Alrighty then—now that we established what happened with the whole birth part of the story and I’ve talked about some more recent stuff… we can move forward, or onward you might say, in the past, but still onward… in the story, and can now discuss our Portland/Vancouver life a little bit.
I think I mentioned earlier that we were living in a small city called Vancouver, Washington at the time of Emmy’s birth; she was born in Portland, though, and thank the Lord for that. Not that Vancouver is a bad place or anything, but there are definitely some crazies up there and who even knows that there’s a Vancouver in Washington. Anyways, Emmy is Portland-born and she lived there (or near) for the first eight-or-so months of her life.
Now, I’m just going to give you the first 3/4 year of her life in a short, small, little nutshell. When our tubular little tyke was born, it was right in the heart of the rainy season, which worked for the FIRST few months of her life because she was fairly immobile and we weren’t really supposed to take her outside anyway. The more time moved forward and the bigger she grew though, the more we longed to get away from our dreary little apartment on the bottom floor in the small, hardly-known town that is America’s Vancouver.
Don’t get me wrong, our apartment was great for what it was: two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a decent kitchen and living room, but there were literally like four lights in the entire place so it felt like a medieval dungeon and we only had one window that opened. Yes, one. Said window was also located in the guest bedroom of all places, which makes me wonder just what the builders were smoking when they built the place and where the hell I can get some…
When Mem was born, I had a good few days off before I had to go back to work, but even when I did go back I only went for two or three days a week; I just told my boss how much I wanted to work and he made it happen. Kayleigh got seven-ish weeks to spend at home with Emmy—unpaid of course, fuckin’ jobs—and she enjoyed every second of it. We all got to spend an amazing amount of time together before we had to figure out just what we were doing when we both had to go back to working full time.
Emmy grew, and she grew, and she grew. I’ve got a million little side-stories I could tell, and will, but I’ll just save them to one day become their own little blog posts, okay? My point is the little blob became a slightly bigger blob, then she became a semi-coherent blob, then a sitting, unsteady, wobbly blob, and finally a crawling, standing against everything, uncoordinated-as-all-hell blob. With her growth we needed more for her to do and Portland being Portland, it basically just told us to go f*** ourselves.
Rainy day after rainy day, please rain, please just go away. We were forced to stay inside or run between the car and wherever we went because we had our tiny bundle and couldn’t let her get soaked—I mean, pneumonia, duh. Finally, spring began to roll around and we were able to get her out of the house: we took her to parks, National Monuments, lakes, the river, on trails, and basically, anywhere else you can take a baby that isn’t indoors.
Tiny Emmy loved sitting in the grass, ripping free anything her itty-bitty, chubby, swollen-looking hands could grab. She loved taking strolls in her stroller and watching people intently. She enjoyed a little bit of everything, she noticed everything, she made us notice things we would have missed without her. She also made us feel the need to get away, to move on and up, to make a change in our lives that would benefit her and us both. Babies aren’t meant to be cooped up indoors, unable to go outside and enjoy the sunshine on their faces every day—they go God damn crazy—trust me. That’s why I’m just going to say it: Portland sucks for children.
We made the decision to get away—far far away around the time she was six-months-old. We knew our apartment complex was going to screw us and raise our rent to an astronomical amount, so we decided we’d be better off just fleeing. We talked and talked about our options, printed out maps and marked our possibles and definitely not’s. We argued and countered, researched and obsessed. Time flew by, every day moving just a little faster, a little closer to the end of our lease.
We were right; the complex jacked our rent up and sealed the deal—we were moving and that was that. But where were we going to go? What were we going to do? We wanted Tennessee. We wanted the East coast. We wanted to move somewhere that we would love and try to make our way. We didn’t; we moved somewhere we’d never have expected so that I can push through school and we can hopefully come out on top. We moved to probably the one place on Earth that we never would have thought we would end up. Sin City, City of Lights, Entertainment Capital of the World; just a few of the nicknames for the city in which we now reside. We moved to Vegas, baby, and we’re just trying to enjoy the ride while we’re here. You know what? It’s actually not so bad.