I started this website in 1998 when I was on maternity leave with my youngest daughter. I figured this whole internet thing might catch on and decided to learn how to use it in between diaper changes for Kaitlyn and playtime with our then four year old Tasha. Inkjet printers had just replaced the dot matrix, so suddenly printing and sharing things like colouring pages was a reality.
Darren and I were young when we became partners in life. I was just 24 when I gave birth to Tasha (the age she is as I write this article). What a wonderful journey parenthood has been. Choose a word that describes an emotion and I’ve felt it, more powerfully I think, through the lens of my role as “mom” than in any other aspect of my life.
When we met, Darren had never been on an airplane and my 1.5 hour flight from Regina, Saskatchewan to Winnipeg, Manitoba didn’t exactly qualify me for the title of “adventurous globe trotter”.
I still remember many “getting to know you” conversations that touched on the topic of travel. For Darren — summer roadtrips, family visits and “maybe someday a trip to the Stanley Cup” — were all he needed to be content. (For those of you who aren’t Western Canadian farmboys, the Stanley Cup is the yearly NHL hockey playoff, hehe).
I have to be honest... I wanted a bit more. So I asked him, “if you were going to fly somewhere exotic where would you go?” I was surprised how quickly he answered, “Australia!”
And why not? On the other side of the world was a place that somehow, to us Canadians, feels like long lost relatives on alien shores. A welcoming world filled with animals and vistas that seem as surreal as the ones in a Star Wars movie. I mean, really... have you looked at a photo of a quokka or a platypus!?
And so began 25 years of saving. Our plan was that once the children were independent, we would take a month off from all of the responsibilities of life and “reconnect” with each other and with our younger selves.
And that plan appears to be becoming a reality!
Hand in hand, we walked through the gates to board the first plane on our empty nester, grown up trip of a life time and suddenly Darren burst out laughing. I glanced at him, confused ... and he pointed past me out the window. I turned my head and immediately joined in his laughter. There it was, in all it’s glory! The WestJet Disney Princess plane... painted stem to stern with images of Ella and Mickey Mouse. Nope... can’t ever really escape from parenthood, but that’s ok! We don’t really want to.
So here I sit, beside the man I love on the Disney airplane that is our first step on the road to Australia. Our plans have expanded a bit to include a few days in Hollywood and a 10 day stay in Tahiti. After all these years together, I feel giddy and nervous to be embarking on our grand adventure. Not as mom and dad, but as Darren and Leanne.
Gosh, wish us luck!
Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are my own. I don’t get free stays or Disney Princess dresses for writing my reviews. No one involved is ever even aware I’m doing it.
Next in the DL minus TK series: Sports Fans and the Women Who Love Them
You might also enjoy visiting these sections on DLTK's Sites:
Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!). Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!
You can view my other blog posts here.