As the new year takes off, like everyone else, I find myself frantically attempting to evaluate the meaning of this past year; the ups, the downs, and pieces I’d like to replicate and those that I wish to leave behind. But no matter the memory I come across, good or bad, it seems to put a smile on my face.
Really, this was the “Year of People.” Amazing, unbelievable people, some new to my life and some old. One, specific member of the bunch was one my husband and I met in April: our daughter. A few weeks early, and arriving with immediate digestive issues, she was an incredibly difficult yet welcomed addition. My originally very private struggle (becoming increasingly public as we consider pregnancy number two) with post-partum depression went from one of the most horrific moments in my life to an eye-opening experience; watching my husband turn from a man who had barely held a baby to a happily-volunteering night nurse for both our child and myself. And the majority of the time, the guy had a smile on his face. A smile! How I ask you...HOW?
And as the slow process of coming out of the shadows progressed (and I mean slow), I continued to come across people that would make a lasting difference in my life. While pregnant, I met up a couple times with a few women that were also due around the same time as me. As our children were born, one by one, we visited each other. We went for walks. We called to check in. We privately cried, we publicly laughed, we had a terrible go at breastfeeding, we cried over it not working. Our husbands clicked and barhopped around Boston. My first real evening out with two mom friends, leaving the babies at home, was an outing for a VIP concert, where we drank a little too much champagne and laughed even more. And when I reflect on those first few months, it is often these tiny (but really, huge) gems that I think of just as equally as the depression, the pain, the never-ending sleepless nights. And frankly, if you ask me, that is success.
But 2012 wasn’t just about new relationships, it was about securing the old ones. My husband and I met young, and our relationship moved quickly. Out of our group of friends, we were not only first to get married, but to have a baby; and though our friends had always been amazing, we wondered if they would understand the ways we would need to change to accommodate our new lifestyle as parents. And you know what? They did. Tenfold.
Our daughter is amazingly lucky to have some superb “surrogate aunties” and other special people in her life--showering her with snuggles, play time, and goodies. Friends drive in from hours away, or leave their house to take the T in the pouring rain, or “Facetime” from LA while getting ready for work, just to spend time with her. She’s received not only the most amazing material items, but the attention and love anyone could only dream about. The requests for pictures and videos haven’t stopped flowing, and the outpouring of love and support for both our “Bird” and her parents never ceases to amaze me.
And though the year has changed over, we are still our little compact family on a road towards happiness, with that unconditional support from miles (upon miles) around.