At the beginning of April, I was lying on the ground, in the woods, at night, bleeding.
Okay, okay. It was for a film I was shooting. Still, not a bad analogy for my fears about this many firsts at once: First time traveling with baby. First time flying SOLO with baby. First time working with baby. First time working on location with baby. First time entrusting baby with two different caretakers. First time being a lone parent for this many days. It might end in blood.
But funny thing – it all worked out just fine. There were definitely moments of profound fatigue (shooting a film, in freezing weather, at night, and then coming home to baby who wakes every three hours), but amazingly, we all made it through.
As Corey would say, we surthrived. He has a gift with the portmanteau.
I took this photo at the beginning of our journey because I realized I needed proof that it was happening. The job, the opportunity, came up relatively quickly, and suddenly plans were made and logistics were logisticked and there we were in the Southwest terminal bobbing around.
Here's something I discovered: while I might hesitate to demand something for myself, demanding something for my child is very, very easy.
Initially, I was slated to work three days and come home. My beloved aunt had agreed to fly from Seattle and help take care of S jr during filming. However, movie schedules are often a fluid concept, and suddenly my stay was extended by three days. My aunt had a trip to Europe planned, so couldn't extend her time.
I had a small, internal panic, contacted a dear friend who has a lot of nanny experience and THANK GOD she was available those remaining three days.
I heard myself say to production, Here's what you need to do. You need to fly my nanny up to the location, put her up, and pay her.
And they DID.
And to their credit, they only blinked once when I first told them I was bringing my infant son. Corey was deep in rehearsals for a play and would also be heading out of town. Crazy as it seemed, it worked better to take the baby with me.
Working Mom, I mouthed to myself, like a mantra. Working Mom.
And in a beautiful twist of timing, and because we shot at night, I ended up having multiple days to explore Lake Tahoe, which I hadn't been to in years. It was cold enough to require earmuffs, but the air! the air! So clean! So good!
So much good that the baby slept even more, knocked out by the amount of pure oxygen.
We did hikes with my aunt and my friend and basked in the sun. Duck dock.
An oddity – this bricked-in tree. The tree seemed alive, so I'm unsure what purpose the bricks serve. Are they supporting it? Is someone trapped in there? Is it someone's odd way of merging man and nature?
Apparently, the answer is just to look like a doofus in front of the strange.
There's S jr in the Baba Sling. I love that thing SO MUCH. S jr always settles in it quickly, and the hands-free aspect is delightful. Plus, I love that he's in a natural position, cradled, instead of starfished against my chest. We use a Baby Bjorn sometimes, too, but for the long-term carry, the Baba Sling wins every time.
Long before a baby materialized, I often wondered what it would be like. Working. Having a baby. At the same time. Would I want to work? (Yes.) Would I want to take care of the baby? (Yes.) Would it be hard? (Yes.) Would it be worth it? (Very much Yes.) These answers are particular to me, and I'm sure there will be times and jobs when things are less clear, more complicated. But on this maiden voyage into working motherhood, it was great to feel like I could enjoy both parts of what I was doing.
That was due, in huge measure, to the wonderful skills and talents of my family and friend. They literally made it possible to be a Working Mom, and I am so grateful.
Something about a village....?
Glad I have one.