Last year Christer, Toby and I had the chance to pack everything up and try something new. While Christer was on sabbatical, we headed off to Washington, DC, so that we could try out living in a big city and he could try out some science policy work. It was a great year--worth the craziness of uprooting and finding a renter for our house and having the credit card company call us up for a month after each move to make sure that yes, really, we were buying groceries in a new town. We toured embassies and had playdates at the Smithsonian and there was an endless supply of new restaurants to try.
When we left, more than a few friends quizzed us on our intentions. What if we liked it better there? Sure, we said it was for a year, but how could we come back to Indiana after all that? Easily, it turns out.
I knew that I didn't want to have a baby in DC. I wanted to be home, in my own house, around my own friends and support network when I was dealing with those first crazy newborn days. (Also, morning sickness and public transportation do not mix well.)
When we returned, I was four months pregnant. I was past the worst of the morning sickness, but I was glad to finish off the pregnancy at home, among friends. As Max's arrival grew closer, I couldn't imagine getting ready for a baby anywhere else. Friends offered to watch Toby, arranged meals, and generally showered our family with love and excitement. When Max ended up in the NICU, their support became essential. As we worried about our baby, alone in his hospital bed, and waited for test results, our friends rallied. My church mama friends showed up at the hospital to pray with us and share in parts of the journey that we weren't ready to make public yet. E-mails, facebook messages, and notecards flooded in. Friends, and friends-of-friends, contacted us with stories of their brother, their sister, their aunt, their child, who had Down syndrome. I didn't reply to everyone at the time--and I'll never be able to say enough thank yous to everyone who held us in their thoughts in those first few days.
All this to say that although I wouldn't say no to a Moroccan restaurant, or at the very least a bakery that makes pop-tarts, I love weekends like this when there are more events going on in Fort Wayne than we have time to check out. Even better, here we aren't just sight-seeing. We're running into friends, watching our kids play together, and watching Max get passed around by the folks who will be loving him and looking out for him for years.