Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Fun, Family Style!

I'm reading Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In right now and thinking deeply about my own lifetime balance between family and career as well as what I hope my daughters and granddaughters and daughter-in-law might manage. I'm going to post on this, several times I suspect, but first I thought I'd record one weekend in a Non-Retired (i.e. Still Working Outside the Home) Nana's life. 'cause, you know, the balancing continues. . . .
And please note that this is a snapshot only, of a weekend in my family life. It describes a series of happy moments but it keeps the shadows in the corners. All families, I'm pretty sure, have shadows; mine is no different, although we all can hope for the light to move 'round the room. . . .

A busy, busy weekend! I hadn't seen my granddaughters for a few weeks, and they're growing so quickly . . . so a trip to Vancouver was in order. But neither had I seen my son and daughter-in-law for a month or so, and they live in Victoria. So we did a mini Circle Tour on BC Ferries, enjoying a weekend of family activities. On Friday, Paul and I had some time to ourselves (he'd been in Vancouver for a week, driving back and forth daily to visit his Mother in an Extended Care home in an outflung suburb). We caught up on our week over oysters and bouillabaisse at Davie Street's La Brasserie, right in our 'hood.

Then Saturday, my usual Seawall run (I am SO lucky to be able to run this route almost monthly -- gorgeously scenic! and mostly flat, a definite plus), after which I scooped up one g'daughter (her mom was in Lisbon for work, lucky woman), and met Daughter #3 and wee redhead g'daughter Harriet, and we got some toes painted. Can you see the squeee in those shoulders? At one point, little girl put her head back, smiled broadly, and sighed, "This feels Won-der-fulllll"!

Should have got a photo of other g'daughter squiggling on Nana's knee (she claps now, she waves, she says Mamamama and Dadadada and soon, soon, I will hear her say Nanananan), but her Granddad met up with son-in-law and they whisked the baby away for coffeetime on The Drive (Vancouver's Commercial Drive, that is, a locale that had an amazingly high ratio of good coffee shops to residents long before anyone'd even heard of Starbucks).

We did have a chance to meet up with Baby again at her home, and yet I still forgot to grab photos. . . .even though she was crawling up a storm and getting into all kinds of cool, cute Baby poses. . . . 

But I did remember to grab the camera (okay, my cell phone camera, hence the limited quality) for the architectural masterpiece created on the beach later. Granddad did most of the beach time while Nana had a nap (girl's gotta stay in form, y'know?), but I met up later to check out the action. Impressive building, no?






And the next day, we drove through the season's first fog to catch an early ferry to the south end of Vancouver Island to visit the Victoria part of the clan. No photos of that either, but rest assured we had a lovely lunch in the sunshine, my son reaching over occasionally to reach an arm around my shoulder for a hug -- there are no words (well, there are, but I don't want to risk mushiness on Monday morning).
Shopped a bit, stopped by my daughter-in-law's workplace to stock up on a few cases of excellent BC wine (she's a sommelier, with hot tips on the best buys, very good to have in the family~)

Drove the gorgeous 90-minute route back home and found that the three cases of fruit I'd ordered from the Okanagan had arrived. I'll tell you later what I'm doing to avoid having the fruit flies devour these, shall I?

For now, time to fit a run in before heading to campus. Happy Monday!

15 comments:

  1. what a lovely post--so nice to share this nana time (vicariously) with you! And I was right with you on the warm thrill of having a grown son reach over from time to time to give you a hug.

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    1. Aren't those unsolicited hugs the best?!

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  2. A lovely, light-filled weekend. And without the shadows, we wouldn't appreciate the light. Such a great family-focused post. Those little ones have such a way with our hearts.

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    1. They really do wiggle their way into our core, don't they, the wee ones!?

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  3. Your granddaughter getting a pedi is so cute! My daughter, who just turned 7, requested a manicure and pedicure for her birthday and I gave in and treated her. It was so cute watching her enjoying the whole experience. Though, I must say, I resisted. She originally asked for it last year when she turned six and I told her she was too young. Even now, I'm not sure. First mani & pedi I got was as an adult when I could pay for it myself. It seems like little girls grow up too fast these days. (Though, I must say, I really enjoyed having the experience with her and hope to continue bonding in that way when she is much, much older!)

    I ready Cheryl Sandberg's book and enjoyed it very much. It's nice to read about how such a successful woman struggles with balance as we all do. Of course, she has a lot more at her disposal than many of us! — Helen

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    1. Helen, I had/have the same reservations about the little girl pedis -- I didn't get a pedi until I was in my 50s! And I'm unhappy about the current perspective on bare toenails as unattractive. But as the pedi had been planned before the baby-sitting gig, I shrugged on the principles and embraced the fun -- a Nana's right, if a bit unfair ;-)
      I, too, have some reservations about Sandberg's argument, but overall appreciated her raising the topic, contributing to an important discussion. More later.

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  4. Your weekend sounds rich and full to the brim with happiness....
    no need to acknowledge the shadows when surrounded by such love.

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    1. The shadows also demanded attention this weekend, but the love is a helpful antidote. . . thanks

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  5. Lovely description of your weekend. Hugs or squeezes from our grown up children are doubly precious.
    I haven't yet read Lean In, though I did hear a lengthy interview with Sandberg on CBC. I've had several awkward discussions about the book with a younger sister and have come away from them feeling decidedly off-balance. Who writes for the many Canadian women who work incredibly hard in retail jobs or restaurant jobs or with cleaning companies etc etc? How does any of it apply to those whose education/abilities/life situation doesn't allow leaning in. A huge segment of the population of working women doesn't have the luxury of the sort of working situation that you and I enjoy.

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    1. I had anticipated having more problems with the book, based on some responses I'd read. A colleague, though, was really impressed and insisted I borrow and read her copy. In fact, although I initially felt a bit defensive, her provisos are clearly set out and she does some really important work here. I look forward to continue the discussion in my next few posts (including the really valid point you raise about her audience)

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I've been curious about "Lean In," and am curious to hear your impressions.

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    1. And, in turn, I'll welcome your feedback as I think through my response.

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  7. To be surrounded by love, no photos needed, nothing better- but thanks for those you did post, of a little girl I always hope to see.

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    1. I'm pretty judicious now, and very sparing with photos of her, but I thought this one was okay to share -- she's moving into an age when she's not yet ready to give consent for the sharing, yet it may well impact her, so she'll probably show up less and less here. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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