It’s been 7 years exactly. 7 years since my heart cracked wide open and new life began, HERS and mine. It’s been 7 years since I began my journey as a new parent and bore witness to the miracle of watching a cuddly newborn baby develop into a walking, talking, and opinionated, passionate, kind and loving little girl. It’s been 7 years of first foods, first steps, first friends, first days of Mommy and Me, preschool and now elementary school. So much has happened that I’ve tried to document in baby books, scrapbooks and journals but life seems to be going so fast that I often feel like the last 7 years have been a blur! I’ve worked hard to be present as a parent—to try to remember the feeling of the sunshine on my back as I pushed my daughter on the swing at our local park, to remember the feeling of how tiny she once was and how easily she fit into my sling as we’d go for walks in our neighborhood and hikes in our nearby mountains. Somehow, all of these wonderful memories of new motherhood (as well as the exhausting nights that is equally a staple of new motherhood), seem to be a little foggy. I remember a lot of the moments, the special holidays and events but not the specific days.
In the 7 years since I’ve been a mom, I’ve rarely been able to sleep in or to read the Sunday newspaper from cover to cover over a leisurely brunch. It’s been 7 years since I have gone to happy hour with friends from work without either a baby or small child in tow OR since I’ve gone solo but have felt guilty for leaving a child at home with a sitter so that I could have some much needed adults-only time.
7 years as a mom teaches you a lot. Your parenting muscles develop, your ears become adept at hearing sounds in the middle of the night, your multitasking skills sharpen. 2 years into our parenting life, our second child, another daughter, was born. My three sisters and I are all 2-3 years apart and I loved growing up in a large family with siblings so close in age. On the day I went into labor 7 years ago, I called my oldest sister, Jen, to tell her the news and she managed to leave a meeting in Chicago, race to O’Hare and arrive in the delivery room at our hospital in LA with a few hours to spare before our daughter was born! Now, that is something only a sister would do! My sisters and I shared friends, clothes, and the usual sibling drama but we also grew up to be very loyal, loving and protective of one another. My sisters have always encouraged my dreams and career ambitions and have supported me along every step of the way. It probably helps that we are all very independent and have created authentic lives for ourselves that ring true with our individual passions and interests.
I also have a wonderful half-brother—brother (I really hate the term “half” it seems somehow to diminish the relationship’s significance). Lev’s 10 years older and I also have a half-sister, Julie, who is 15 years older. Lev, Julie and I have become closer as adults but as kids, the age difference was so great that I didn’t get to experience them as “kid peers,” they seemed like adults to me at the time. Now that we are older and we are all parents, the age difference seems less apparent, especially with my brother, Lev, as his two kids are nearly the exact same ages as ours.
7 years ago, our OB told us the news we were waiting to hear for 9 long months—the words, “it’s a GIRL!” The surprise was well worth the wait and my childhood dreams of one day having a daughter were realized. 7 years ago, a new baby was born—one of approximately 370,000 babies that are born each day worldwide–but in our small corner of the planet, here in sunny Los Angeles, it marks the day that our life truly began as a FAMILY.