Our house is packed and the movers load everything tomorrow. It’s a cozy little place with plenty of natural light and a quirkiness I adore. It’s not big. It’s not trendy. But it suits us. It’s home.
It’s where our beloved dog died and our mama’s boy was born.
Here. Right here he entered the world. Right where I now sit typing.
Tonight I said goodbye to my uncle, who lives an hour away. Until we came to Texas I hadn’t lived in the same state as a family member since January 2002. It’s comforting to have family around–if you like them.
When I considered becoming a doula it never occurred to me the extent to which I would be let into other families’ lives. Sure, I knew I’d see a human being come out of the mom’s vagina, and there was a possibility I’d use my hands to help make a “breast sandwich” for her baby, but I did not foresee the emotional welcoming I would so often receive.
This afternoon I had a postpartum visit with a client who gave birth to a son one week ago. Over the 31 weeks since she hired me I have become privy to the tales of both parents’ upbringings. Their experiences make me thankful for the family I come from and the one my husband and I created.
I will miss this couple (maybe more so because they remind me of my husband and me ten years ago), but that is the nature of the doula-client relationship–transient.
I will miss others I’ve met here, too. The stay-at-home dad two doors down with whom I can commiserate about never getting to do anything I want to do. The neighbor who, even after our relationship (temporarily) crumbled when I presented her with information on circumcision, I trust completely to care for my children happily and eagerly, without resentment or expecting anything in return. The “mom friends” from school. Yes, I’d have you as my sister-wife, too. And yes, I hate that I won’t be able to be your doula in September. The older man whom we lived next door to for only a week and a half, but who became my first Texas friend (and daily screwdriver supplier as we awaited our respective spouses’ return from work) and is now dying of cancer. I wish I’d met you sooner. I will miss your smile.
We knew when we arrived almost three years ago that it would be a temporary stop. Moving now I have no such convictions. Will it be for one year or forever?
As I begin to grow weary of transience, forever sounds awfully appealing.
Goodbye, Texas. I will not miss you, but oh, how you have shaped me.