We’re back! One glorious week away at a stunning remote mountain lake – just two ferry rides and a long stretch of very bumpy logging roads to get there. The reward? Children running wild & free, a perfect clear water for swimming, sun, sun & more sun, wonderful friends & family to share in it with. What could better, right?
Just one big catch: in order to enjoy such paradise, we had to leave home. Which means:
1. Arranging for someone to care for our large garden, 33 chickens, two cows, two cats, and one very furry (Angora) rabbit.
2. Making my way through the To Do list so that I could leave my office for a week with relative peace of mind. This took far longer than I had anticipated it would – of course.
3. Cooking up one late night final batch of oregon grape jam – I just couldn’t leave those berries to waste… I should have, but I couldn’t…
4. Oh yes, we had to pack. Now this is where it gets tricky. Between instruction lists for the garden & animals, my work responsibilities, and late night canning adventures, there wasn’t much time for packing. I don’t know about your household, but getting away for a family vacation tends to be more than a wee bit stressful. Always too much to do in too little time, and those questions of “honey, did you remember the ….” shouted out to nobody in particular, hoping someone will say “Yes, of course!”.
Thankfully my dear husband had already spent the morning gathering camping equipment and helping the boys pack their bags. By the time I made it out of the office, however, I had exactly ten minutes to pack my belongings and all the kitchen gear.
With my work load that morning I had to let go. I had to trust that he would pack everything we needed for our trip. I had to accept that his definition of “everything we needed” would be different from my list of “must haves”.
There’s something about being “mom” that makes me somehow believe that I am the only one who actually Knows everything about our family needs. There seems to be a lesson about letting go that I need to learn over and over again.
Missing: Camping chairs with back support, sunscreen (luckily borrowed some from neighboring campers), a few favourite camping cooking ingredients, knives to spread all that peanut butter, dishpan, dish towel, dish soap.
Present: Beautiful friends, happy children, plenty of delicious food, friends with knives and dish soap (still no pan or towel though), my beloved pillow (thank goodness) and absolute gratitude for the gift of leaving it all behind and being so beautifully present with one another for a week in paradise – even without good back support…
I’m hoping some of you can relate with my packing woes – the last minute rush, the erroneous belief that “mom knows best”, the letting go and living without… How did your holiday packing go?
About Sarah Juliusson
Sarah Juliusson, founder of Mama Renew, is a gifted facilitator and writer on the journey of birth & motherhood. She brings two decades of experience supporting families through pregnancy, birth and motherhood to her work. Sarah is mother to two growing boys, a playful crafter with cloth & wool, student of traditional food preservation, and a diva at heart. Join the conversation on http://www.mamarenew.ca & on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mamarenew