We drove 6 and ½ hours to visit something for the very first time - my kid’s apartment in Tustin, California.
It’s okay if you are not sure where this is located: I didn’t either. Drive south, and then just keep driving some more south.
As we walked in laden with far too many bags for a 48 hour visit , Abby stood in the kitchen busily chopping cilantro. Next to her on a separate dish, she had carefully curated diced tomatoes, onion, salsa and guacamole. The taco bar was in full swing.
After hugs were doled out, Abby carefully showed Charlie where the secret stash of Veggie Sticks, chicken nuggets, and ice cream could be located. Fragrant candles lit her space with a warm glow, as fairy lights were strung in each little nook. Sun catchers adorned the windows, boho pillows placed with intention on her 2 person sofa that she built herself. I exhaled: she has made this her home.
Guiding us into her bedroom, she explained the sheets were fresh and clean, and invited us to make ourselves comfortable. Changing into my pajamas, and washing my face in the bathroom, I took note of the linen shower curtain with tassels, and the wooden soap holder as not 1, or 2, but 3 pairs of glasses rested on the sink counter. My kid: the hippie with clear vision.
There is something about witnessing your child make dinner for you in her kitchen with her skillet and spatula, while you’re sitting at her card table on one of the four fold up chairs. This was hers. There is something that swells inside a mama’s heart knowing she had just received her first paycheck from a job that appreciates her dedicated work ethic and gave her a bouquet of flowers on her very first day.
As I write this, I am sitting on a cooler on her postage stamp sized deck, with a velvet throw covering my lap. While Abby and Charlie are curled up still asleep on an aero bed in the living room, I hear her neighbors prepping for the day. The microwave pings, and mugs are being taken from the cupboards, as they discuss what to get the woman’s parents for their anniversary. “Thank you for the coffee,” she says. “You’re welcome, my love,” he replies. These are good neighbors. Good people. The birds chirp without ceasing, welcoming another day in Tustin.
Taking a swig of coffee, I think to myself, “Good job, baby. You created this. You did it.”
If you are watching your kids experience all the "firsts", I see you.