A few months ago, I took the boys to a friend’s house after school. While the kids were happily playing together in the backyard, the mom and I began speaking and realized that over the summer, we’ll be be home for a period of time without our spouses but with all of the kids. Over a glass of wine, we decided that we will spend some time up at their family farm together during one of those periods. The kids can entertain each other while we supervise. The plan was set in motion and the dates were finalized. It so happened that two other moms and their kids also joined us for our “mommy getaway” as we lovingly called it.
While the kids had a blast, the moms got to bond. The property was far more like a resort than a farm, I walked away with so much more that weekend. In fact, I was inspired! I left in awe of the my friend who invited us there. She really stepped up to the plate and took charge. Sometimes it was simple things like driving us around in the golf carts they had on site, but other times it was getting the kids prepared to zip line and putting on a fire work show for us. All of this while managing two special needs kids on her own. I mean – I could barely get my kids to brush their teeth let alone anything else.
This experience made me realize that I really need to become more independent – especially at our cottage. The cottage for some reason, is my husband’s domain. I’ve always viewed it as such, and he’s always excelled at it. I never even questioned it. He was the one that put in (and took out) the docks, put in (and took out) the water, put together our water trampoline and took it out, he always drove the boat, made the camp fires and lit the fire works. I sort of sat back with the kids and watched. While I’m not complaining, I knew watching my friend during our mommy getaway that I need to make some changes.
This past week we took our vacation up at the cottage. The need for change became even more apparent when we went out on a family boat ride and one of my boys asked why I never drive the (pontoon) boat. The truth is, I’ve never felt comfortable driving the boat. Unlike my husband, I didn’t grow up with a cottage or a boat, so it was foreign to me. I also never felt like I had an urgent need to learn to drive. But times are changing, so right there and then, I decided that I would. After all, I’ve seen my husband do it 100 times… how hard could it be. And guess what? It wasn’t. From that moment on, I took every opportunity that I could to drive the boat. It might sound so simple, but it’s actually a huge step for me. Driving the boat has given me independence to drive the boys around when John isn’t up or to drive my other friends around the lake (who also don’t feel comfortable driving their boats and usually leave it up to their spouse).
Independence = strength = power = control
I no longer have an excuse to give my boys, or myself, or anyone else. I can just get up and go. But besides all of that, I can show my boys that I can accomplish and do anything that their dad can do too. I want to show that it’s not hard to concur fear when you set your mind to it. I want to show that that independence can be an individual’s greatest personal achievement . The lessons were many, but besides teaching my boys all of these things, the greatest lesson was one that I thought myself. I learned that at 36, I can still be proud of myself!