Deeply Rooted + Reflecting on One Year of Motherhood
It’s late in the PM and everything is familiar. My best friend’s laughter. My dog scratching at the back door in an attempt to get outside. My parents, aunts, and uncles laughing loudly over a game of dominoes in the next room. The smell of my favorite blanket in my childhood home. Music from my youth. The taste of our favorite food and drinks. My brother and his signature commentary on any and everything. Cousins playing. This is comfortable. This is home. But tonight is different. There’s so much new mixed in with the old. My best friends are still here, but so are our husbands; our children. My brother is an adult, something I still refuse to fully accept. My once wild and spry pup now moves a bit more slowly, with gray hairs peppering her coat. The relationship I share with my parents is ever-evolving. My life feels like aged wine, growing better each year. I’m so grateful that we’re all still here. We’re still together. I am deeply rooted and anything that I will ever accomplish in my life is because of this.
The occasion that brought us together this past weekend was the celebration of my beloved son’s FIRST birthday. That’s right; his first trip around the sun. What a trip it’s been! My inaugural year of motherhood was one for the books. It started with a 6-week stay in the NICU that hit me hard with so many lessons. I was forever changed by my own experience, as well as the experiences of the other moms I bonded with. We were overjoyed when we brought him home, but it was not always smooth sailing. We dealt with sleep adjustments, returning to work, hospital bills, scheduling numerous appointments with doctors/specialists, exclusively breastfeeding, slow growth, and even a (minor) surgery. Sometimes it’s hard to catch my breath, but I never stop running. There is no part of my life that looks the same as it did prior to his arrival. I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy, even with keto. My day begins before the sun rises, and ends long after it has set. I don’t think I’ve slept longer than a four-hour stretch since sometime in 2017. We have to be creative with ways to engage with our friends, as we had become accustomed to meeting up at the bar at the drop of a dime and taking spontaneous road trips whenever we felt like it. Our financial priorities have drastically changed. We have to be intentional about continuing to engage in things that make us happy and fulfilled outside of parenthood and marriage. None of this takes away from the fact that this tiny human is the best thing that has ever happened to me. To us. When he smiles, it takes my breath away. I’m in love all over again, and so grateful to be experiencing him. (Check back in with me when he’s a teenager).
My family is mostly concentrated in Tulsa, OK and northern Texas (Dallas, Paris). It’s difficult being away from them in a city where I have no family whatsoever. My husband and I are currently thinking about where we want to settle next. I say next because neither of us are super traditional and we both find the appeal of moving to various cities over the course of our lives. I tend to be on the more free-spirited side, and love to learn about as many different cultures as possible. On the other hand, I have such a deeply rooted foundation and can't help but want the same for my son. There are friends I’ve had since birth. I still have the same core group of best friends that I met in the 6th grade. My family and friend circle is heavily intertwined. I feel torn between my adventurous, free spirit and wanting to stay firmly planted. I truly believe that I can do both, but what does that look like with a kid? We’re going to find out very soon. The past few years we’ve seriously discussed heading toward the east coast. It just feels aligned with our interests, hobbies and values. My husband even thought about the Pacific Northwest. But now? Dallas could be a good move for us for the sake of our little one. Only time will tell.
Back to my son’s first birthday party. It was wonderful. The Tulsa Zoo served as the perfect venue for our Wild One. Family and friends came from near and far. My heart swells with gratitude for these loving and generous human beings. I cooked all of the food, secured the venue, and ordered the cake and favors. Our family crew took care of transporting, decorating, cleaning, and a lot of other dirty work ensuring that I could have some time to spend with my baby on his big day. I can’t say that he was super enamored with the zoo animals, but he had a great time playing with the other children. It’s surreal to me that I’ve had friends since I was 12, and now we get to see our own children interacting with one another. Side note: my mom needs to stop playing around and become an event planner. But that’s another story.
Tulsa isn’t the largest town, but the food scene is still very legit, especially if you know what you’re looking for. I didn’t have time to visit all of my old spots, or hit up many of the new ones that have popped up in my absence. We did get to (very quickly) visit the Mother Road Market, self-described as “a vibrant community space, allowing Tulsans and tourists alike to eat, sip, shop and enjoy over 20 different food and retail concepts - all under one roof. Customers are able to browse specialty gift items, and pick up fresh ingredients like local produce, meat and dairy to take home and cook their own creations.” This spot is about a mile away from my childhood home, and my parents actually walked there to enjoy lunch the next day. My neighborhood has changed SO much. While it has become somewhat gentrified, there are still a few aspects I can appreciate.
At the end of the day EVERYone was tired. My parents’ house unintentionally became the after-hours place to be. We laughed, drank, opened gifts, and enjoyed being together until late in the PM. It was all too familiar. My best friend’s laughter. My dog scratching at the back door in an attempt to get outside. My parents, aunts, and uncles laughing loudly over a game of dominoes in the next room. The smell of my favorite blanket in my childhood home. Music from my youth. The taste of our favorite food and drinks. My brother and his signature commentary on any and everything. Cousins playing. It was everything. It was peace.