by Emily Stonehouse
I’ve been keeping a secret.
Well, as much of a secret as you can when you have a very public-facing job and are active on social media. So really, not much of a secret.
But some of you may not know.
I haven’t been alone in my stories for the past nine months. When I’ve gone to town halls and summer fairs and holiday concerts, I’ve brought a friend with me.
He’s been pretty quiet; really only making his presence known with a few swift kicks to the ribs, a growing belly, and a noticeable increase in washroom visits. But for the most part, he’s been a pretty happy camper.
And in a few short hours/days/weeks (yes, we’ve hit that point of uncertainty on this journey), he will be joining me in the daylight.
To be bringing a child into this world; a world where we have cruelty and famine and wars and sexism and bullies and just a whole lot of questions that may never be answered; it doesn’t always feel good. It often feels scary. Weird. Maybe even crazy.
And to do it as a woman? To make the choice of having a child, knowing full well that in whatever capacity I am doing it, it will change the trajectory of my life forever. I will be removing myself from certain roles in the community, stepping away from this job I have poured my heart and soul into, and taking time to not only nurture and grow a healthy child, but to simultaneously nurture and grow myself. That’s no easy feat.
It’s not easy to step away. Over the past year with the Minden Times and the Haliburton Echo, I have watched our communities evolve, change, and grow. I have witnessed joy, uncertainty, sadness, connections, warmth, and love. I have met people who are changing our world, and written stories on people who have left it, but not before making their mark on the hearts of so many. I have seen new businesses open; the sparkle in their eyes and the hope for the future, and I have watched businesses close their doors for good; feeling too tired to even lift a towel to toss.
I’ve seen changes.
And that’s all this is. A change. For now. If our community can evolve, change, and grow, then so can I.
I am leaving the paper in perfectly good hands. Thomas Smith will be stepping into the role of editor of the Minden Times, and a writer for the Haliburton Echo for the next year, and with it, he brings a new spin to the paper, and a thirst for showcasing the stories of our town.
I’ll be back eventually. You may even see me dabble a little here and there, while I’m taking the time to focus on my growing family.
And this little human who has joined me on this journey; who has already quietly attended town halls and summer fairs and holiday concerts, he will be so lucky to come into a community that is built on resilience, on support, on connections. Knowing that, it makes it all seem less scary. Less weird. And definitely less crazy.
I can’t wait to see all your friendly faces again, but this summer, I won’t have a notebook and a camera hanging on my shoulder. Instead, it’ll be a little boy propped on my hip, with a sparkle in his eye for all the magic Minden has to offer.
I’ll see you soon.