I wake up and enjoy moments of yoga while the sun streams through our bedroom window. These moments alone, while Isla and Mister gets ready in the other room, prepare my mind and body for the day and I find so much delight in them. Once I am finished he hands me my morning latte and kisses me on the lips. I still get shivers and long for him, even eight years later.
Around noon I am walking around the house singing to Isla when Mister walks through the door. I hand her to him as he pushes me out the door to spend time alone – he’s booked me a surprise massage as an early Mother’s Day present. I drive slowly, soaking up how my body responds to being alone and realize that when she is with me I feel more confident in myself than ever before – I miss her. As my body relaxes under skillful hands of my massage therapist, I finally begin to turn of my mind to just be. The smell of lavender takes over the room while oil is soaking into my skin – I find myself completely relaxed and feel the kinks and soreness from my body being removed.
We drive away from the city towards the suburbs with fresh ice cream in a paper bag. As we enter my childhood home my youngest brother greets us with a huge smile, ‘Happy Birthday!’ we exclaim while handing him the ice cream. As we share stories and laughter over the home made pizza I realize that this spring it has been eight years since I made the decision to leave the philosophy of my youth and trek out on my own. As we celebrate my brother turning 24 I flash over my 24th year: the tears it brought, the hard decisions, and what became the most magical meeting of my life that has lead me to living a life I truly love.
Finally at night we do our nightly routine – I crawl into bed first and then a few minutes later he crawls in after me. He pulls me close and we cuddle under the blankets his body wrapped protectively over mine. We lay there until one of us gets too warm then we both kiss and move to our own cool sides. As we settle in he says his nightly ‘I love you’ and I ask him if he remembers the first time he said that to me. We lay there in the dark holding hands remembering that autumn evening where he told me with so much confidence and truth that he loved me.
Friday morning I find myself connected again to my mat and the sun, after Isla has gone down for her morning nap and Mister has already left for work. I stretch and pull my body into poses it hasn’t been in for quite some time and I feel it resist but mold itself just as I need it to. While Isla naps I tidy up the house and just enjoy more time alone. I find myself with my notebook and my pen finds the page again – writing and writing about anything and everything. A fear comes out…it’s about social media and I find myself once again wrestling with the privacy of my life and feeling like I need to be more open.
After a hot shower I prepare myself for the day before my dad comes for a visit. It has been years since the two of us spent anytime alone and I anticipate our day together. I place Isla in the pram and before I can even buckle her up, he’s standing at the end ready to push her away. We make our way to Gastown before settling on Nelson the Seagull for lunch. He tucks Isla and the pram right up next to him all the while commenting on the ‘very odd decor and eclectic customers’. As he enjoys his sandwich he is is astounded that lavender is used in cooking and baking and we laugh and enjoy each other’s company while taking sips of water from our mason jars. We have a lovely afternoon and continue our conversation on the seawall with take away coffees in our hands while he enjoys pushing Isla past all the other mothers and grandparents enjoying the sun.
After my dad leaves, Isla and I spend time just relaxing before putting her down for the night. When she has her final cry I open my laptop and write my thoughts out and am so happy with what has been released from me. I love being a Mother, and it feels so good to finally say it.
Mister comes home late but I’ve had such a lovely day of conversation with my dad, Isla being as sweet as can be, and writing as much as I can that I am in the best of moods. I prepared him a dinner of freshly baked salmon, a large salad and roasted asparagus, I see the love and pride in his eyes as I dress the table for him and present the meal. As we finish the evening off with a glass of dark red and listening to my new favourite piano composer we talk late into the night about love languages and communication. We fall asleep with our cups of love completely full, over flowing.
