There was a time, when it was just me and this boy. David would leave for work, kiss us goodbye, and we had the entire day to just get to know each other. That’s the sweet thing about having children, you’re constantly getting to know them.
We brought Eli home from the hospital to the same home I was raised in. It was the only home I ever knew until I got married at 21, moved into an apartment for a year, then the stars aligned and at 22 and 23, David and I were able to buy our first house, my parents house, my childhood house. A house that continues to bless us today, even though we haven’t owned it for 6 years now. I turned my old bedroom into Eli’s nursery. The same bedroom where I sat on the floor and talked to my boyfriend for hours and hours on the phone. The same bedroom where I slept, my final night before marrying that same boyfriend years and years later. Although I cannot imagine living in that house again, that home, that 1940′s ranch, will forever be so insanely dear to my heart. I loved it while I lived there. The brass hardware on the doors, the skylight in the master bedroom, the never renovated kitchen, the french doors to the laundry room. And the memories, boy, those memories will never fade.
When it was just the two of us in that home on Cucamonga Avenue, I had to remind myself to talk to Eli. I wasn’t used to having someone with me constantly. I made up songs and forced myself to even talk him through a diaper change. I trained myself to talk and sing to that little man who made me a mother. I took Eli to the park, we browsed the craft stores, we napped, I made dinner with him strapped to me. A simple outing always turned into hours and hours away because we’d stop to nurse anywhere and everywhere we could. I made his baby food, I fed him a bottle while driving to the beach, I changed diapers in parking lots.
I was on a crash course to motherhood and I accepted the challenge with every ounce of my being. And it was in those first 9 months of Eli’s life, of the three of us living in my childhood home, that I started to become the new person I had waited so long to be. A mother, yes. But even above that, what becoming a mother taught me, was to live. And living is what I continue to do. Now with a 7-year-old, with a 4-year-old and a little babe in my belly. Being a mother is such an amazing experience, yes. But living is, well, an experience like no other.