The first month of Leo’s life has been full of joy, love, and amazement; but also rife with challenges. There have been successes, and there have been failures. A prelude to what parenting will likely be.
Having my mother and sister here has been a wonderful gift.
My mother arrived shortly after Leo was born. She promptly began cleaning – our floors, our bathrooms, our laundry – cooking, changing diapers. She even got up with me to keep me company during late night feeding sessions. She helped get us through a broken kitchen faucet, a broken refrigerator and a new momma with a fever to 103 for three days. All within Leo’s first 2 weeks of being home. Plumbers coming in and out of our house, breastfeeding with shaking chills, and sleep deprivation were a lot easier to handle with my own mother here. And as usual, she asked for nothing in return – albeit a few Coca-Colas and chocolate. Which we were happy to buy: in bulk.
When my sister came, thankfully there were no major new house disasters, and I was no longer sick. Jax arrived with the recent knowledge and experience of being a new mom. Her help around our house and her gentle reassurance were amazing. Taking a line right out of our mother’s book, she also cooked, cleaned and helped with 3am feeding sessions.
These ladies even gifted me a massage and Aunt Jacquie babysat Leo for an hour so this new momma could relax.
Dropping them off at the airport was difficult for me. I didn’t want to see either of them leave. But I also felt a little stronger, and a little more confident than before they had arrived. They both injected new life into me. My life, and Leo’s life, is so much richer for having these two strong women in it.
I made a quick trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine this past weekend to meet up with Jake and his family. Jake, his brother Max, and his dad had just biked 1000 miles over 14 days around Maine. It’s been an adventure in the making for about a year now and they were so excited about it. I can’t even begin to think about making that kind of trip. I was tired just thinking of their days filled with 70, 80, and 90 mile excursions.
So I met them at the finish line and spent 2 days breathing in the clean air, hiking the green mountains, sitting on the dock of the lake. It’s wonderfully simple up there. It reminds me a lot of where I grew up in upstate New York – with the forests, the hills, the crisp, fresh air.
Getting to spend time with Jake’s family was great – Max and his girlfriend Kati are big outdoor enthusiasts – although they didn’t convince me to hike the Precipice. But we did do a nice easy hike. My fear of heights is ridiculous, I know.
And now I’m back to reality, work, studying, stress. Two days in Maine was a nice distraction.
My sister, mom and my niece Perry came up to Boston a couple weeks ago to help me do some wedding shopping. And it’s the strangest thing: any time my sister comes to Boston, we get a ton of snow, AND, she’s pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. She didn’t disappoint on the snow, and I’m happy to report that she was much less sick this time around!
Perry wasn’t too sure about that snow at first. It took her a few minutes to even try to touch it. After some serious reservations though, she finally did pick up a little snowball.
This is my favorite photo of their visit.
^Love these girls.^
Well, I turn 32 today, and while I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, I am a little sad as well. My brother Philip would have turned 30 today. A big birthday. I have such sweet memories of my mom making two birthday cakes, my parents getting two sets of presents, and of all the birthday fun we always had on January 21st. While I was weeks late, Philip was early, and somehow, we both emerged on the same day – 2 years apart. My parents always made sure to make us each feel special on our shared day. We would even get to have two separate birthday parties!
I’m so lucky. I have amazing parents, an awesome sister, an amazing brother-in-law and niece. I have my love, Jake. I have incredible friends and family all over the world. I have a brother who isn’t here anymore, but who holds a special place in my heart always, but especially on this day.
I’ve never shared feelings like this so publicly, but because it’s our birthday, because I feel so lucky, and so loved, I wanted to share.