The term “miracle baby” has warmed many hearts. We have all heard those stories of a couple looking to add that small bundle of joy to their family, only to be faced with heartbreaking challenges. Then, one day, that little plus sign shows up on the test – or adoption papers are signed – and a family blooms.

That is NOT our story.

I never really felt the pull to marriage and momhood. My goal was a banging career, not bouncing babies. But you know that saying about life having other plans while you're busy making your own?

When I met my husband, I was not interested in relationships other than the one I needed to mend within myself. Within two weeks, I gave up the internal struggle and realized that becoming my best self was meant to happen WITH him. “True love is not the kind of thing you should turn down. Don't ever turn it down.” -Avett Brothers

One of the reasons I write “Life with a Little” is that I am still wrapping my head around our story and our “miracle baby,” (now 2.5 years old – Zavier Evan Henkel). Almost three years in and most of the time, I am still pinching myself. Is this really my life? 

When Zavier was born, we had an amazing community of people around us that put a lot of dedicated intention into raising solid little humans. Most of them followed the pattern: Dad at work, Mom at home raising kids. It was inspiring, and helpful on some of the harder days, but it never really felt right to us.

The coolest thing about our little Zavey is that his needs in life, from the moment he took his first breath, mirrored ours. He craved socialization and interaction, structure and routine, exploration bordering on obsessive wanderlust, constant learning and time away from home “doing something cool” (direct quote). He is NOT a stay-at-home kid. He is our kid.

Fast forward to March 2020 – COVID-19 hits and the #STFAH order is placed. My husband and I had just crossed from business owners who were just trying to replace full time incomes to business owners who had profit. It was the first time an endeavor of my own making seemed to be headed in the right direction. Then Zavier’s daycare closed and all of a sudden, I was a stay-at-home mom again.

While I know that we are grateful to be healthy and it could be much worse, it was obviously a huge hit. To have my career finally taking off after so many failures, only to watch this new company come crashing down – and not have the time to grieve or have a good therapeutic cry.

Ouch.

Then, the day where Z has a massive meltdown because he is so sad that we cannot go to the Cheshire Children’s Museum. Double ouch.

Again, though, he is such an amazing little being. He had that one moment, but he's since adapted. We can learn from him! It’s ok to be sad; to have our moments and to grieve. We have all experienced loss! Loss of routine, loss of lifestyle, income, stability, sanity and in some cases: lives.

It all feels very strange. The unknown. The inability to plan. The feeling that it may get worse before it gets better. In the words of our lovely millennials: we feel ya.

On the flip side: the Earth is resetting. We are being forced to slow down and take a pace that’s healthier for our bodies, minds and souls. We are also being forced to really connect as intimate families. Our employers are being reminded how important employees are. Our communities are being reminded of the service industry being a far more valuable asset that we probably gave it credit for.

And most importantly, we are being reminded of all of the blessings in our lives. In the words of an acquaintance who just blew me away one night with this statement: “There is good in life, and there are lessons. That’s it.”

I hope we are all taking that into account right now. Hang in there Monandnock region. We are #keenestrong and we will be better on the other side of this.

With love from the most unlikely family: The Henkels.