On Friday evening I had the pleasure of driving to West Van to watch my sister perform in five dances at her annual recital. Her lyrical dance brought a tear (or a few) to my eye...she just glowed onstage.
Saturday was a beautiful summerlike day. I had a lovely evening out with friends - Kidsbooks, Banana Leaf, tea and treats and lots of good conversation. Neil and the boys had some male-bonding time out for dinner and watching a movie.
Sunday was another glorious day. Neil hooked up our new bike rack and we loaded up our bikes and drove through the tunnel to Ladner to ride along the river.
That would be Neil and the boys leaving me in the dust!
For almost two years now, Adam has been wanting red shoes. We've looked at different places over the months and haven't been able to find the style he wanted or his size. On the long weekend, we make a few stops at shoe stores in search of some red shoes. After several attempts, Adam found some Vans that he was happy with for the summer.
Adam gets an idea in his head and he can't let it go. He has very specific ideas about the type of things he likes. One of the things I most respect about Adam is that it doesn't really matter to him what others think about stuff like this. He has always been like this and many of us remember his purple phase during the preschool years. Adam is very true to himself but also isn't one of those kids who likes to stand out in a crowd so the red shoes kind of surprised me, but I love them.
I was late to the texting parade. I've resisted the need to have such technology, not wanting to be drawn into the vortex. For my birthday, Neil and the boys got me an iPhone and I have to admit that I love it. And I quite love texting. It satisfies the visual person that I am in a way that emailing doesn't. I LOVE the little speech bubbles!
Texting is just another way to connect with the boys. Just a quick text can check in on them or have them confirm that they have arrived at their destination safely and I think it is a bit more discrete for them rather than needing to "call my mom".
I was at a meeting at work Tuesday afterschool when I got a text from Colin asking to bring some friends over to work on some sort of science project. I couldn't call him at that point (although I did later to make sure all was well) but did send him a text with some clear boundaries!
This morning, Colin had a grade 7 fun day at his new high school. All the grade 7s spend the day at the school doing fun activities with grade 10 student leaders and having a pizza lunch. A very nice welcoming to high school! Colin admitted he was a little nervous this morning which of course made me a little anxious. We went over what would likely be a part of the day based on the information we had and I dropped him off at the front of the school. I waited in the parking lot (I just couldn't leave quite yet) and after about 5 minutes I texted him to make sure everything was okay inside and that he was feeling comfortable. Short reply from him but it was enough to comfort me and for me to be able to move on with my day.
I have seen text exchanges posted online and today when I came home from dropping off Colin, I googled how to capture a screenshot on my iPhone.
Just one more way to communicate and stay connected with my boys!
I walked out to the garden last week to see a squirrel jump out of my vegetable bed and onto our plum tree. He froze and stared me down...was he thinking if he didn't move, I wouldn't see him? I called Colin and Neil out to see and the squirrel held his ground as we all watched him from the deck. He finally scampered away as I moved towards him. All my edamame and pea seedlings had been disturbed. I thought it had been a crow that got my seedlings last year and I already had a plan in place but now I knew that I was going to be battling both squirrels and crows!
When I was at West Coast Seeds last Saturday, I picked up some garden covering. Its not netting but the sun and water get through and it was recommended to protect my precious seedlings. After I got my tomato plants in and replanted most of my seeds just to be safe, I covered the vegetable garden and my pots with it.
And it's working!
We have strong radish sprouts (French Breakfast)
The potato plants are emerging (Russian Blue)
And the carrot seedlings have started growing (Rainbow Blend)
Looking forward to a happy harvest this year!
And then this evening I found this lovely little guy near my pots. I know they can do such damage but I quite love these little critters.
With a three-day weekend upon us, we decided we needed a little one night family getaway to disconnect from the trappings of being at home and have some time together. The boys needed some new shoes so we hit a couple of outlet centres but tried to spend most of our time outside in the sun. On Saturday morning we walked part of the Centennial Trail near Burlington. Its a trail across Washington state that covers the old BNR railway tracks. We decided it would be perfect for a bike trip...so smooth and far from traffic.
After a diner lunch in Marysville with some famous pie, we drove up to Lake Padden and had a great walk around the lake.
Sunday brought the rain and Adam headed to the north shore for a hike with classmates from his program at school. They got a little wet but had a great time and then set up camp in one of the family's backyards to sleep overnight.
As I heard the rain start pouring down around 2am, I wondered how Adam was managing. We got a quick text from him Monday morning that they were off to lazer tag so I guess he wasn't too waterlogged!
As I was driving Adam on Sunday, we came upon the Rick Hansen relay and then Neil and Colin ran out onto the street to run alongside the relay for awhile. Rick is such an inspiration!
The rain kept coming down all day today which made for good conditions for writing and for enjoying some of a Criminal Minds marathon with Neil!
The rain broke for a bit this evening and I got outside to check on the garden and Neil bbq-ed for dinner. Adam went right to bed after dinner (he'd been surviving on about three hours of sleep!) and we're all glad for a four day school week ahead!
Since 2002, I have had an office out at the Scarfe building at UBC. It was another place to house part of my book collection, a place for me to focus on some of my more cerebral undertakings and a place for many, many meetings with young adults as they embarked on their careers as teachers. I taught about 21 sections (I've lost exact count) of a math course out at UBC but have not taught it for the past two years as I have tried to focus on my dissertation. My office partner is leaving her post this year and we decided it would be best for me to move all my mathiness out of there, not knowing who might move in!
