I’m back, I guess.

I guess now is as good a time as any to return to writing. As of today, the world is a literal dumpster fire and we are all stuck in this COVID nightmare. And like many of you, we have had to reexamine and recreate routines for pretty much everything. Being at home this year with Andrew and two tiny humans, whose needs are only outmatched by their energy, has been a test of our fortitude as a family. And every time we attempt to peer outward into the world for distraction, we are bombarded by the scary realization that our country is falling apart. At a time when strong, wise leadership is needed the most, we have a narcissistic toddler running the show. Having raised two toddlers, I can attest, they have terrible fucking judgement.

But I remind myself, that no matter how stressful we perceive our experience, it can always be worse. I am truly grateful for all the things that we have that help us maintain security and sanity this year. We have remained optimistic and positive. Remarkably.

The last time I posted here, Raye was still but a tiny little bundle in our arms who in just a few short weeks managed to turn everything upside down with her illness and mystery genetic condition. At the time we were completely overwhelmed with our new addition and the changes it would bring. Her arrival and the subsequent drama were a tiny sneak peek into how much of a little spark plug she would become. (Spoiler Alert: She is a lunatic. A cute, amazing lunatic. I mean, what else would you expect? We are LaRochelles after all.)

Turns out, she does have a rare genetic condition called Hypochondroplasia- a rarer form of dwarfism that shares a lot of traits with people with Achondroplasia (the most common form of dwarfism). Does it slow her down at all? Not in the least bit. Sure, her arms and legs are short, her head a bit bigger (and harder!). But what she lacks in stature she makes up for in personality.

After she was born, I hunkered down. Turned inward and stayed there for quite some time. Learning how to be an individual again is hard. Especially when you are still trying to figure out how to be a parent. And then a parent to two. And an employee and a parent to two.

I changed jobs. Started down a career path that I had never really envisioned in the past. One with more stability and opportunity. I let myself begin to dream of all the possibilities. I threw myself in, headfirst.

But the chaos of this year jolted me out of that internal space. How could it not? And perhaps because Raye is getting older (almost three!) and more independent. Whatever the reason, the light is back on. It is true when they say that having kids makes life feel like it is happening on warp speed. The last 6 years have flown by so fast; I do not know how it is even possible. How am I almost 40? I still feel like a kid when I talk to other adults.

Anyway. Time is flying. And no time like the present, right?

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