In Ontario, we woke up at the crack of dawn (nothing new, James was getting up before 6 the entire trip), to go fishing. Dan’s brother, Kevin, his mom, Belle, Dan, James and I.
We grabbed extra coffees at Tim Horton’s. We boarded a big boat and motored out onto Georgian Bay. Dan and his brothers love to fish, and though I haven’t fully caught the bug myself, I love being included and sharing this pastime with the boys – I think Belle felt the same way.
James slept in the Ergo Baby while Belle reeled in a sizeable lake trout. She was giddy. “Oh my gosh!” she kept exclaiming. “This really is fun!”
James and I were next. He was still sleeping when the line buzzed and I started reeling. Belle was right: it was fun. Dan climbed up to the top deck and started snapping pictures of me, bent rod in hand, baby strapped to my chest.
“I’m so proud of you right now!” he called down.
James woke up halfway through, in time to see our beautiful rainbow trout hit the deck. I felt awesome – like a total badass.
I’ll be the first to admit that the first few months of motherhood were hard and scary for me. I was more nervous than I thought I would be – given everything I knew about myself before James was born. But the last few months – I’m sure given a combination of more sleep, settling into the role, James growing just enough – have been fun, and I feel a new kind of confidence that I’ve never felt in my life. I don’t shy away from meeting and connecting with new people – something I’ve always struggled with. Getting on a boat to fish for four hours at 7 a.m. with my little seems like as good idea as any. I’m willing to try anything within reason with the babe (and maybe things just outside of reason – after all, my Euchre nickname is Risky Pants Sky). Sometimes, I feel really beautiful and sexy in this new Momma kind of way. (And sometimes, when I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth or put on deodorant, I feel the exact opposite of beautiful and sexy, but I’m pretty cool with it.) I feel this robust love – like loving James has made my love for everyone in my life grow even bigger and more unconditional.
In any case, landing that trout with James – the biggest fish of the day- I felt all of those good things.
It started to rain and we all huddled under cover. It was so good to be there with Dan’s family – James scratching his Uncle Kevin’s beard, Belle chatting with the captain about their little town and common people they knew.
When you don’t live near your family, little moments are big. Things like James’ big cousin Nathan giving him a bath and a bottle;
Family is complex. We all know this. We love them, they drive us crazy – sometimes, we want them to be one thing but they are who they are – and so are we. Now that I have a kid, I can only hope he forgives and accepts me for who I am some day. Sometimes I stilll can’t believe I am someone’s mom – I’m going to drive him totally nuts someday! For now, while I can, I will kiss him 10,000 times day or more, tickle his soft baby feet, take him on as many adventures as possible and hold him as close and long as he’ll let me.