Enjoying Each Stage

I hope that you all had an awesome Mother’s Day weekend!  The weather here in the Vancouver area has been ah-mazing!  We are talking July-like temps!  Saturday we had Jason’s parents over for brunch to celebrate.  On Sunday, we went to church and then we went to Vancouver to Chambar for brunch (brunch is my fave) and then walked to Nemesis for coffee.  I felt totally spoiled.  The only thing missing was Mac, but he’s coming home from Vancouver Island for mid-term break this week!  Last night, I had my side of the family over for dessert.  So it’s been an awesome 3-day Mother’s Day celebration.  Jason’s mom and I were chatting on Saturday and she brought up something so good that I just had to share it with you!

So, I think I’ve talked a lot on the blog about this being a different stage of life for me.  I never would have guessed in a million years that my son would be living on the island (he’s there at a prep school playing hockey).  The girls are in and out of the house depending on where their work is (they are in the film and TV industry), and when they are home, they both have their driver’s licenses, so they are very independent.  In fact, Dylan, our middle daughter, drove to Vancouver solo for the first time yesterday!  So, Jason and I feel like empty nesters at times.  I knew this time would come, but it’s come A LOT sooner than I would have ever thought.

Jason’s mom had run into an old friend a while ago who said to her that she was seeing her family a lot less now as they were growing up.  But she said this….you can’t mourn the past stage of life or you will miss what this present stage of life has to offer!  Ok, please read that again!  This doesn’t just refer to when you become an empty nester.  This applies when your baby goes to kindergarten.  Or when you first child gets married.  Or when you have to go back to work after your mat leave.  And to take this a step further, can I add…don’t worry about the next stage either.  Enjoy where you and your kids are at NOW!

I remember when the kids were little and the days sometimes seemed so long when they depended on my for all of their physical needs…it was a tiring time and so much of it is actually a blur.  And then the kids started to grow up and needed me physically less and less…I remember when Berkeley first started making her own breakfast.  It was a win, but then you start to miss the kids climbing up onto your lap and asking you to make them a snack.  Now I’m thrilled when Mac asks me to cook him things that he misses having at school.  The point is to embrace each stage of life as a parent because each stage brings its own joys that you don’t want to miss!

I started to think about the positives of this new time for me.  I get to travel to see my kids and we’ve gone to some pretty awesome places.  This summer will take us to Phoenix, Princeton and New York…I’m definitely not complaining!

I get to do adult-type stuff with Berkeley and Dylan.  Doing this photoshoot with Muse with the girls was so much fun!  And I think it upped my cool mom factor with the girls!  The girls and I enjoy shopping and working out together.  We take a Pilates reformer class together weekly.  They can do WAY more than I can, but I do my best to keep up with them.  And we have a lot of laughs along the way…usually the girls laughing at my lack of technique or inability to put the equipment together the right way.  Dylan and I enjoy going for walks to get our steps in and Berks give me the best makeup tips.  I also like to give the girls breaks when they have to make multiple trip into the city in a week, so I will offer to drive them usually one day a week.  While they are dancing or working, I enjoy exploring the city and checking out all the new coffee spots.

Even though Mac is living away from home, I feel like we have developed a very close relationship.  We have awesome talks on the phone (when he remembers to call, lol).  I got to spend several days with him upcounty when he was at hockey playoffs.  It was awesome mother-son bonding time.  I enjoy baking him his favorite chocolate chips cookies and sending them over to the island.  And I sure love the times that he’s home.  I’ve noticed how much Berkeley and Dylan appreciate him and his sense of humour when he’s here.  So even though we all miss him, it’s a joy to see him growing and flourishing where he is.

Jason and I also have a lot more time together.  After years of driving around like chickens with our heads cut off to get the kids where they all needed to be, we now have time.  We are figuring out a new rhythm and one thing we enjoy doing is trying new restaurants in the city.  So again, we will sometimes give the girls a break from driving and book a reso while they are in the city.  Jason and I are also getting involved in Village Church where we’ve been attending for the last almost 2 years.  It’s definitely time to give back.

So, here’s to enjoying where I am at!  How about you?  What are the things you are enjoying about this stage of life?


Photos at the tulip field by Kat from ART + THE AERIALIST

Photos of my girls and me by Christine Pienaar Photography