Laurentian mountains, step moms, etc
(hi, my love.)
Writing to you from an outdoor porch balcony in the prettiest place.
but for serious. we are in canada, and this is the view from every window of the magnificent house our cousin lent us.
Zero filters on that photo, just a spur of the moment snap the other day. It’s that gorgeous.
Every time I come to the Laurentian mountains I leave with more clarity. This week we’re here with my stepdaughter, so it has been a trip full of early nights, early mornings, and restorative loving relaxation.
Anais is 9 now and an absolute paradise human. Brilliant, hilarious, wickedly talented. We’ve spent every day in full cuddle mode with a dash of UNO, jumping off the dock into the lake, teaching her how to cartwheel. Earlier this week I took a solo drive and she asked me to babysit Eddy the Teddy. He was a fan of poutine.
(Canada, my love.)
Today I’d argue I won the Stepmom of the year award when we visited a farm that lets you hold and hug their newborn goats and rabbits.
Been goat holding, waterfall hiking, recharging.
And, ever since we learned she had never actually seen the stars before, we’ve been star gazing.
On the first night we saw an enormous shooting star, its path marking what felt like the entire sky. The little bobi was in my lap and when she saw it she shrieked in delight. Then she got beautifully focused, quiet and peaceful. Made a wish so strong I felt like she did it for all of us.
She’s a special one.
José James’ kid, for sure.
We and her mother have agreed to not post photos of her, out of respect and also because the internet is a weird place for little lulis. But I can tell you right now: She numbers in my favorite humans.
(You’ll just have to imagine her earth shattering magnificence.)
She’s a special one.
And she is a powerful one.
On this trip we’ve helped her to navigate and triumph over a really pernicious set of fears. I’ve been so proud of her as she walks through them with us, learns she can trust herself to stand up to them and be present while doing so.
Beautiful and inspiring to watch her step into her own power and independence.
To understand the truth: That fear is important, essential to listen to, and that it doesn’t need to run our lives.
That, no matter what, she will be loved by the people who are there to hold her.
And that we understand it, because we’ve been there. She’s asked me a few times this trip what I’m afraid of. I answer her (brilliant) questions honestly, and then eventually wonder if I’m practicing the same bravery I’m encouraging the luli to apply to ghosts in the closet.
Sometimes I’ve found myself wanting (and grateful to her for the side by side comparison!). But most of the time I’ve felt we’re living a life that hopefully encourages her to face what’s in front of her with courage and excitement. To leap and trust that the net will appear, even if she can’t see it yet.
Because monsters under the bed don’t really go away. They just turn into “making sure you have health insurance, wondering if you’ve made all the wrong career decisions, figuring out how to move all your worldly possessions 2,597 miles (next week!).”
You try to apply the same lesson you tell the bobi every day of cartwheel practice (she did her first one in the yard yesterday!): Find your balance, keep your eyes open, get better every time.
You watch the fears, the problems the specificity change. You stay constant. And the Laurentians are always here to hold you, each visit somehow occurring at the exact time you need to learn the lesson the most.
More next week.