Okay, I made up that last part, but I do know that SAHM stands for Stay at Home Mom, so I assume ‘Of Two Boys’ would be ‘O2B.’   Yes, today was my first day all alone with my two little boys.  My husband went back to work today AND my Mother-in-Law left.  It was a shock to my system, that’s for sure.  However, the fact that I am writing this right now means that I survived (don’t worry, the boys did too).  And let’s face it, there are many, many, many moms (and dads) in this world that take care of more than just two children every day, but I am still proud of myself for making it through my first day as a SAHMO2B.

That being said, I have to say that I did receive some help at certain points in the day.  This morning Carlitos had The Little Gym and I wanted to keep him as much on his regular schedule as possible. Oh, who am I kidding? I wanted to tire him out so that he just might take a nap and make my day a little easier.  In any event, I managed to get both little boys to The Little Gym on time.  Once there, I received hugs from moms and the ‘coach’ and lots of oohs and aahhs at little John Xavier.  Even more touching – and helpful – is that throughout the class several different parents helped wrangle Carlitos back to the group or picked him up and helped him with a particular activity.  The coach also used him as her example for each new skill, so that she was the one guiding him through it.  I didn’t ask anyone to help me in this way.  They could just see that I had a newborn in my arms and immediately did whatever was most helpful to me at that moment, even as they had their own children to tend to…or their whole entire class to tend to in the coach’s case.  When the class was over, one mom even sat there and helped Carlitos put his socks and shoes on – again, without any request from me.

I found myself saying out loud, “Wow, I guess this is what ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ means.”  I have been taking Carlitos to these classes for about 6 or 7 months now and have always loved the gym itself and the other parents and nannies, but this was the first time I really understood that we were a little community, in a way. I truly felt very cared for, understood and supported.  More than anything, I was extremely appreciative.

Then, as we got out of our car upon returning home, I had one of our neighbors ask to see the baby and remind me that they are around and are always willing to help with anything.  He means it too – he then mentioned that if I happened to see my landlord (who lives downstairs), could I please let her know that he has a package for her that had been delivered earlier. I mean, am I living in a small town in Maine (I can say that. I was born in a small town in Maine.) or New York City?!?  This is also the neighbor who, along with a few others, has offered to move my car back and forth for me on street cleaning days since I was pregnant and now have my hands full.  I mean, I have lived in several suburbs throughout the years and I have never experienced a feeling of ‘community’ the way I have since moving to New York City.  How ironic.

I have to say that even though we probably won’t stay in this neighborhood long term because of other specific needs and wishes of our family that aren’t met here, I am truly happy that I have been able to experience this sense of community for the past nine months. It feels good to know that even if we don’t have our family nearby for our second child, there are plenty of people who are willing to lend a helping hand here and there and are genuinely happy to do so.

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