I can barely believe it’s been four weeks since Evvie was born. It’s just like a new mother to say something like that, isn’t it? A whole month. I want to mourn the time passing but the time has been so healing for our family. She’s getting a little pudgy and slowly creeping out of that super fragile state of teetering on the edge of 6 pounds and making me an anxious wreck. I’m less and less nervous about her and every day I feel a little stronger physically and emotionally.
Sometimes I feel like I could exist alone on tiny fingers and fuzzy booties.
That said, I have rarely left the house. I haven’t even watched television. I go to bed with Evvie and the kids every night to maximize my sleep time, but those hours late at night are my favorite. I used to stay up until 2AM nearly every night and I loved it. It’s quiet and dark, and I am completely at peace because all of my loves are safe and sound sleeping upstairs. Any “me” time I have is spent writing, or taking photos, or grocery shopping. In that order (showers don’t happen frequently enough to list yet). I actually really love doing all those things, but I’m starting to get super itchy.
The hours that I spend bouncing and cooing, my brain is somewhere hovering above my body, moving through a cascade of memories of our life in New York City. Even when Beau was tiny, I’d be outside walking Jack from school and having our daily coffee dates. We’d go grocery shopping together even, and I’d curse under my breath about having to pile all the food into my stroller while the kids laughed and danced in the aisles. It was so hard but it was so, so good. I was hands-on and exasperated, exhausted, and completely thrilled.
We live on the side of a mountain now, close enough to the ocean that we can smell the sea and hear the sealions, and on very clear days if I stand on my tiptoes I can even see the ocean.
I’ve been on tiptoes a lot lately.
Our neighbors are lovely, two of them even brought us dinner after Evvie was born. We’ve never had that before. There are tons of awesome, kind children playing in the streets and sleeping in the houses that surround ours. Friends for life.
This is everything I’ve wanted since I was a child. Literally, everything. We have a home and a tribe around us. We are so fortunate in so many ways and I am completely cognizant and grateful, though it plays into my guilt for feeling so incomplete and lost since we moved to Santa Cruz. The complicated, busy, gritty, packed life that we led in the city kept me alive and moving, motivated and inspired every single waking moment. I’d leave to get a gallon of milk even if it was raining and find something or someone along the way that would lead my brain down some hectic and exciting corridor.
I guess, even after a year, I still don’t feel at home and that drives me crazy. I probably just need a good book or a long swim to massage my brain back into a living and inspired heartbeat, both of which fall under the “self care” category that I’ve been preaching about but hardly actually living. That part is always the easiest for me to forget.
Then again, I’ve been sick for nearly two weeks and just found out I have pneumonia, so maybe I should just relax and try to just be? Probably that.
There is so, so much to be happy about. Perhaps I’m just relentlessly restless.
Get well soon so you can go to a pumpkin patch! The weather in CA is so awesome right now!
So sorry you are sick. Get well soon. Get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids. Hugs to you.
I’m very sorry to hear that you have pneumonia. I hope you get well soon. Much rest is needed as the doctor sure has told you, so it’s a good thing that you’re going to be with Evvie at 8:00PM.
With regards to you not feeling “at home” in Santa Cruz after a year; that’s because it takes 2 years for a person to adapt to a new environment and feel like they belong there. I have moved through 3 different countries, and in the States, I moved through 3 different states. Now in CA, I have moved through 3 different cities (there must be some correlation to this “3” – I had never noticed it until now that I’m writing this). So give yourself time, slowly, but surely, Santa Cruz will feel like home. You might still miss the City, but your home will be Santa Cruz.
Blessings to you and your beautiful family!
Jessica get well soon. It takes awhile to get use to a city. Me in 1998 took awhile to get use to petaluma from Marin county. But now I’m really use to it. It’s been a nice family town. I found you from following a ny IG. I’m glad I did. Your life seems really fulfilled. Not one of your pics on IG goes by from one person wanting to know where you bought whatever clothing. Keep doing your best.
So sorry you are sick. Hope you are better soon. Enjoy that tribe and neighbors around you. It’s wonderful to have and sad when you don’t. Thanks again for sharing with us
I hope you are better very soon.
I love the way you describe NYC. You put into words everything I feel about that amazing city. I would love to live again there for all the reasons you describe. I feel most alive when I’m there. Alas now I’m in a NYC suburb with my husband and 2 beautiful kids and other things make me feel alive now. Give yourself time. Nothing can compare to NYC.
So sorry to hear you’ve been sick! Hope no one else catches it, especially Evvie! She is perfect! 🙂
Awww feel better, take in that sea air and get yourself well. It’s for all those crazy mile and minute life moments I don’t think I could leave NY ever again but you’ll adjust just be open to this new normal and bask in all your blessings.
I hope you get well soon.
Those emotions just roller coaster when you are dealing with so much… even all good things like growing children, a beautiful new addition to the family, a wonderful community… and then physical illness on top of it all! Let yourself heal. Moving from OH to Houston, it took several years to honestly feel it was home… I committed to 3 years of fully engaging with my new town, neighborhood, etc and, at the end of those years, decided that I was home. You are so busy helping your tribe to adjust to their new work and schools, and there has not been much time for mental stretching/stimulation for your creative spirit!
Get well soon.
I moved from a city centre to the suburbs 4 years ago and it took me at least 2 years to adapt. Like you, everything here is great, especially for the kids. However, I used to miss the energy of the city like crazy. Watching people go out for drinks or a movie, restaurant goers, busy businesspeople rushing by, students, etc. etc. I used to cry when I walked past our prior flat. Now I’m more at peace but I can so understand that feeling. It does get better though. Good luck!
Feel better soon. It is so easy to get drawn into that cute face, and forget the rhythm of your own body.
You put it perfectly when you described the gallon of milk situation. It has been ten years for me – but when the weather is right – I miss my apartment and my life there in my gut and my bones and most of all my heart….
Jessica – You have been boon to me as a parent of a 21 year old baby and a 27 year old little boy! My wish for you is a feeling of peace, and being settled. You will find that you can feel completely fulfilled where you are surrounded by your loves. You are well on your way! Thank you for bringing me some peace, warmth and security through your writing AND your photos!
Oh how I get what you are feeling right now. I was born and raised in Manhattan, and only moved to the suburbs when I got married. There I finally learned to drive at almost 30 years old. Six years later, I am just started to get used to the suburbs. But when I had postpartum depression with my second child I was convinced that, had I been in the city, I might have gotten out it faster. Like you said, the city can be oh so annoying but it is also oh so alive. I still dream of going back (am actually in the city right now) , but I also happened to marry a man who is a die hard suburbanite. There are pros and cons to both environments, of course. I have space and land and peace out in the burbs. I intend to keep taking the pros from my situation, like you do. I’m feeling more and more at home everyday!
Jessica. Please rest. I know you want to do it all and see it all, and write it all but just take it easy and get some sleep! We all love you too much to have anything bad happen.