When Amanda’s first daughter was just 5 weeks old, I flew from Colorado to California to meet her. Amanda’s husband was out of town so I was there to help (though, looking back through my own new-mama eyes, I’m not sure how much of a help I really was). We had a few “Lucy and Ethel” moments that will go down in our history, including one episode that involved taking Isabella’s temperature in the most delicate of ways and a poo-in-face situation for Amanda. It was surreal to realize my best friend since 4th grade was now a mother, and somewhat shocking to see how much work parenthood really is. As luck would have it, Auntie Amanda came to meet Oden when he was the same age that Isabella was when I met her! Here we are, 9 years ago and today. How history repeats itself!
It’s hard to describe how much it meant to me to have her here, and how much of a help she was. With her extra set of hands, we actually made dinner (Thai Chicken Tacos and homemade pizzas) and baked cookies. We took walks on the golf course and tested out a new baby carrier and put together Oden’s swing, which has since given us significantly more freedom and peace. Auntie had plenty of Oden time and reminded me with her attitude to keep a smile on my face. We sipped wine and watched movies, passing a sleeping baby back and forth.
Probably the best thing about Amanda coming to visit was her encouragement that I can do this. Together, we could get more stuff done but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t do myself if I just tried. A great example is the day we spent at Red Butte Garden. I knew that there were plenty of paved pathways around the garden that would work with Oden’s stroller, and it was a great idea for an outing. But for some reason, I would have been intimidated to pack up the diaper bag, stroller, and car seat to go by myself with Oden. We went, and spent a beautiful day wandering the garden!
The daffodils and other bulbs were blooming like crazy, but most things were just starting to bud. I loved showing Amanda the kiddie area, the amphitheater where we see music in the summertime, and the view of the city. Oden slept for most of the day, but did have a mini-meltdown and needed a diaper change in the middle of the garden. We found a secluded little bench and changed him right there under the trees, something I would probably have been too freaked out to try alone. But now I know I can do it.
The thing I loved most about Amanda’s visit was just her company. Whenever we are together, it’s like we’ve never been apart, though we’ve lived in different states for over 23 years. It’s so easy and comfortable and FUN. I laugh in a different way with Amanda. She’s been my other half since 1984 (!!) and saying goodbye at the end of each visit is always heartbreaking.
So I made her promise to come back this summer! Love you, Auntie Amanda!
One year ago: Herby Asparagus and Feta Frittata