This past weekend Jamesie and I flew down to South Carolina to celebrate my sister in law's 30th birthday. It was an eventful weekend full of delicious food (ahem, oyster roast), terrific conversations, shopping and beach walking. The thing I love most about the South in January is the sun. It may be chilly or even cold, but the sun still shines as if it were a hot July day. Seeing the sun was so nice. Overall, the joyfulness and festivity of the weekend was only made more enjoyable by Jamesie's presence. He was the center of attention (besides the birthday girl of course) and the topic of many conversations.
I was anxious about the flight. I was worried that Jamesie would cry the whole time, or that the air pressure would bother his ears. Flying in general scares me, and this fear was heightened because of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. I was also stressed out about the difficulty of traveling with an infant. All troublesome thoughts aside, things went smoothly, as they tend to do when you expect the worst. Jamesie hardly made a peep on the plane (aside from laughter), and spent a large portion of our flight playing peek-a-boo with the nice man sitting behind us. I think he thought the whole thing was rather spectacular and hilarious. As he does again and again, Jamesie surprised me with his willingness and curiosity. It makes me think of how eventful even the smallest experiences are when you have a baby.
Jamesie fell asleep in his Ergobaby 360 carrier before we boarded the plane. He's so cosy and protected in there - it's a plus for him and me!
I look back on my life before I became a mother and I think of how different things were... How different I was. My agenda this weekend would have been much different had I not had a child. I certainly wouldn't have been discussing the struggles of breastfeeding or enjoying the reactions to precious baby smiles. Instead I would be talking about the job I had accepted and how much of a shock the drudgery of the work force is the first year out of college. In short, I would be living a lifestyle that reflected my recent college years - my friends would be the center of my life, not my family; I would probably hate my job, but I'd love the city I lived in; and the thought of having children would just be so... far off.
The future. It's funny... Previously I always thought children were some distant thing of the future, but now being a mother (and being just 22-years old) I can't imagine a better life. I am happier now that I have been in my entire life and that is because of my child and the amazing support system that I have in James. When I look back at the best memories of my life I will think fondly of the times spent with friends, going out to parties etc etc, but my most cherished memories will be the ones created with my child (children? ...too soon?).
I use my Ergobaby all of the time, but it was particularly nice to have this weekend when we were walking on the beach or shopping around the island.
I never would have guessed that having a baby would bring my life so much joy, even under the difficult circumstances. There is no perfect time or place to start a family, and you will never 'be ready' (I certainly wasn't) to have a baby until you actually have one. Parenting is a lot of learning as you go and doing what feels right. That being said, if I had planned to have this child, I would have waited until I was married. I'm so blessed to have James as a support for me, but also as a father for my baby because every child deserves that.
It's amazing how one little human can effect your heart so deeply. Before my life was lived for the weekends, full of highs and lows, without any appreciation for the small pleasures (besides tea, I've always immensely enjoyed a good cup of tea). Now everyday with Jamesie is an adventure; commonplace doesn't exist in my life. Each morning I wake up and it feels like Christmas. Now I understand why some women have so many children - I don't want to miss even one minute.
All in all it was a fabulous weekend, and just the getaway that I needed. I have been vacationing in South Carolina my entire life, and going down there always puts me in such a great mood and good frame of mind. Jamesie had one "moment" on the plane ride back, that was alleviated by a nice nap in mamma's arms. I probably enjoyed it more than he did.
Happy Birthday, Virginia!
(Shoutout to ally & eloise for that outrageously delicious carrot cake!)