I was named Stephanie Rose ("with the little pink toes"). I think of the photos I've seen of my mom holding me, gazing into my tiny face with that mysterious mother-love, that boundless force that just grows larger with each new child.
I think of a photo of me as a newborn, nestled in my sister Lana's arms, with my sister Julie looking down at my little face. My relationship with them has been a stabilizing force in my life, and I love to look at this picture of our first meeting. Little did we know that we'd be gifted with a sweet little brother in a few years.
My kids always think they're looking at pictures of Margot when they see me as a baby.
Age 4 or so, with my daddy (and his groovy glasses).
Age 9 or so at my dear Nanny's house in Quebec.
10 years ago: age 27, with the sweet man I met that year.
Tonight my husband and I will spend a night in the Byward Market in Ottawa. We thought of planning our time by looking online for things to see and do. But I decided that we should wander as if we've never been to Ottawa and don't have favourite places. I'm secretly hoping that we'll stumble on some subtle little club where we can hear some live music. I'm secretly hoping we'll eat in a dimly lit, quirky restaurant where the staff won't realise we're the exhausted parents of three little ones, and they'll think we've just recently fallen in love (picture us being serenaded by a mariachi band...)
But what life has taught me so far is that the best way to live is to enter into it with no expectations.
Follow your feet where they lead you. Find a reason to love the place you're in. Find the beauty in the people you meet. Say yes.
Thirty seven is looking pretty good from where I stand. I thought when I was 21 that I'd have things all figured out at 37. Turns out I was wrong. But the journey is long enough, and maybe I don't have to figure things out. Maybe it's just this, living (and laughing) out loud, loving deeply, listening closely, and always learning.