Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It takes a village...

We were so lucky when our oldest was born. My husband and I were in rabbinical school and we were in a large community of students and friends.

Most of our friends were young-marrieds, singles, and almost no one had kids. We were among the first.

Definitely having a baby is hard. The first one is a total shocker. Life changes. Those first few months, that first year are a killer.

David was born in November. I wrote and handed in my thesis proposal between his birth and January. I handed in my completed rabbinic thesis three months after his first birthday.

We rarely went out at night but we had a great co-op daycare center on campus. Our weekly poker game continued, almost uninterrupted by David's birth, at our house. We put him to bed at 7pm. Poker started at 7:30. Some nights we had as many as 25 people in our house. The baby slept on upstairs, unaware.

Today someone reminded me of all that. She has her first child now, almost one year old. It's been, as it is for all of us, a rough first year. They regularly speak about us, she says, and how we made it "look easy." We should have offered to help you out more, she told me, if only we had realized how hard it really was!

And yes, it was hard. But I have to say, I can't imagine doing it any other way. I'm so glad we "hit the ground running" as my husband likes to say, by having a baby before we were out in the "real world."

We were so lucky. Our child was passed from future rabbi to future rabbi...all the time. These people are my best friends in the world, they are my family. They were the ones who visited me in the hospital as I labored. (Imagine...the hospital was next-door to our school. At lunchtime, I had a full room of friendly visitors as labor progressed....can you believe it!?) I wish we'd all had our kids together. I wish I could have held their babies in their newness. Now they're all out there, having their babies, spread all around the country. I wish I were with each one of them, sharing their experiences as they shared mine.

I love my life. But sometimes I miss my friends and their babies.
Welcome to the world, Hazel Zahara. I wish I was there to kiss your beautiful little head.


Vered said...

That was SO beautiful. You brought tears to my eyes!

The first year IS hard. You were so lucky to have trusted friends around.

Leora said...

Sweet way of writing about the first year with a baby. And now I remember how hard it was to have TWO little ones together (baby and toddler). But with my third, having a baby with two older children was a pleasure! I still make my boys help her, and then they remind me that she is no longer a baby.

John Sklar said...

The best part about grandchildren is that for the first time your children actually understand how you feel about them.

Jack said...

That was a very nice story.

Scribbit said...

It makes me remember how short those years with my children really are. Thanks!

Another meshugannah mommy said...

Oy - this post made me cry!!!!! Maks me remember that friends are just as important as family!