My Life and My Love
Last week kicked off the beginning of what is probably going to be a travel filled spring/summer season for our family. Evvie and I packed up and flew to Phoenix, Arizona for several days in Scottsdale at a resort nestled in the base of the desert mountains. Being that this was one of the larger conferences that I attend annually, I packed enough clothes for day and night wear for both of us. Beautiful summer bubbles & dresses for her, caftans, swimsuits, blouses and dresses for me. We checked two suitcases loaded to the brim with essentials for our trip, including my breast pump and nearly a week’s worth of homemade baby food for her. Our stroller made it onto the plane, as did my laptop, diaper bag and what felt like the entire kitchen sink crammed under the seat in front of us. “For someone who has four kids” our driver said, “you sure haven’t learned how to pack lighter”.
I had ordered a travel high chair and a travel bath seat on Amazon Prime delivered straight to the hotel for less than $50. When we got there, I meticulously unpacked everything into the drawers (who am I?) and put her food and stored breastmilk into the separate refrigerator that the hotel had sent to our room. Our first night was an easy one; Evvie ate a good dinner on the patio in the dry, warm and peaceful Arizona heat while we watched the birds and wild rabbits outside our balcony.
These traveling moments with her remind me so much of the time I spent with Beau when he was a baby, and it nearly knocks the wind out of me. It feels like only yesterday he was Evvie’s age, and yet a lifetime ago at the same time. The baby stage is so intense and encompassing that it’s almost hard to see the forest for the trees at times. I forget that my mind and body are still so entirely consumed by the physical needs that she demands even still at eight months of age; We are up no less than three times a night for nursing, and during the day she wants and needs to be near me, glommed on like a sucker fish. I don’t think twice about it, it is my life and my love, and my priority above all else, but it’s not unhealthy to recognize that removing myself even briefly is nearing crucial levels.
We’ll get there and I’ll look back on these times fondly, albeit with a flicker of exhaustion like I do with Beau, Zoe and even Jack. I give them all of me. It is my life and my love.
The day after we arrived in Arizona, Evvie developed a high fever. She didn’t have many other symptoms but after doing this enough times I knew not to panic and take her into urgent care until those symptoms showed up or the fever went into dangerous levels. Still, I don’t do well with feverish children. With Zoe’s history with febrile seizures I tend to go to a place of mild PTSD, my worried mind holds tightly onto it’s reigns but begs to unravel at every turn. The benefit of packing the kitchen sink when I travel means I had everything I needed just in case something like this happened: The NoseFrieda, infant pain reliever/fever reducer, saline solution and plenty of familiar, cozy blankets. In the end, all she really wanted was to be snuggled with me and that is what we did, despite the demands of being immersed in a work trip.
Evvie started to feel better by the time we checked out of the hotel three days later. We had spent time by the pool cooling her body temp down in the tepid pool water that both made her feel better and entertained her endlessly. My mom and my sister flew in to help care for her while I attended a few events that I couldn’t bring her to and also couldn’t miss. Aside from her not feeling well, this was the best possible circumstances and for that I feel endlessly grateful.
This time I get to spend with her alone is truly invaluable to me. Even if it means I’m constantly depleted physically and mentally, emotionally this feels like the most important investment.