Our little Zadok was just 3 months old when we first moved to Idaho in 2006. Micah and I had lived in Los Angeles, CA for the first 2 years of our marriage, and were now beyond ready to move on. I'm still not sure what possessed us to choose Idaho, as neither of us had any real connections to the place. Micah had an aunt and uncle in Sugar City that he worked for before his mission, and I had heard of Idaho, but had never been there before.
I remember driving all night to get there, leaving the bustling, polluted, city lights behind us. We arrived in Sugar City early in the morning, where we finally got out of the cramped car and dumped ourselves onto Micah's families front lawn. When we woke up the next morning, we were Idahoans.
I can still remember the feeling of complete liberation as I saw the beautiful scene around us; green meadows of grass and flowers, tall fields of wheat, a little creek passing through the yard, and the majestic Grand Teton mountains standing tall in the distance. I was so happy to be in the country again.
After renting an apartment in Rexburg for 3 months, we ended up buying a house in a small town called Rigby, population 3000, which was about 25 mins South of Rexburg. It was a small, cottage type house where we planted a huge garden and put in a wood stove. I put Zadok in his little pouch almost everyday and went walking around the neighborhood, breathing in the country air. I was happy there, but starting to really feel like I needed to find some friends that I connected with.
It was one Sunday at church that I finally saw another Mom wearing her baby in a sling. Our eyes caught immediately and I knew it was friendship at last.
This Mama introduced me to the Mei-tai babycarrier, which is, to this day, my most favorite baby sling in the world. She gave me my first Mei-tai as a gift, then taught me how to pick out the right fabrics and sew them, and then how to really enjoy babywearing as an integral part of my whole parenting experience.
I already knew that wearing your baby in a sling means more than buying a product; it's a powerful way to connect with your baby, and ease the challenges of parenting. However, owning a Mei-tai, made it all so much more enjoyable!
Micah and I have countless experiences of wearing our babies close to us to get through hard things, like teething, sickness, crankiness, owies, and fears. Especially Zadok, who is so shy, the Mei-tai really helped him feel secure. I can still remember the way he'd snuggle his head down into my chest when we entered a busy room.
It's no wonder my eyes perk up whenever I see another Mom with her baby in a sling, because there's always that possibility that she might feel the same way I do about babywearing. (Although, I realize It's not always that way, but the chances are high in my favor.) Finding friends is often difficult when you move to a new place, so having this commonality made it much easier for me. (And yes, I eventually made new friends who didn't wear their babies in slings, too.)
So although Idaho wasn't really where we wanted to stay forever and we've since moved on, that's where I first discovered that Mei-tais make friends.
This is our very first Mei-tai, gifted from our friend. In this photo, I hadn't learned how to use it correctly, yet. (Notice the bunched-up straps.)
Check out my "babywearing" label for more babywearing pix and info