Our family bed

My new years resolution for 2015 was to make time to write again. A little over two months into the new year and here I am. Maybe it was the writer’s equivalent of the age old resolution, “I’m gonna make time for myself this year” or maybe I just missed being able to read my thoughts out-loud. Either way, I’ve reaffirmed that one of the best feelings in the world is crawling into a cold, crisp bed and pulling a warm, weighty laptop onto my lap. The bright screen is all the light I need and the click clacking of the keyboard against the silence of the night does something good for my soul. Two babies are sound asleep in their rooms, two monitors are humming quietly on my nightstand, the man I’ve shared my bed and moments with for 13 years is side-sleeping next to me with a pillow in-between his knees, all is well. When Danny had ACL surgery in 2004 his knee pillow became a mainstay in our bed. I never truly understood it until I was forced to become a side-sleeper in pregnancy and ended up adopting one of my own. From knee pillows, to puppies, to babies, to toddlers, our family bed has endured it’s fair share of chaos over the years. It has become a symbol of all that has evolved around us. Or more accurately, all that has evolved inside of us.

When I glanced at my last blog entry to see where I left off, the emotions that consumed me when I wrote it washed over me. Almost a year ago I was adjusting to being a mom of two and trying to figure out how to juggle my first baby love and my precious addition without feeling guilty for splitting my time and energy into two. Although incredibly optimistic, I soon found that multiplying love easily equaled more love but multiplying bottles and night feedings by diapers and baths never equalled more time in the day when I needed it to. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for Danny to find me tucked into bed, swiping through photos of Lennon on my phone, with tears streaming down my cheeks. As much as I adored every minute I spent bonding with my sweet Layla Liv, I so missed my silly little boy. I missed our park dates and grocery store excursions. I missed our morning car rides to school, counting the mailboxes and singing along with Taylor Swift. Danny took over the majority of my daily rituals with Lennon (and also added a few more to the routine he already had with him) in order to keep him occupied when Layla was feeding every hour on the hour. It was hard to swallow that Lennon’s long, therapeutic hugs were becoming few and far between and when I caught him looking at me from across the room with confused eyes my heart hurt. When he would cock his head in my direction, as if to ask me where I had gone, I would cry. But thankfully, just the way all difficult times do, the hardship passed. As Layla became independent enough to entertain herself and as my arms became available for more hugs and snuggles from my little man, Lennon began to fall back in love with me. And more importantly, he began to fall in love with his sister.

Around the same time, Danny signed a one year, no frills or guarantees, contract with the Giants after a tumultuous season out of football. All we could see on the horizon was the unknown but regardless of the uncertainty we celebrated his huge achievement and decided to cherish the good of everyday rather than fear the missteps of every tomorrow. We made plans both for successes and for failures as if either path would be the best one because we navigated it as a family. And when Danny made the team in September and it came time to take another leap of faith and uproot our little family, yet again, our family and our friends (who can only be described as family) assured us that it was okay to jump. So with their love, we leapt. And we’re so glad we did.

Just as Fall fell, we moved. 13 moves in 13 years, dating all the way back to college. We dove head first into a new city and a new adventure. Three timezones away, we went all in and we have not one regret. Danny played well and we had fun exploring the concrete jungle that was Manhattan. It really was all I had imagined it would be. We calculatedly maneuvered our way through date nights on Broadway, Central Park horse rides and sightseeing in Times Square, afraid we might miss something. We showed our Cali roots when we took the kids outside to play in two inches of dirty snow, because why not? And we started referring to pizzas as pies and picking up bagels and lox every Tuesday morning. We even learned to love New Jersey’s common BYO policy, as foreign as it was to us, and learned quickly that one should always take full advantage of the possibility of pairing corner market enchiladas with Silver Oak. I did have one hang up with the East Coast lifestyle though, one that I had experienced in Foxboro a few years prior as well. As hard as I tried I just couldn’t become a true Dunkin’ Donuts coffee convert. I gave it my best but at end of the day I still missed my soy lattes. Luckily, I found a Starbucks drive-thru down the street from Lennon’s school and there they learned my name and my order by the end of his first week of class. And oh Christmas in the Big Apple. It was, without a doubt, all it was chalked up to be. Watching Lennon’s smile go from big to enormous as we strolled up to the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center will forever be on the highlight reel of my life and introducing the kiddos to Santa at his NYC pad in the Macy’s on 34th Street was a bucket-list type treat. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.

And then there was football. The ever-present catalyst for most of our moves, the catalyst for most of the change. The game that has had a hand in shaping much of our experiences over the years, shaping the nomadic lives that are shaping our children. And it was as as loyal as ever. Watching Danny find success on the field on Sundays was so incredibly exciting. He courted the game he loved in a way that I hadn’t seen for years and it was simply magical. Something that had soured had become sweet again and it was such a treat to watch him savor every bit of it. MetLife gave him life. And for that I was truly grateful. Since time flies when you’re having fun, football season went by in the blink of an eye. Before we knew it we were on a flight back to California with new experiences and friendships stuffed in our pockets like a foreign currency that we would never exchange.

Our offseason plans were to spend time with our favorite people and to allow ourselves to become completely immersed in all things Lennon and Layla and so far we have been successful. As exciting as football season in a new city is, it’s always nice to get back to the West Coast in time to ring in the new year with loved ones. To spend some time in a place that Lennon calls “the cottonwood house” and I call “where all of our stuff is.” Although our house, our little town, is the place we’ll always come back to we know better than to call it home. Because over the years we’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. And wherever our family bed is, as chaotic as it might be, wherever we lay our heads down together, is home to us.

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