Saturday morning I wake up to the sounds of Isla talking to us from her room. I roll over and realize she let us sleep in a half hour and thank her, then roll back over hoping Adam will get her – it’s my mother’s day! He continues to sleep on his side of the bed so I hop out and sweep my daughter out of her bed and into my arms. I wouldn’t be celebrating this day if it wasn’t for her, so I willingly prepare her bottle before feeding her from my breast. As she suckles, tears well in my eyes that she is mine, that some how out of everything I’ve done in life God has decided that I’m enough to be blessed by her. I find myself spending a lot of time near her, wanting to soak her up as much as possible. Thankfully she loves to cuddle that she willingly obliges.
Mister prepares me a healthy breakfast, even though he wanted to go out to buy fresh pastries, I asked that he just prepare with what we have at home. I wasn’t in the mood for sweets and I also knew he had not planned his time appropriately and didn’t get me a card. It hurt, to deny him and myself. After breakfast I continued to get more antsy as I realize that he doesn’t have much planned. He does his usual Saturday morning tasks so I go to my sanctuary, my bedroom. I find myself in the bathroom trying to hold back tears. I try to rationalize the emotions I’m feeling – postpartum hormones, period hormones, expectations I shouldn’t have hormones. In the end I just know, I want to be celebrated. I don’t need lavish gifts just time and effort put in so that I feel special and that my day is special as well. He finds me in our bedroom, and I know he can feel my mood as he is much more attentive by rubbing my back or pulling me close on the bed. As we cuddle I hear him start to breathe deeper and the tears come again, running down my face while they pool around my ears. When he asks what I’m thinking I find my courage and tell him that his work takes too much of his mental space, that when he can’t plan his time correctly so that he has everything he needs to celebrate me, it makes me feel like I’m not worthy of his thoughts. I feel horrible telling him this, what if he has something amazingly planned for the afternoon?! But he doesn’t.
I shake off my sour feelings, there is no use in dwelling on it and decide, that no matter what, it will be a lovely day.
We drive out to South Granville to do some window shopping. I desire to have Isla as close to me as possible so we carry her in our arms in and out of stores and up and down the street. Every where we go she is admired as she smiles largely for strangers; I can see that she completely makes their day. I am so honoured and proud to call her mine. As we walk around West Elm we find the perfect settee for our office, the settee we have been searching for for months, the couch that put me into labour four months ago when we walked around the city in search of it. We make the decision to purchase it and I am astounded, here I am purchasing an item from West Elm! I’ve always felt too poor or not cool enough, yet there I am. We continue our way into Anthropologie and purchase two more mugs so that we all have a mug with our first initial and one with our last name. L.A.I.S. – I.S.L.A!
He prepares me a fabulous dinner of roasted honey glazed duck and a heirloom tomato salad. We finish off the evening on our new settee watching the latest episode of Mad Men and Game of Thrones. As I fall asleep later that night, I feel completely loved and cherished, despite how I felt in the morning.
On Sunday morning, officially Mother’s Day, I carry Isla around the house and he presents me with my Mother’s Day card. ‘To someone special on their very first Mother’s Day’. It’s perfect. My phone alerts me all day as I receive message after message of good wishes from friends and family. I feel loved, cherished, adored.
We head out, once again, to Surrey to celebrate my mom. I present her with a beautifully wrapped present in chocolate colored paper with a white satin bow. Anticipation floods me as she slowly opens it and when she sets her eyes on it I can see her hold back the tears. A beautiful quote on cardstock: When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew – Arrigo Boito and then next to it a framed picture of me holding three week old Isla. Simple, yet perfect for her.
Later in the evening I throw a wide brimmed hat and my large sunglasses on and I take Isla in her pram to head to the field to watch Mister play in the evening sun. I lay a white muslin blanket on the ground for us to sit on and am filled with so much awe and pride as Isla sits in my lap completely content to watch them play up and down the field. Out of the corner of my eye I see other teams look at us, we are stylish and put together sitting elegantly in the middle of sweaty gym bags. I see the other women who came to watch their husbands and am thankful that I take the time to look feminine, even on the soccer field. I feel that I am living out the best version of what Motherhood means to me, not because I have to but because I want to and it feels good. Oh so good.