I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Mid-summer 2012 was a hot one, especially downtown Kalamazoo. Every time I drove into town, I felt sticky and couldn’t breath. There was no breeze.

Our home on the lake however, where the wind blew across the water to our porch and our children played in garden making mud with the hose, was paradise. I didn’t want to leave.

So I didn’t leave. For weeks on end, I made the trek to the city only when necessary. Groceries and Nona’s house were exceptions.

I felt grateful for our oasis and didn’t miss my social engagements. Friends took the back-burner. Family came first.

Then the inevitable happened.

I had slowly built up to a reclusive lifestyle which for me, was not only unsustainable, it was downright dangerous. Turns out, I’m a social person. I like people. Being around people, talking and listening to people.

Contrary to my heat-induced-lock-down session belief that maintaining relationships is hard work that I didn’t have the energy for, friends are worth the effort. The rewards of meaningful relationships are plentiful (namely my sanity).

Could my nearest and dearest sense something? They came out of the woodwork and invited me to gatherings, asked me to be a member of a panel discussion, voted me in as Kalamazoo Regional Coordinator of FoMM and gently nudged me to take a few more steps toward postpartum doula training.

I’ve learned a lot through these seasons and am so grateful for these times. Now I’m – quite literally – moving forward.

Here is my “official” announcement:¬†Friends, family…we’re moving back to Kalamazoo.

We’ll be within biking distance to downtown. Ten minute drives to Mom’s and Grandma’s. Ten minute walk to Crane Park. A dozen children live on the block. Cherished friends nearby. Couldn’t ask for more.

I remember feeling such a sense of relief when we moved to the lake house. It was exactly what we needed. Now we’re feeling the same way again. We’re craving connection – a big one on the totem pole of needs.

As I finish preparing for the move next weekend, I’ll spend the week reminiscing and mourning the loss of this lakefront dwelling – I did give birth to Lucan here afterall – and anticipating this exciting new chapter.

4 Comments

  1. Reply
    Annie Wendt October 29, 2012

    Wow, big news indeed! What neighborhood? As much as I find myself craving the country life, I will say that living in a community of friends has been an immeasureable blessing. I hope that you find the right balance in your new place. I will also say that we have the teeniest little yard, but there is always room to be found for making mud, even in the city!

    • Reply
      Kaitlin October 30, 2012

      Yeah! We’ll be on a small dead-end road off Burdick. Lots of families with small children. We’ve got a 6×6 patch of grass in the back. ;)

  2. Reply
    Mary Collier October 29, 2012

    Kaitlin,
    I love the documentation of momentous decisions in your life. These will be such a blessing to your children, and your children’s children, and sociologists and anthropologists in the future studying family life in this millennium. Well done, remarkable friend and former student, well done!

    • Reply
      Kaitlin October 30, 2012

      Thank you Mary! That is, in large part, what I am striving to do with this little blog. I appreciate you taking time to read my stories and that you provide such supportive feedback.

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