Tuesday, September 04, 2012

When did you draw your map?

Today was my first half-day back at work (thank goodness I'm starting slow) and so my year has ended.  A childless friend once asked me how bored I was at home all day and late at night, when all my doubts and insecurities about how important it is to be Mom come flooding in, I think of my answer.

Not at all bored. Not even close. Not even once.

Still, last night at 2:00 am I woke up with the crushing fear that I had somehow not enjoyed my precious year long maternity leave enough.  That I had squandered the only year I was going to get.

Had I spent enough time with Fenner and Marlowe exploring our worlds? Could I have done more to show them how important our communities are and how important it is to engage with the world around us? Did I represent my ideals and values in a way that might possibly get passed to them??

That says a lot about my insecurities. These fears crushed the air out of my chest and forced me to get up and peruse all of the pictures from the past year for a few hours until I felt better.

This year has been an epic adventure with both my girls. We learned how to be together quietly and together we learned how to start a wild rumpus. We explored our neighbourhood more fully. We built and contributed to our community in permanent and inspiring ways. We saw and experienced the wider world together. We went feral at the cottage and learned to be still together and by ourselves.  We had fun making together.

I look back at this year as the year we drew the map that we chose to follow as a family.

Game Changing Birth Day
Hiked Lake Superior Provincial Park

Awed at Old Woman Bay

Christmas at Home

Built a community

Zenned out at Squam

Learned that personal inspiration doesn't have to be a zero sum game with children
Saw the wider world with four year old eyes
Found the 'Wild' close to home
Went to the Farm

Fed the people in our neighbourhood many meals
Enjoyed new perspectives on a lifelong cottage



Suzanne @ Roll With It said...

Beautiful year! Congrats on not sitting in front of the TV all the time and getting out and about. Your children are gorgeous and if I lived closer I would eat them up - SERIOUSLY!

Jennifer R. said...

When I had my first daughter you got 6 weeks. I went back to work pumping my milk on my breaks and lunch. By the time I had my second daughter 7 years later you got 6 months off. You have to make each day meaningful even though its exhausting.

Yvette LeClair said...

Thank you for the beautiful album. What a year.

JenHendriks said...

Hey Suzanne - there was plenty of TV time. Winter was cold and we took it easy. Fenner was in school and I did a lot of my afternoon napping watching The Wire, Community, and the Highlander Sequels 4 - 6.

Yeah, that's right 4 thru 6.

Suzanne @ Roll With It said...

OK good to know I am not the only mom who watched full seasons while on mat leave! Mine was the full series (yes, series) of LOST. But really, one episode was perfect for a feeding and burping, let's be honest! However, your year was full of productivity so you should feel proud. Plus you produce beautiful offspring...just sayin'!

JenHendriks said...

It's great to be making beautiful works of art with ingredients found easily at home wouldn't you say? You've got a pretty good record youself :)