I was only 3 weeks postpartum. I sat next to an inconsolable James feeling like I was already failing him. Right on cue, a friend of mine messaged: “Checking on you!”⠀

My friend Ashley and I both worked at Disney—back when we looked like a certain fairy just enough to get to spend our days flying around with her. 💚✨Last fall, she announced her pregnancy, along with subsequent random neighborhood cat. At the very same time, I prepped to announce my own pregnancy, and spent my mornings feeding my own random neighborhood cat. Yes, this is when Chester came into the picture 😂. The rest was history. We spent our pregnancies rejoicing with one another, lamenting over pregnancy insomnia together, and continuously checking in on one another. Finally, one early morning, I received the sweetest selfie. Rosalie had entered the world.💓A few weeks after that, I sent over my own sweetest selfie. James has entered the world. 💙⠀

I responded to her message as an uncharacteristically grumpy James wailed on and on. She jumped into seasoned mama mode until the source was found: a bubbly tummy. While tackling that, knowing I was often home alone, she asked me how my tumor effected my ability to hold him. She researched different baby wearing companies until she found just the ticket: WildBird. I was so touched by her care in all of this that I cried. Soon after that? A Venmo notification popped up. From Ashley: “Get yourself a sling” ♥️ Yes, yes I sure did cry again.

There are those who walk before us, those who walk beside us, and those who walk behind us. We need them all. The seasoned trekkers, the fellow travelers, and finally, the ones just jumping onto the trail (🙋🏻‍♀️🙉). We need them all. Pregnancy, grief, sicknesses, parenting: all paths are paved by others. You have to step into the worn footprints sometimes. You have to look beside you and say, “Holy. Moly. This path is tough.” sometimes. But while you’re journeying along, peek over your shoulder frequently. Share the secret easiest paths, the honest truth about the rocky parts, and an extended hand to hold through it all. Never forget the times that the one who needed that hand was you. ♥️

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