It all started when I burst into tears watching the snapchats of my sisters all together at Cam's baby shower. I cried and cried. Camille was having a baby and I was missing everything.
Camille is the Lou to my Mimi. She is ten years younger than me (15 and having a baby! 😑) and she was my baby. She slept in my room and I tucked in her pacifier and woke up to her happy little face every morning. Watching Mimi with Lou is like reliving that part of my life and it brings me so much joy.
So how could Mille have her own private baby without me?!
The weekend after Camille was to have her baby my mother graciously planned and provided a trip with my sisters to see Shakespeare in Ashland. I committed six months before the trip. I had pie in the sky dreams of watching Shakespeare again.
But I have five stinkin' kids! I can't leave. And surely not two weekends in a row. I have never left. I've taken no breaks. I haven't been fully alone in years.
But the tickets to the shows were already purchased. One sister had already bailed. I wanted to go, badly.
Camille only has her first baby once in a lifetime. I couldn't miss it.
Guilt, fear, worry, planning be damned. I needed to go and I knew I'd live in regret if I missed these events.
So I utilized all my years of people managing and made a plan.
Thankfully I have a solid team. My friends, family, nanny, and husband covered me. Everybody survived, nay, thrived with a much needed break from each other. I feel very grateful and proud that everybody did so well without me. Apparently I am not crucial.
My trips were rad.
First, LA. Mille moved down there a month ago (btw, I call her Mille bc when she was little she deduced that nicknames were just the latter syllables of names). LA is home for me and I have a million memories and friends down there. As I was boarding the plane I got a text: the baby is here! LAME. She had been in labor for over 24 hours and I missed it by two hours.
But I arrived shortly after and met her sweet perfect baby Lorenzo.
The next two days were baby days. Pam and I cleaned her house and got things ready. Of note: she went into labor in the middle of a massive cooking project that included tons of chopped onions and uncooked chicken. Her fridge was bursting at the seams. We went to and from the hospital and got to hold and snuggle that little guy. He's a beautiful boy. Birth wiped Mille out though. I was glad I could be there to help with nursing. They didn't have much in the way of lactation support at that hospital so I did what Paige had done to me when Mimi was born: shoved that boob in the kid's mouth and taught her what a good latch feels like. They are a successful nursing pair. I was grateful to be useful.
Nathan was in LA for his birthday so on Friday night we threw a party for him. Was great to catch up with my ragtag band of misfits down there. I love those people.
Pam and I drove back to Danville together on Saturday and then on Sunday I was invited to attend the wedding of the century. Bronwyn and Todd were married at City Hall in SF and it was an epic black tie affair. The bride had no less than four outfits and looked stunning in every one. All of my favorite Danville people were there.
I rolled into SLC at midnight, spent three days resupplying and bonding with my children and then unloaded them on my dear friends for the next trip. I'm telling you, it was an intense two weeks.
Off to CA again and then a five hour drive to Ashland, Oregon. The babies stayed with their dad and he did a wonderful job with them. The big kids were farmed out each with a different family. It may have been the best weekend of their lives.
Celia, Ellie, Pam, and I saw Twelfth Night, Great Expectations, and a bluegrass production of the Yeoman of the Guard. We ate delicious food, shopped, and chatted. It was one of the best Ashland trips I've been on, many thanks to Pam for making it happen, Celia for planning the itinerary, and Ellie for driving.
I was home by late Sunday night and in school by Monday morning.
I am so grateful I was challenged by forcing myself to have fun outside of my children. My identity gets swept up in other people's needs and it was revelatory to be away. I think we all learned a lot. But man, I missed my babies and I am glad to be home again.