But Mommm: It Takes a Village

butmomm_mastheadby mom blogger, Tracy Ashley

As we gear up for a four-day getaway without the boys I’m reminded just how lucky we are to be surrounded by family and friends who love them.

This is not the first time I’ve realized it. In fact way before they even existed it’s why we chose to live where we do. After living in the city and down in the Annapolis Valley during our university and early career years it was tempting to stay away to build our new life together. In the end though it was the lure of family and the idea of one day having kids to raise that brought us back home.

We are very fortunate for all of our parents and most of our grandparents to still be around and in good health. We literally live next door to my parents, almost across the road from my sister, and within 8 minutes of one of my mother, father and sister-in-laws. Craig’s Gram lives in a suite attached to our house and the other two Grams and his brother are within 30 minutes of us.

Granddaughter and grandmother

To some people this would seem like too much family too close. To us, it’s a blessing. We all have our own lives and live them separately, but know that the others are close by, if needed.

As a busy family with two full-time working parents our boys are lucky to have their extended family to provide the love, support, and healthy balance they need when we can’t always be there.

I’d like to think I haven’t taken advantage of it or have taken it for granted but it’s great to take pause every once in awhile to look up and realize what you have.


Thank you to “Gram Higgins from Home” for sneaking their snacking bellies endless supplies of crackers and cheese at your place. Thank you to Grammy McMichael for all of the times you’ve met the boys at the bus stop and made sure they got their macaroni casserole fix for the week. Thank you to Nana for driving them home from school twice a week, and introducing them to the adventures of Beavers and Cubs. Thank you to “Grammy Higgins from Alberta” (yup, they literally call her that every time – guess where she lives?) who lives much farther away but makes every minute magical when she’s with them. To Grappy Michael who has given them their first driving lessons on the gator and never misses the opportunity to be a big kid with them. To Grampy Ashley who has passed along the wonderful tradition of the first gift of Christmas. Thank you to Aunt Kilah for sharing your love of Broadway musicals and for reading bedtime stories to them. Thank you to Aunt Jame for sharing the world of travel and culture with them and for making our trip to Ireland happen. To Uncle Dev and Aunt Tanya, thank you for the love of live music and for bringing them their first cousin earlier this year, sweet Aubree.

There are many others to list, but like Great Aunt Donna and Pam, and our friends Keith, Suzanne and their gang, Amber and Blaine and their playful dog Breagh as well as Brent, Tera and the kiddies.

Thank you to each and every one of you for loving our boys. They are better off for having each of you in their lives.

Tracy is a self-employed Mom of two boys, trying to get it right the first time. By day, helping companies tell their stories through words, media and events. By night, navigating the world of Lego, Minecraft and Harry Potter.

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