Oh, Henny, Drix, whatever I’ll end up nicknaming you. I’m so lucky I have you to look forward to. On the day that mommy took the pretty pics above, there was a lot less cause for concern in NYC around a very scary virus that started plaguing the world. As Americans, we think we’re immune to the world. We watch the news, think how sad something is on the other side of the globe, and carry on with our day. On the day I took pretty pics, I didn’t know what the rest of the week would bring me. And then, New York, your home, took a dark turn.
I think it’s also worth noting that during this time, I was about to embark on three years of running a business called Chillhouse. Daddy is not only my life partner, but my business partner too. He also has the bars, and a company that takes pretty pictures for bars, restaurants and hotels. Our lives revolve around servicing customers through feel-good services, food, drinks and more! We love what we do and our businesses were doing well!
Back to the photos. They were taken a little over two weeks from the date I’m publishing this. I styled myself and I had an incredible hair & makeup artist come over to make me pretty and a photographer to shoot the beauty that you brought out in me. Because, Hendrix, wow have you brought out some serious beauty within me. Until that day, I had never in my entire life felt as beautiful as I did during that shoot. So thank you for making mommy feel super beautiful that day and throughout the pregnancy. You must really love me, kiddo.
A lot has happened in two weeks, which is why this has taken me forever to write. Here’s what went down. The day after our shoot, I took a day off. I forget why exactly but I remember it being a pretty ‘lax day where I took a long lunch with a friend & then came home and worked on a TikTok video (I wonder if you’ll even know what that is by the time you can read this!) Daddy and I crushed the video! It’s hilarious. I’ll save it so you can see it one day. It’s hard to describe but basically, at one point Daddy ended up in my outfit and pretended to be me with belly and all. I swore it would break the internet — and it kind of did for one night! That was the last time we’d laugh hard in two weeks.
As the virus started slowly making its way to NYC, we started thinking of what we’d stock up on and that included hand sanitizer. The next day we got the only hand sanitizer left on the internet from Bath & Body works. Supplies were running low across stores; people were hoarding toilet paper and preparing like it was the end of the world. We did not feel prepared. Were we in danger?
The next day, reality started to sink in. The United States had a wave of cases coming and people were going to have to do this thing called “social distancing” in order to not spread the virus to one another. Festivals were being canceled, the NBA suspended the season, Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson got the virus! WHAT WAS HAPPENING?! We knew what was next: small businesses. This news was hard on daddy and I because our livlihood and businesses depend on human interaction — the more people in our properties, the better! At this point, we were faced with the reality that our businesses would have to shut down for an unknown period of time, leaving many people we care about jobless. It was beyond our control, Hendrix. There was absolutely nothing we could do. No one’s prepared for something this nasty — no one. New York & America officially joined the war against “Covid-19”. Sounds scary, right?
It is. It is for so many reasons. The first one being that it really hurts people, Hendrix. Young people, for the most part, seem to be okay if they got it — kind of like if you got a really bad flu. But older people or people with existing health conditions weren’t responding well to it at all. We had to take care of them, Hendrix. And for the most part, it seemed like we were. There are some idiots out there. Those idiots spawned a movement called “Stay the fuck home” *yes, mommy just cursed.* People being irresponsible, not caring how they may be inadvertently hurting someone.
Anyways, the inevitable of course eventually happened. We shut down the businesses for the foreseeble future. New York hit *pause*. Everyone was nervous — nervous for their finances, nervous for their health, nervous for their sanity. But then something kind of beautiful started forming, and that was this sense of true community. Community that spanned industries and backgrounds. Humans, for once, were actually more connected than ever. More supportive than ever. Whoever hadn’t been hit financially yet supported our businesses through purchasing gift cards (we’re taking a cut of that to support our retail team). People also supported GoFundMe’s and continue receiving deliveries from local restaurants. Never in my entire life have I seen such genuine human compassion in my entire life.
While all of this was happening, anxiety started heightening. New York was on its way to becoming the most affected in the US and that meant less hospitals. You were 21 weeks in my belly at the time, 22 now. What if something happened to you or to us? Would the doctors care? Would I be a priority? Would there be a hospital bed for me?
Luckily, grandpa Bill lives in Orlando (we’ll visit Disney soon, don’t you worry). So off we went. We brought grandma Mary and Rocky too. We felt safe again.
It’s been almost 1 week since we’ve been here and we’re taking it day by day. Stores aren’t all closed here yet but we don’t leave the house unless it’s for evening bike rides in the gated community. We’re doing our part. We finally had our first weekend where we took it easy. We slept in and barely worked. We watched TV and cooked. We exercised a bit (as much as I could because this belly is no joke, Henny!)
Now, we enter week three of this rollercoaster. I can’t say we’re ready for everything but I can say mommy and daddy are fighters and we are preparing for anything. I really hope to give birth to you in NYC, Hendrix. That’s where mommy was born. That’s where we live, and that’s where you’ll live for as long as you’d like to kick it with mommy & daddy.
I love you so much already. Will check in with you soon. There’s a lot more on the way, I’m sure. Keep them kicks coming, my baby.
Photography by Emma Craft, hair by Erickson A, Makeup by Jenny Smith