This week, I'm going home for the first time since Christmas. While I know many people go much longer, this is the longest I've gone, and I'm excited.
I'm really excited. I feel more "grown-up" than I have in years past, and not just because I'm paying (almost all) my bills, living in Los Angeles, or working (mostly) full-time. Since I moved last September, I have learned more about myself, relationships, and specifically familial relationships, than ever before.
I partly credit my roommate, for her endless willingness to listen to me process, and I partly credit my boyfriend for the same reasons and then some, and I partly credit my job as a nanny.
Having relationships is not a magical formula that you implement to achieve certain results. Relationships are unique to the person, unique to the story, and ever-changing. This is a constant lesson I am learning.
When I started nannying Ayden, she was only five and a half months old. Now she's fourteen months. I knew nothing about caring for babies day-in and day-out, and I certainly knew nothing about the commitment and flexibility it requires.
This post probably should have come closer to mother's day, but caring for Ayden has entirely changed my perspective of not only my family, but also my mom. And our relationship. And moms' relationships with their children in general. I imagine that's how new moms feel towards their mothers when they have a baby, too. Because it changes you. Your mom isn't just your mom anymore (nor was she ever, that's just how it seemed). No no. She's a superhero, a battery that never loses its charge, a tree whose roots go so deep it'd be impossible to tear down.
I have asked my mom SO many questions about how she did things, how she stayed home with THREE kids under the ages of 6 for TEN YEARS.
MOM how did you it? How in the world did you do it?!
She says she doesn't know, but that she loved every second of it. And that's all she knows. I have this newfound respect and adoration and wonder for my mom (and dad, of course). Because raising children and loving them is no small feat. Not at all. And I haven't even experienced this in full yet, obviously, but I have had a very good glimpse.
I've already been sending my mom recipes of things we could make, dreaming about going to the farmer's market together, and anticipating the simple comforts of being with the two people who have known me from the second I was born.
(Also, I'm really going home because one of my best friends, whom I've known since third grade, is getting married in July! This weekend is bridal showering and bacheloretting and celebrating the bride-to-be. I'm the maid-of-honor and this will be my first time planning/hosting the party. Wish me luck. Also wish me luck driving home alone for the first time. That little green machine of mine needs to make it without problems).