It Was a Total Disaster…And It Showed
Just 2 short weeks after my daughter, Harper, was born, my husband, Lucas, and I packed up our little apartment in the suburbs of Southern California and headed for a new life in Seattle.
Those first few weeks in our new place were pretty rough, caring for 2 rowdy pre-schoolers and a newborn in a completely new place. We knew no one, and I had gone from working full time, to staying at home for the first time with our three small girls. Needless to say, my 2 older girls were bored and stir crazy, bouncing off the walls of our house; and I was more than a little lonely. I was anxious to get to know anyone who could help us adjust to life in the city.
But in those first few weeks, we didn’t leave the house at all and it showed. Our house was a total disaster. There were boxes everywhere, and toys and clothes were scattered all around the house. There was furniture to build, and remnants of kids’ crumbs crunching under foot all over the ground. I was too exhausted, overwhelmed, and otherwise occupied to make much progress toward making our house a home.
One day, as I sat nursing my daughter, Harper, in our living room, I saw a woman with two small boys walking up to our doorstep. There was a knock on the door, and my heart sank. They were coming to meet us, and I was totally and utterly unprepared. How could I invite anyone in when my life and my house were a total mess?
As I approached the door, I was tempted to open the door just a crack, but as I saw her and her sweet boys smiling back at me, I took a deep breath, and invited her in. I kicked over toys and boxes in the entryway and offered them a seat in the living room. I had no snacks or beverages to offer- and few toys were unpacked, but it didn’t matter. My neighbor was happy to chat and didn’t seem to be bothered at all by my mess (which to me, was completely embarrassing.) We spent the afternoon chatting and laughing while our kids happily played.
It wasn’t long before that woman in my house became one of my very best friends in Seattle. And through her, I met other moms, learned my way around Seattle, got involved in our community and more. She helped me through what I would later learn was a pretty significant bout with post-partum depression, and I recently delivered her a home cooked meal and got to cuddle her newest addition, a baby girl.
What if I’d let the mess of my home and my life keep me from opening the door that day?
My friend and I have since joked about the frazzled and frantic woman, nursing a baby in her pajamas, who greeted her at the door that day. I’m glad I’m able to look back at those days and smile, knowing they’re behind me. But, what matters is, I invited her in, despite how ashamed or embarrassed I felt. And, she, she walked through that door- even in the midst of the mess.
I’m so, so glad she did.