So we packed up the U-Haul, buckled Lyra into her carseat, and made the move north to my hometown of Macon where I am starting my new career as a family medicine resident physician. Seeing where all my other classmates have matched for residency, this 2.5 hour move from Irene’s hometown of Valdosta to Macon is a relatively easy one I’d say.
It’s been over a year and a half since Irene and I had our own place to ourselves. The last time was in Miami where Irene was going to PA school and I was doing some of my clinical rotations. Irene and I miss having a place where we could stock up our own food, cook anything we want, and have people over for dinner anytime we want. In Miami, we often had hot pot nights on our balcony with friends or dumpling making parties where we invited a bunch of people and made dumplings together, and eat them afterwards of course. As you can tell, we love food, and we love cooking, and because of this, the biggest criteria that made us decide on our new apartment was that it had a large, open kitchen.
It’s hard to top the place we had in Miami, with its 29th floor cityscape view, pool, gym, and walkable access to grocery stores, restaurants, retail, and mass transit. Nevertheless, here in Macon, we found a place where we would feel safe, comfortable, and happy to live and raise our daughter. Instead of a city view, we now have a parking lot view, and instead of being accessible to urban amenities, it’s mostly forest around here and a Bass Pro Shop down the road. We unpacked and dusted off our furniture that had been sitting in storage for the last year and a half, and configured them in our new apartment just like how we had them when we were in Miami.
There are all sorts of people who live here: older couples, younger couples with children, and many people who work at the medical center. Of the eight new family medicine residents that start this year, four of us are staying here in our apartment complex, which is awesome. It makes it easier to meet up to study, carpool, or hang out. Our next door neighbors are a nice, older couple, and I can see why they’d want to retire here. With the saltwater pool, gym, and cabanas, I’d like to think that we’re living in a resort.
Lyra’s 2 months old and already twice as chunky as she was when she was born. Irene makes sure that she is well fed and spends most of her time now to care for her. A mother’s job takes more patience, persistence, dedication, and resilience than any other job I know and I can’t ask for a better person than Irene to take on that job. Lyra’s developing quite a lot and is now babbling back to us whenever we talk to her. Everyday, I teach her a different life lesson: fire safety, treating others with respect, eating a balanced diet, working hard in school, finding confidence in herself, and differentiating between good and bad people. I know she doesn’t understand me just yet, but it’s a way for us to have our father-daughter bonding, and for her to get familiar with language, communication, and being a good listener. She always smiles and tries to respond when I talk to her.
I also try my best to play some piano for her everyday to stimulate her mind, training her to differentiate between notes, pitch, and harmony. It is my hope that as she grows up with music around her, she will find it comforting when she’s down, motivating when she’s stressed, and inspiring always. Perhaps she’ll even learn to play the piano or another instrument as I did, as a skill that she can feel proud of having, giving her a sense of personal worth and self-esteem to get her through the ups and downs of growing up.