Somewhere along the years, Lafayette people have become my people. The quickest way to a mom’s heart? Love her children.
When I met my husband in 2011, Lafayette was still relatively new to me. Coming from Shreveport, I never quite felt like I completely fit in. I’ve always loved everything about South Louisiana, but if you make your gumbo with the bones still in your chicken, or throw in some eggs, I will probably politely pass. I’ve never “saved the dishes” from peril, and it took me a long time to understand that “cher” wasn’t a reference to the 70’s singer. I once had to ask a person where “Bourgeois Hall” was on UL’s campus, and I’ll never live down the butchered pronunciation. A Louisiana girl is not the same as a Lafayette girl.
I had friends here, but I certainly didn’t feel like a native. I didn’t feel like I had my own people. You know…a village. I was happy here when I moved down, but it was never truly home. I missed the people I grew up with. I missed my family. I missed my friends. And to this day, I still do, and I know I always will.
But here’s the thing…
I found my people, my friends, and family here too. When I became a mom, I found my village within Acadiana.
- My husband’s old roommate just recently took my son’s hand and walked him to the door of a house while trick-or-treating.
- My husband’s cousin insisting on pushing the stroller with one baby in it so that I could hold the other.
- My mother-in-law and her best friend coming over to babysit – getting both kids to sleep and the entire house cleaned before we got back home from a rare date night.
- A friend throwing me an unexpected (and very much needed) “baby sprinkle” when we were pregnant with our second.
- Friends who volunteer to pick up big pieces of furniture and deliver it to our house when my husband is working.
- Friends who hear “postpartum depression” and rush over to just sit and listen.
- Neighbors who run over medicine or thermometers when the kids are sick.
- Neighbors who watched our toddler in the middle of the night, without hesitation, when I went into labor with our baby girl.
I could continuously add to the list of kind things a Cajun has done for me. Countless encounters with sweet strangers, the teachers at my son’s Mother’s Day Out program, every job I’ve had since college, my husband’s family and the friends that are like our family – they all added to my life here over time.
Somewhere along the years, Lafayette became my home.
I will forever be a Louisiana girl, but I am so thankful to be a Lafayette mom. I’ll never be able to put into words how grateful I am, cher. This community is like no other – and if you’re a mama not originally from Lafayette and you’re reading this, I know that you’ll find your true home and your village here, too.
Thanks for loving my children, Acadiana. You’ve got my heart.