Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Spring legs

I am a homebody. I am also a detester of all that is cold or rainy or snowy. In the chilly seasons, those two forces combine to leave me hibernating in the comfort of my home as much as I can get away with it.

But now it's spring (glorious delightful sunny spring) and the sunshine is calling. Wake up, come out, enjoy. The vegetable garden has been turned and weeded and half-planted, the nearby nature park has been explored, and picnics at the beach and the park have been eaten. We're getting out there even when it's hard for me to find the motivation. Just go, I remind myself. You're always happier when you do.

The only problem is that I've got spring legs. They're weak and wimpy and achy, and they complain all the day long after being well used. I garden and my thighs ache. I hike and my calves ache. I sit in the sun and they turn red. They're sad, sorry, grumbly legs after spending the winter curled up under a blanket, a mug of tea and a book and often a child or two resting on them.

But still the sunshine pulls and the kids push and I find myself outside once again. Muscles work and then they ache but they'll get used to it. I will press through the wimpy spring legs until I arrive at summer legs, tanned and strong and - bonus - more defined and lovely. They'll walk through sand and hilly trails and water and autumn leaves and then winter will come and I can pretend I'll keep getting out there, but I won't. Those legs will curl up under a blanket once again and this is simply who I am, the one who steps outside into the sunshine a few months later with weak spring legs, ready to press through to strength one more time.

Just writing along with the EO...

Saturday, 10 May 2014

When it's just you and the kids on Mother's Day

With the much-missed husband working out of town right now, it's just me and the kids this Mother's Day. And you know, that's life; it's not as though he deliberately chose to be away on this particular day. We've been chatting on the phone and messaging back and forth, and we're all managing just fine.

Now don't believe for a moment that I haven't allowed myself a few moments of self-pity. It's not often a day comes along devoted to honouring the mothers in our lives. Most days we quietly serve our family and watching these kids grow is more than reward enough, but a day especially for us? I'm not going to turn that down.

When reality doesn't match our ideals (as it so often doesn't), there's not much to do but make the best of it. And make the best of it I shall.

For me, that means that Mother's Day dinner will be take-out pizza and a nice cold glass of Coca Cola - it's been a long time since I last indulged that way. Then it's dirt cake for dessert, and oh, how I blushed at all that junk food rolling along the conveyor belt at the grocery store last week. Worth it, though. I do love a good dirt cake every once in a while, and there are few things kids find funnier than (gummy) worms to top it all off.

We'll spread our picnic blanket over the couch and watch a movie together while we eat and I won't feel guilty for a bit of it. This is my day and I intend to enjoy a bit of relaxation. A nice afternoon nap, I think, and we'll see if I can't wrangle some breakfast in bed out of these three wild creatures of mine.

A little extra housework tonight will be a nice reward in the morning too. I will wake to freshly-swept floors and tidy rooms and a sparkling kitchen, and it will all have been more than worth it.

If it's just you and the kids this Mother's Day, go ahead and, where possible, give yourself permission to relax and have things your way. Pick that coveted meal even if the kids hate it. Put your feet up and read your own book instead of theirs. Take a few extra minutes in the shower. Dress up or dress down, whatever makes you feel happiest. And if you've got a bit of extra time before you turn off the lights tonight, give the house a quick once-over so you can wake to that little extra bit of peace and calm.

Go ahead. If there's no one else around to do it, thank yourself for all that you do.

Happy Mother's Day to all of us.