I have many years left of doing this mothering thing. But I am no longer in that diaper-drool-spit up-stage of life. My youngest uses full sentences to ask me for help and plays quietly alone for hours. My oldest goes to school and prefers to play alone when he gets home. Yes they both still nap, but they can go without it. They can go hours and even days without needing me. It’s a weird new stage of life. I am really loving it. I feel I have earned it.
I know our family is not finished growing. We are in the middle of a fun and long adventure to adding some new beautiful children to our family. So for now, I am going to sit with my coffee uninterrupted while my children play. I even wrote this whole post while they played in the playroom. This sounds like I performed magic, but I am telling you this happened unassisted by me. My children are growing up. As much as I miss their squishy little baby faces and their cute little 14 pound cuddles. I am happy to be in this new stage.
The other night I was asked to be a substitute for my friends basketball team and I quickly set up a sitter so I could make it. I got to play a sport with a real team and referees, which I haven’t done since I graduated from High school. I am not going to tell you how long it’s been but let’s just say “Black eyed Peas” were still cool. (are they cool still? I only know Raffi songs these days.) My point is, I had a lot of fun. Fun being an adult playing with other women who knew nothing about me. They didn’t know if I was married or if I had children or that I only take showers 2 times a week. They only cared that I could run and pass a ball and hopefully not give it away to the other team. I had the time of my life. As I drove home and thought about what a great time I had, I slowly came back to reality and I started to plan my husband’s lunch for the next day and try and remember if my sons uniform made it to the dryer.
The good news is, my family still needs me and I still need my family. The better news is that I am finding a little bit of myself again. I didn’t feel a moment of guilt for leaving my children to go play basketball. There was nothing that I could have done for them that their babysitter (my own mom) couldn’t have done.
The view from my resting spot is beautiful. The hike was hard and long but the fog lifted and this view is awesome! As we plan our next hike and adventure I am looking forward to the journey but most of all I am looking forward to the view at the end of the next stage of life.