When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Life in Fast Motion

Sometimes lately I've had the unsettling feeling that I don't really recognize our family's life anymore. Changes have happened often over the years as the boys have grown, it's true, but some of them felt natural in their subtlety -- one way of life shifted slowly into another. This year seems to be a time of more sudden and significant adjustments.  The weekday family dinners together that we've always enjoyed are very hard to come by now, and my earlier resolve to not ever live a crazy life of the four of us constantly running here and there has all but disappeared as Noah and Will and Matt and I have each actively pursued our own passions, sending us all off in different directions.

We carved pumpkins in shifts this Hallowe'en because there was no time when the four of us would be home to do it together in the days leading up to the 31st, and I made two separate trips to the school for student-parent-teacher interviews last week, because scheduling back-to-back appointments for the boys was impossible with the other things they had going on that evening. There is so much to keep track of this year:  two schools, separate dance and swim schedules that never seem to coordinate, meetings, volunteer commitments. I'm happy because everyone seems to be thriving in this whirlwind of interesting activity, but to be honest, there have been many times in recent weeks where I've looked at Matt in the midst of all of the craziness and asked, "Is this really what it's supposed to be like to have kids Noah and Will's ages?" Life right now is tiring and often stressful, and sometimes I miss the simpler days we once knew that allowed us all to enjoy being together more often.  I feel like the boys' youths are slipping far too quickly through my fingers while we rush headlong into each day's activities.

This past weekend Matt and the boys and I decided to reclaim some much needed family time; we took advantage of a day off school Friday (a PD day) and travelled to Michigan to enjoy an overnight stay in a hotel with a waterpark.  We all looked forward to this little trip for weeks, and I could sense everyone's relaxed and happy mood as we rolled down the familiar highways.  The four of us had hours to talk and laugh together as we savoured a leisurely dinner at our favourite Frankenmuth restaurant, helped each other shop for winter clothes, and browsed the millions of shiny ornaments at the world's largest Christmas store, which had us recalling our own sentimental and funny holiday memories. The boys shared some brother bonding time as they repeatedly hurled themselves together down the giant new slide at the waterpark and rode the fast-moving current of the pool's winding river, each of them always keeping a close eye out for the other as Matt and I smiled and looked on. We joked good-naturedly with each other about who snored and talked in their sleep in the hotel room we all shared, and about the giant chicken we saw wandering the pool area.  All of the craziness of the past two months faded completely from my mind in the hours we set aside just for family.

I am really glad to have spent this time with the three boys who mean everything to me, not only for the joy it brought all of us, but also for the comforting realization it has led me to:  life has certainly shifted shape in recent months, but our hearts know that nothing important has changed at all.


  1. You have reminded me of my family's yearly trips to Frankenmeuth and how much togetherness they gave us going into a new school year. So glad you had a magical time. I know what you mean about the busyness and letting go of knowing where everyone will be at any given moment. I used to rush through those moments, wondering what was coming next. Now I miss them. xo