I was born and raised in Birmingham but grew up “over the mountain” as they say. I didn’t really experience much of the “city” save Surin West, 5 Points Music Hall, Celestial Realm Coffee House (on Highland Avenue), and a few other spots of that ilk. I’m really showing my age as only one of those places is still in existence. But to be clear, I graduated from Indian Springs School in 2000.
When I headed off to Florida State University (Seminoles, not Gators), I never really intended to come back. I loved Birmingham because my parents were here, but otherwise I was ambivalent. Fast forward four years later, and my plans to attend law school didn’t pan out.
I returned home to UAB to earn a Master’s degree. I set out to find my calling, and boy, did I try a little of everything: bartending, television news, event planning, spa management, even the waste stream optimization and marketing for a local tech startup.
Somewhere along the way, I met a gorgeous blue-eyed, funny “Superstar” who came into my life right when I wasn’t looking. Just as my own life evolved, I began to see all the wonderful things Birmingham had to offer. During our courtship, Michael and I went to amazing restaurants, clubs, live concerts, and festivals. Music is our love language, and we had an amazing soundtrack to fall in love. After four years of dating, we got married and began our lives together here in Birmingham. Now, the city that I couldn’t wait to leave has now become a city I cannot imagine leaving.
Four years (almost exactly) after we got married, our son Tristan was born. Despite being borderline “geriatric” at age 34 (insert eye roll emoji here), my pregnancy was completely normal, healthy, and honestly, very pleasant. However, he decided to make his appearance at 34 weeks 4 days, which earned him a two-week stay in the Brookwood NICU. As first time parents, this was a completely terrifying prospect but ended up being one of our biggest blessings. I wouldn’t wish the emotional toll upon my worst enemy. But having the support of everyone around us made us much more confident than if we’d been sent home after 48 hours to fend for ourselves.
Pro tip: if you can change a diaper in an incubator, you can change one anywhere! As an older first-time mom, I find myself in weird places mentally sometimes. For the most part, I am experienced enough to be confident in most life choices and am happy to share (solicited) advice. But because I’m chronologically older than some of my maternal cohorts, I feel like I should always be more confident in that arena as well. Spoiler alert: I am NOT.
I went from being a full-time working professional to being totally isolated and home alone with a child. After ten years of working, making my own money, and socializing on my own schedule, I was now at the beck and call of this tiny (adorable) dictator. Can you say lifestyle shift? It’s been a challenge. Working mamas, I don’t know how you do it. But I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to spend this time with my son. Will that change down the road? Maybe. But for now, I’m soaking up the best parts of the hardest–yet most rewarding–job I have ever had!
Birmingham is a great place to raise a family, but only if we continue to reinvest and show our kids the amazing things it has to offer. I love taking my son to Barons baseball games, Pepper Place Market, Vulcan, Red Mountain Park, and McWane Center. They are all such unique experiences. I pray he will never feel the way I did and be ambivalent about leaving. I truly hope he spreads his wings and flies. But I always want him to have wonderful memories of this city that will bring him home.
We need to hear the voices of women loud and proud in one chorus, even if our perspectives differ. The phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” (while not applicable in all situations like social media comments), proves the written word truly moves people.
I enjoy writing and look forward to sharing things that will make you feel, think, and maybe even act. It is our duty as mothers to teach. I hope in reading what my co-bloggers and I share, you will learn and teach as well. Constructive feedback is welcomed, meanness is not. I look forward to learning from you all, too. May the circle be unbroken.