A Second Childhood

The Next Family

By: Sheana Ochoa

Being a new mom, anyone would guess my life has undergone a tremendous transformation, which in my case was compounded by the fact that I became ill post partum. Consequently my son and I were exiled (as I saw it) to the central valley so my family could help me with the baby. After spending a year and a half in the armpit of California, I was able to return to Los Angeles and resume/begin life.

Leaving LA on the eve of momdom, I entered a kind of limbo. And now, just five months back in LA, I’m realizing how different life with a child is from my previous life as a single, itinerant feminist circuiting LA in her Jeep Wrangler. Turning in the Jeep after its lease expired was excruciating for me. I kept re-leasing new Jeeps every three years and enjoyed the privilege. But Jeeps aren’t safe so it was the first thing that had to go.

The roommate I always had in order to have extra cash flow also had to go. The baby needed a nursery. And now I had to budget for diapers instead of mani-pedis. When we returned to LA, we relocated into a new neighborhood (more working-class, less hip) so I could stroll my son to daycare three blocks away.

So, a lot has changed. But mostly, I’m just so intrigued by this little angel/devil living in my house. Everyday there’s something new: a new word, a new gesture, a new expression, a new detail he notices. Before my son, life didn’t have such newness. I tried to be aware and appreciate life, but that task is so much easier with a child who is seeing and doing everything for the first time. Through the eyes of my son, I have been given a second childhood. In three weeks we get to celebrate his second birthday in our own home. I can’t imagine a better gift.

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