I took my children on a road trip over the summer.
My husband was in the middle of a creative project, so it was just the three of us; I joked that I was recreating the family drives of my ’70s childhood, with no movies or gadgets in the car, several singalongs and the occasional “stop that immediately or I will pull over!”
It was an eight hour drive. They didn’t sleep the entire time.
I loved the feeling that we were all hurtling along together, the highway spooling out behind us as we set off on an adventure. We stopped for doughnuts and gas and a late lunch, once I realized that we would not arrive at our destination anywhere near lunchtime – but otherwise, we just drove, mostly contentedly.
We spent the better part of a week at a house in the woods which was the family cottage of two of my dearest friends, and the site of many a revelrous sojourn when we were all much younger. It felt like such a gift to be able to be there with my babes, to layer new experiences onto my memories of being there, and to gather my old friends and all of our young children in one place: everyone got along, and there were bonfires and duck dinners and lake swimming and wine – all of the same components, in fact, that I remember from our party years, but somehow sweeter.
We left amid promises to hurry back.
This morning, I am packing up the car again. Neither the drive nor the stay will be quite as long – we are going to the city this time, and it’s September now, with all of its attendant have-tos – but it will be so good to get back on the road, to get my arms around my friends, to witness the reunion of our children. We will be staying in my old neighbourhood, a place steeped in romance and nostalgia. There will be old haunts and things we’ve never seen.
We will find new experiences to layer lightly and carefully over my memories of a cherished time and place.
I can’t wait.
Friends, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I have fallen out of the habit of writing here.
There have been a few factors at play: we have had extra work and houseguests and difficult emotional times. There was a mantle of tension and sadness settled on our small family that has taken us no small effort to shift.
We took a road trip. I discovered Instagram.
And I would be a remiss Canadian if I failed to blame the weather: never-ending winter, truncated spring, less-than-sultry summer; and, just lately, swampy, blazing heat when most of us are too busy – or too over it – to enjoy it.
So even if you had heard from me, I fear that my less-than-enthusiastic tone might have put you off.
Perhaps irrevocably (I’m hoping my silence hasn’t done the same).
Meanwhile, incredibly, here we are, knocking down the door on September’s first full weekend, and things couldn’t be much better. And since it’s Friday, and I know we all have a lot to do, I’ll leave you here with these few snippets – and a promise to come back again soon.
“Today is your last day of being four,” I whispered to my son in the wee hours of the morning on the day before his birthday, and shivered a little at the thought.
Five years old! I remember nearly every minute, and it still feels like those years have dashed by. I am no longer the mother of a baby or a toddler (or both). I have children now, tall and sturdy and erudite and curious and highly quirky kids.
They are both officially in full-day school this year, and although this week has been overwhelming at times, we are getting there.
Happily, I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible people to soothe my bereft mama heart, as well as some serious sartorial daydreams in the form of lookbooks from here, and here – the latter so heavily fondled that it is creased like a love letter.
Speaking of love letters:
“I don’t want to be the kind of musician that ignores the pop culture. I want to be a part of my time, and soak it all in.”
I have always been a big fan of Beck. From the grinding, bad-boyfriend albums of my youth to this latest lush and mellow LP, which sounds perfect even on my dodgy old turntable, his shifting and brilliant sound has provided a soundtrack for much of my adult life.
I stood riveted in front of the radio several weeks ago, listening to him reflect on his music and his process – and, really, his life – in an interview which confirmed my suspicion that he and I are soul mates, on some cosmic (and strictly platonic) level.
I could fill this post with quotes from that interview, but it wouldn’t be the same – and you’d miss a gorgeous in-studio performance. Listen to it here.
Finally, we took a little hiatus from our weekend newspaper delivery over the summer – we were feeling awash in newsprint – but I could never, never, give up my Sunday New York Times. Last weekend’s T magazine made the case for everything I require of a style-centric publication, and I loved this recent lighthearted interview with Jenna Lyons, who answered a question about diet and exercise as follows:
“I lift some really heavy sequins during the day. And I walk in five-inch heels regularly, which I believe is really good for my calves. Do we have to talk about diet and fitness?”
Amen. And have a wonderful weekend!