Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
From everything I had heard about a new mom and dad’s first night away from their baby, we were supposed to be constantly distracted, wondering if our son was okay. That every hour we would call in, checking on him. That the quality of our time together would be compromised by the thought of something going wrong back home, feeling helpless as Jack’s parents that we couldn’t provide the best care because we weren’t physically there.
And maybe that would have been the case. But we were blessed in that from December 2010 up until about ten days ago, we lived near family. That’s why our version of our first night away from our son was nothing like the preconceived ideas explored in the first paragraph.
As mentioned in my bio (featured right), my wife and I are “bed and breakfast people.” A lot of the time, our gifts for each other are a trip a few hours away to a typically unheard of place where there is a B&B that received good reviews online. This was the case for my 30th birthday on April 20th, 2011. Since our son Jack was born five months earlier on November 16, 2010, we had not yet spent a night away from him.
While in Alabama for those eight months, we had lived only a few miles not only my parents but also from my sister and her husband. My parents were more than eager to keep Jack for the night, and of course my sister and her husband were there hanging out and helping most of the time too. Meanwhile, my wife and I were three hours away in a town called Dahlonega, Georgia. (Pictured below.)
We enjoyed the laid-back environment of the B&B, the exploration of a new town, and the adventures of visiting a new winery as well as Cabbage Patch Kids “Babyland.“ I am not ashamed to say that we never called to check in on our son. Because in the care of my family, we never had any doubts. It was some much needed rest for us both. In particular, for my wife, it was literally the first night she had in many months to actually be able to sleep through the entire night. (Our son was not yet sleeping through the night at that point.)
You can’t put a price tag on living near family. However, you can put a price tag on the cost of living versus the amount of income lost by moving to a small town where there just aren’t as many appropriate jobs to go around.
In addition to the invaluable life lessons we learned, another priceless benefit is that we were able to share Jack with my family during this whole time. I try to imagine how different that not only the stories but also the pictures would be in my Dadabase posts if we had never moved away from Nashville.
The content of the past eight months would be completely different. Instead, the stories have been forever documented and told with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law in the midst of it all. Even though we won’t be able to watch Jack grow up in the same town as my family as we had planned, we will always have these stories and pictures to remember. Not to mention, we only moved two and half hours away. While that may be too far for a visit during the week, it’s not a bad drive for a weekend trip.
I know things won’t be able to be the same as they used to, regarding how close we’ve lived to my family. But I have a feeling things won’t be that different, either. Because you can’t put a price tag on family- no matter how close or far away you live from them.
Above picture: My sister and her husband holding their daughter and my son.
Top picture: My parents holding both of their grandchildren.