–by G.K. Sydney (photos and column)
Well, that packing frenzy worked again. All was in order, no wardrobe mistakes and only a little excess with regard to clothes and accessories (well, maybe 12 pairs of earrings weren’t entirely necessary but, who knew?). The Christmas family trip was a success and we are now, thankfully, home again to rest.
Rest? Why do we need rest? Well. Sit down, relax, and let me tell you.
First stop, Winnipeg. Cold. Snow. Slush. It was freeze- the- cheeks- cold but everybody kept saying, wow, nice weather, eh? Aren’t you lucky to have this weather while you’re here? Right.
And the order of the day was never mind the weather, forward ho onto the parties. One after another, rush, rush, rush, remember the gifts, remember the wine that you can’t drink because you’re driving, meet with old friends, talk, laugh, reminisce, eat too much and generally get worn out. And the general rule was also, hey, don’t get tired yet. It’s just starting.
And so, onto Christmas with the first set of kids. Get into their house, their minds, their joys, their troubles and enjoy, oh so enjoy the grandchild. Play, play, play, eat till you burst, socialize, talk, laugh, get sooo tired, and carry on. Apparently, some people could just zone out but not us. Oh no, we had to keep going.
And, of course, there was also visits with all the other relatives. It was so great to see brothers, sister-in-laws, mothers, nieces, more babies, talk, laugh, carrrrrrry on……
Then it was Boxing Day and a flight to Edmonton. More cold, snow, ice and the second set of kids. Again, into their homes, their families, their thoughts, feelings, trials and worries, soooo exhausting! And don’t forget the presents. The turkey dinner. The non-stop playing. The driving around to McDonald’s playland, the zoo, the toboggan hill, omigod, we wondered, what next? We were dropping into bed every night, only to do it all again the next day. Some of them, though, just kept on truckin’.
Then we were off again, south to Calgary for the third set of kids. Game playing, toy playing, more sliding until our bones were creaking and getting back up that toboggan hill felt like climbing Mount Everest. Reading books, building towers, story- telling in forts by flashlight – so much fun, so active and so busy! Yoga with grandpa, how cute is that? We were getting really tired, but there was nothing to do except keep moving. And all the while in my head I could hear a nasty little voice laughing and saying “It ain’t over yet, baby”.
And then yet another airplane, security, baggage. Oh boy, we were on the way home. We arrived and there was time to squeeze in a New Year’s Day hike with the neighbours. Oh my, were things getting back to normal? So good.
But wait, we weren’t finished yet. There was still a fourth set of kids. Luckily, they obligingly came here to Sooke shortly after the hike. We just had time to unpack the suitcase, stock the fridge and there they were. Three more days of playing, visiting, sightseeing, getting into their heads and their hearts and enjoying them immensely. Temper tantrums, board games, special meals, presents, hugs, kisses and so much more.
But now, all of a sudden, it’s over. They have left and it seems there’s an unholy quiet around here. Thankfully, we’ve been able to have a stroll, a nap, a healthy supper, a movie in bed. Exhaustion is finally and completely settling in and we realize, in our tiredness, how really complex it all was. How complicated. How trying and how wonderful. Without a doubt, our cups have now truly run over and are gloriously spilling all over the floor. And without even talking about it, we know we’ll do it all over again next year. Gotta keep moving. Gotta carry on.
How lucky are we?
Previously on The Lens:
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The Thrills Just Keep on Comin’
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Wasting Away in Margaritaville
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Our Cups Runneth Over
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Confessions of a Packing Freak
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The next new thing is Yoga
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Touch of Special
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: I. Will. Do. This.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Never too late
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Close encounter with bear, saved by a driving hero
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Cross Country Crazy
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Lord love a duck!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Get on the Bus, Gus. Make a New Plan, Stan.
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: And a Warm Welcome to Everyone (or…?)
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Into the Mystic
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: This is how I row
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Take care when you tinkle; or, before you bare, look for bear
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: True Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Acrophobiac
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: There’s no place like home!
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: The eagle has landed
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Finding fitness that fits
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: When you don’t know where you’re going till you get there
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: A Fairy in the Forest
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: Small Town, Big Hearts
- Through the Lens of a Newcomer: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Dr. Seuss
- Introducing a new column to SPN: “Through the Lens of a Newcomer”