I remember the day we brought my daughter home from the hospital. It was May, and the little river town we call home had just withstood a major spring storm. Tree limbs littered the roads and the the creek rushed muddy at the foot of the hill. Power was out in parts of our area and roads had flooded, impassable to some of those who’d wanted to visit our sweet little one.
Three days in the hospital and we were unaware of what had gone on outside its walls. My husband and I were in new baby love and we were eager to get her home to her brothers.
That first summer was hard. With each new baby you have to relearn the rhythm of life with a newborn: the endless hours on the sofa, the nursing, the lack of sleep. But the heart makes room and the head makes sense of it all. We kept mostly to ourselves, my children and I, only venturing outside for short walks to the playground or to throw rocks in the creek.
Our home became something more than a place to dwell. It was where we settled in, made a nest, and made our family.
It was where we spent humid afternoons on the front porch swing.
It was where we built pillow forts and made mud pies.
It was where my baby took her first steps, said her first words, and made her first memories.
Last night we spent our first night in a brand-new home. Two of my three slept in my king-sized bed, limbs over limbs and sheets all askew. We woke up this morning to new sights and sounds, our lives still packed in boxes and wrapped up in paper.
There will be new memories made here: sleeping in her first “big girl” bed. There will be first days of kindergarten and learning to ride a bike, new marks on the wall showing us just how much they’ve grown. I’m excited to watch my children move from toddlers to big kids in this home, but it’s bittersweet.
There’s nothing like memories of a baby’s first home, and this morning, I’m taking the time to remember.
Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. She writes about all things toddler at Babble’s Toddler Times. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.