Fairy tales and myths often have a fairy godmother or Virgil-type who guide the hero through the most desperate of times. For me, that role was played by Erica and Laura right after I became a mother. I could not possibly itemize everything they did for me after we came home from the hospital, because much of it is a blur. However, I can recount the sensation. I felt saved, like rescue workers had arrived.
There was food, there was cleaning, there was practical help, there was nurture, there was an amazing back-rub that I am still deeply grateful for. All of this was necessary because I was breastfeeding around the clock, quite sleepless, recovering, unable to fix myself a snack, incapable of anything except holding my tiny son against my skin and feeding him. Laura and Erica enabled me to give my son the primal attention he needed during those early days. I was, for a time, freed from mundane tasks like prepping snacks and giant challenges like figuring it all out.
While I might, in other circumstances, feel self-conscious about accepting help, accepting back-rubs, accepting someone in my kitchen, I felt, simply, good. Laura and Erica are generous of spirit, they have more than their share of wisdom, they are empathetic and understanding and I luxuriated in these traits when I needed them most.