As we get ready to go visit family in Vancouver in a few days, I cannot help but reflect on the past year and half here in Houston. Living far away from family is hard, but it makes their visit or going to see them so much more exciting. And I know we will always drop everything and be there for each other..um…right?? I hope so…
Ever since we had Sophia, life has been a non-stop adventure. It is true our families live too far away, but they showed up and supported us during the new transition even before she was born. Zahi was in a tougher part of his fellowship and could not really take any time off. We knew he would get two weeks off but we had to be smart about that. Since it was a scheduled c-section we could at least plan our help…as planned as a first birth could be. First we needed to move to a bigger apartment..a 700 sqft apartment was going to be just too tight (we didn’t know we were going to be 3 when we signed the lease to our apartment). So first, little bro saved the day and helped us move to a bigger apartment when I was 7 mths pregnant before a 2 bedroom would open up in our complex (thank you little bro).
Then we knew Zahi would take one week off from the day of birth. Then work for one week. Then take one week off and then back to full work. So father-in-law showed up two days before she was born and stayed for two weeks. I like to call him a live baby monitor. He may not have known how to do a lot of baby things (maybe next grand-baby we can teach him to change a diaper) but he did hold her and let us get a few snoozes when she would fuss endlessly.
Then little sis came for two weeks (and thank you thank you for all the cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, and taking the 1-3am shifts). How did we get so lucky!
Then mama Mansour came to save the day. I can tell you for a moment there, it felt like being a new parent was a piece of cake when she was around. I got naps, we had delicious food, there were so many laughs, and I even managed to finish completing dissertation edits to submit and completed teaching my Spring semester course (online but still). Forever thank you mama.
Less younger but still little sis then came for two weeks. By then we had totally got this parenting thing (HAHA as if!) but we did handle life better. We hung out and just enjoyed the baby smiles, blow outs, and occasional staying up late. So many good memories stored in my bank…so many.
By summer Sophia Sophia’s smiles and appetite had fully emerged…just in time for Teta Mitri and Chadi to come visit. Oh man how many things we did and explored. It is true the best way to discover a city is by having visitors. Some of my best memories of that visit was playing cards at night once Sophia slept, getting my toe dislocated when Chadi ran into it with his toe, hearing stories about baby Zahi from Teta Mitri, and watching Sophia get so spoiled by grandma.
We have been pretty lucky since we have already gone on visits to Atlanta, Vancouver, and Lebanon to meet up with family and friends and looks like another one is coming. And we get to enjoy dropping Sophia off at grandma’s house and doing a few adult trips without planning and worrying about who will care for the active little toddler.