A Year of Picnics


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There was a point, in what now feels like another lifetime, when I thought I might not ever be a parent. My previous longterm boyfriend didn’t think he’d be capable of parenting well, and so, I resigned myself to the idea that having a child, and raising it, and experiencing parenthood might not be slated for me in this life. Thankfully, that relationship, and that resignation, ended back in 2006. Then I met Glenn.

Right away, he was certain about me. About us. About our future. He’d always wanted children, and with him, I was able to rekindle the fire I’d long ago extinguished for mothering. Huxley Wild English came into our lives on October 21st, 2010, at 10:20 p.m.. It wasn’t quite the birth I’d planned for, but that’s alright. He is definitely the child I always hoped to have, despite having given up on having the opportunity.

His name means both “Outdoorsman” and “a clearing in a field.” Considering that we live in a forested cove, and that he’s deeply enamored with being outside, the name fits. This tiny Englishman of ours is brave, and bold, and, yes, sometimes brash (I mean, he’s three!). He’s intrepid, and curious, and outgoing. He’s silly, and smart, and creative. Having him in my life is like having magic made present, every single day. I love him beyond words, and am delighted to get the chance to be his mother more than I could ever quite describe.

We pretty much spent the past few days celebrating. From the epic superhero party on Saturday; to brunch at Seven Sows (Go! And get the beignets with creme Anglaise, any of their four featured oysters, and the chocolate chip & praline pancakes!), a first time visit to the studio of our buddy Karie (she made Huxley an AMAZING backpack for his birthday, which is getting its own post on here), and balance bike-riding and foam sword-battling sessions at Carrier Park on Sunday; to a picnic up at Craggy Gardens in all its autumnal splendor on Monday, our three year-old has had three days of merriment, love, and gratitude for the light he shines on myself and his papa.

Parenting isn’t easy. It really is the hardest job, with the biggest reward, though. It’s worth all the sleep deprivation, and temper tantrums (managing theirs, avoiding yours!), and mind-blowing messes, and wet beds, and more. It has forced me to look beyond myself and tend to the needs of another while keeping in mind, constantly, that for him, this is all new. This is all happening for the first time. This is all amazing, all of life.

It really is, friends. It really is.

12 Responses to Three

  • Liene says:

    Happy birthday to your adorable superhero! We were up in your neck of the woods this weekend; the leaves are fantastic. Beautiful pictures, as always, and about the parenting – you’ve hit the nail on the head. x

  • Kerry says:

    My eyes are tearing up – I sure love being a mama. Little people really are the coolest!

  • Alicia says:

    Happy birthday to your little Englishman!!!

  • Joyce says:

    Autumn outdoor birthday parties are the best! Yours did look like a lot of fun. I love that some of the non-children dressed up. They’re my kind of people! Congrats! My “little man” is 23 on the 27th so it does bring back wonderful memories.

  • Susan says:

    Happy Birthday to your son! Being a parent is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me and I still feel that way and Ewan’s 15. It must be that sleep deprivation you were on about earlier 😉

  • Lovely!! Also, dig the wonder woman get up.

  • Eliza Twist says:

    Here’s to many more beautiful years ahead! Thanks for sharing the celebration with us. It is so good to remember all that is worth celebrating!

  • Apseed says:

    Happy Birthday to your little boy!

  • Ellen D says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful event with us Ashley! Children are truly a gift and please enjoy every precious moment. Its amazing how quickly time flies by. My little “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle”
    is now 26 and has served two tours in the Middle East.

  • KC says:

    Well put Ashley! Happy Birthday Huxley.

  • KC says:

    Well put Ashley! I think you’ve summed up parenting very well. :)

  • Georgette says:

    Happy birthday dear Huxley and congratulations to young mother Ms Ashley for being such a stunning and creative parent! Your party looks like a wonderful festive memorable celebration!