So I loaded about 20 various boxes and tubs of books and assorted math stuff into my car and drove off. I absolutely loved my teaching at UBC, and I may do it again in the future, but at this point in my life, that book is closed and I have moved on to other things.
I drove through one of my favourite Vancouver neighbourhoods on the way home and stopped at my favourite Dunbar bakery for some treats!
So maybe I was a little melancholic, but nothing a little coconut cheesecake brownie and some icelandic poppies couldn't fix!
I came downstairs this morning to a big hug from Colin and a special card he made at school. I love that in grade seven, the teacher is still making time for the kids to make a card for their moms! Colin warned me that it was a little sappy, and indeed it was. But I love a little sappy on Mothers Day!
This morning we broke from Mothers Day routine and instead of a breakfast in bed made by the boys, I took my mom out for a Mothers Day tea at London Farm before she went to church. It was lovely and a rare chance to have a quiet conversation with my mom.
When I got home, the boys presented me with two hanging baskets they had picked out for me, again breaking from tradition as they usually choose the plants and fill the baskets themselves. This is also the first year since Adam was five months old that the boys haven't painted flower pots for Mothers Day. Oh, the times are changing!
We drove downtown to have lunch at two of Vancouver's food trucks - Roaming Dragon and Bada Bing - which is something we've been meaning to do for awhile. We also stopped by Thierry for some lemon macarons and an eclair for Adam. Love a little foodie adventure!
As we walked around downtown, we were trying to find some of the Terracotta Warriors that have just gone up. The boys and I have a history of tracking down the orcas, bears and eagles and so it continues!
It was a great afternoon downtown under spectacular skies. We picked up Greek food for dinner and the boys made their own concoction for dessert!
Twelve photos on the twelfth day of the month following Ella's Take 12 photo challenge. This month's prompt was to focus signs of the weekend and how it stands apart from the typical Monday-Friday week.
A May weekend can often be almost-summerlike here and that is what we were blessed with today. The sky was a brilliant, cloudless blue and the still snow-capped mountains framed my view as I drove about doing errands today. Three of us start a little more slowly on Saturday mornings as there are no soccer or hockey games or practices to rush off to. Scones are often part of our weekends breakfasts - today I made chocolate chip scones. Colin spent part of the day reading the second novel in a series he is enjoying. Adam went to see The Avengers with his friends. Neil had some dental work done while I drove into Ladner to visit West Coast Seeds to pick up some tomato seedlings and then on to London Farm to pick up some more plants and enjoy the views along the Fraser River. I planted a few more seeds and got the seedlings in our vegetable garden. Our rhododendrons are bursting into bloom at the front of the house which is a sure sign that Mothers' Day is just around the corner. Colin's hair got even shorter and we enjoyed some dinner off the bbq before settling into a quiet evening of home with a mixture of work, relaxation, practicing guitar and doing homework.
Motherhood is an ever-changing, evolving experience. As the boys are now 12 and 15, they are pretty independent and at times, I don't feel very "needed". That's a bit tough for a mom who knew from a young age that she wanted to be a mom, even desperately so. I think being the best mom I can be and raising two well-rounded boys is the best gift I can give to this world we live in. About a month ago, the boys babysat two young boys in our cul-de-sac for the first time. I was a little worried about how it would go but they both came home pretty proud of themselves for having dealt with diapers, bedtimes, etc. I got a sweet email from the mom who said, "You guys have raised two amazing kids. I hope my two turn out half as well." Well, that just warmed my heart. I feel that at this moment, all the time, energy and heart invested when the boys were little, is showing.
At this moment, I still prepare dinners for the boys most nights, although they are capable of doing this themselves now.
At this moment, I still pick out the occasional clothing item for them, but mostly they choose their own clothes.
At this moment, I stay clear of their washroom at all times.
At this moment, I am doing my best to enjoy the things the boys do and try and be part of their real and virtual worlds.
At this moment, I work hard to make sure I know what's going on in the boys' lives and we still have good conversations.
At this moment, I am a chauffeur and am actually happy to have time in the car with the boys and their friends.
At this moment, I feel a little anxious when the boys are out in the world without us (at a movie with friends, hanging out at Starbucks, etc) and am so glad to see them come home.
At this moment, my heart aches and tears fill my eyes as I experience the boys' difficult times and disappointments through a mother's eyes and heart.
At this moment, I still gets hugs and kisses from both boys.
At this moment, I spend time making sure the boys' moral compasses are pointing where I think they should be when we look at both personal and global issues.
At this moment, I am always picking up Colin's socks from around the house and Adam's towels from his bedroom floor. And I really don't mind.
At this moment, I still get up in the middle of the night sometimes and walk quietly down to the boys' rooms, just to check on them.
At this moment, I am figuring out what it means to be a mom to two teenaged boys.
At this moment, I am so proud of the boys and the young men they are becoming. Strength of character, integrity, humility and a strong sense of who they are as individuals.
At this moment, I look at both boys and wonder, what will be next? I have loved every stage of their lives and try my best to be present and appreciate all the ups and downs of being a mom.
At this moment, my heart is full with joy. I love being a mom.