Monday, October 12, 2009

...two moms and five kids.

A couple of weeks ago I came home from a whirlwind trip to Manitoba and Ontario. We were going to a cousins wedding in Ontario's cottage country and so I decided that I would pack up the girls and spend a few days in Manitoba on the way there. I was looking for a chance to nourish my spirit a little. And the best way to do that is to run to the arms of someone I know will feed my soul.

The days leading up to my trip were filled with stress as I rushed around trying to get everything done that I needed to before I would be gone from, home, work and school for over a week. I finished packing just an hour before leaving for the airport and only let my shoulders come down from beside my ears as I sat down in the boarding lounge. Whatever I had not remembered or got done before I left was out of my hands now... My girls were dreamy! Meg carried her own bag, helped me with mine and just chilled with some markers and a journal on the flight. Lola nursed on takeoff and landing, hardly fussing at all. We were greeted at the airport in Winnipeg by one of the most amazing women I know. She had Lola in the sling and Meg by the hand within moments and I felt completely at home. It was late and when we finally got to her house we all just tumbled into her big bed for what would begin 6 nights of co-sleeping bliss.

In the morning I awoke to a little face peaking through the crack in the door. This dear, sweet 5 year old had been on pins and needles for a couple of hours while she waited to see any movement from our room. What a glorious way to wake up! And within the hour I had been warmly welcomed with love and hugs from the whole family. My Manitoba family. I have never felt more at home in someone else's home than this entire family made me feel. Little did all 5 of our combined children know that by feeling so at ease it would mean that for the next five days they would all have two moms! It was like a practice run for me, a glance into my future. You see, the youngest of this family is five but she has a fourteen year old brother and a fifteen year old sister. A larger age gap than my two but a similar dynamic. It was fascinating to see their relationships with each other and to see their own unique gifts, that when combined built the framework for a family that embraces life (and each other) in such a special way. I drank it in as I sat in their family room nursing my babe and being waited on by all of them. I watched them bicker, show off, open up and show up... To be honest the thought of teenagers had me scared shitless until I spent these five days with two of the most amazing young adults I could imagine. We had planned to do soo much while I was there. We always do. I think we imagine that when we are together we become super human. But in the end the time we value most is the time we share cuddled into bed together talking about our lives, our kids, our work and our dreams. Or the time we spend preparing food with a glass of wine or gin and tonic. We are wildly feminine as we pour our love into creating a feast for ourselves and our families. We often eat late because we are overly ambitious and so in the moment that we loose all track of time. And some of my favourite moments of my time with my Manitoba family were on the last night when a fifteen year old warrior woman in the making joined us while we laughed, and talked and baked cookies. Don't get me wrong... I am still afraid of my own life with teenagers but for now I have softened towards the idea.

I know how much I loved having a co-parent for those five days. I felt invincible actually. Like Supermama! I was bolstered by someone who's mothering I aspire to. We often joke when we are together that we understand the allure of communal living. Maybe we do become superhuman when we combine our gifts. What I don't know is how our five kids felt about having two moms.

Honourable mention goes out to those two husbands/fathers that indulge us in this soul nourishing love fest we yearn for every so often.


  1. I wept through this entire post.... it is such a gift to have you in our home, sharing everything with us from your unique vantage point, and to see my life through your eyes... to get that glimpse of the gifts I live with every day... and for my kids to see what they have; sometimes we take each other for granted... They really are amazing kids!! You helped to open our eyes to what we have. You showed my kids and my husband why I crave time with you so much, and why we're always sneaking in late-night whispered phone calls, mid-day texts and calls, mini-holidays on a quarterly (or nearly) basis... You have given them a glimpse at who I am away from them. Your stay here was a gift to us all, in many, many ways. Some I expected and some were quite the surprise..

    And I know my three kids, without a doubt, LOVED having two mothers for that week. They drank you in..

    Come back soon...and frequently! We miss you, your laughter and your love, your sweet and spontaneous hugs (even Brad), your ideas and fun nature, your never-ending energy.... and your shopping and culinary skills!

  2. I also have a friend, who is like a sister to me. She is my 'person'. The one that when you are together its like suddenly you are super-human. You no longer have only two arms, but four, and double the eyes and ears (which is essential with toddlers:). Its like we become one, moving together, sharing, cooking, laughing, mothering, total understanding of each others needs and thoughts. It is complete nourishment to my soul, each moment treasured and held dear to my heart. Each word that you wrote, I have felt.