By Caroline Kessler Salcedo
On July 19, 2018, my husband and I met a stranger and invited her to live with us. To be honest, she wasn’t the best roommate at first. She stayed up all night, was very loud and never cleaned up after herself. She left her stuff all over the floor and had the audacity to have extreme emotional outbursts. Furthermore, while she had her own room, she refused to pay rent.
She doesn’t even have a job, so we have to subsidize all of her expenses, including her health and dental insurance. She also doesn’t have a driver’s license in Texas. So, we have to take her to the grocery store to accommodate a myriad of dietary restrictions and personal hygiene products.
She has acid reflux, a clogged tear duct, limited mobility and torticollis, all of which she claims are normal for women her age. She requires regular attention for all her “ailments.” Furthermore, we have to take time off work to take her to all of her doctor’s appointments, which include gastroenterologist, ophthalmologist, general practitioner, radiologist, physical therapist and neurologist.
In order for us to continue to work full time, we decided to hire a caregiver during the day so her needs would be met. When the caregiver leaves for the day, however, our roommate expects me to draw her bath and, if it is not the perfect temperature, she will have a complete meltdown.
Once, after she had been living with us for four months, we offered to host a dinner party in her honor for our friends. She fell asleep at 5:30 p.m., slept through the entire party and didn’t even come downstairs to say hello or to help at all.
One thing we admire about our roommate is her impeccable fashion sense. She is always on trend and I wish we wore the same size so we could share clothes. She has so many clothes that she changes outfits after every meal. However, she still expects us to do her laundry every day.
It’s been almost a year now and we have grown very fond of her. My husband and I are actually, quite obsessed with her. I know it’s strange because of how much attention she requires. Through it all, we find ourselves talking about her to anyone who will listen and even to those who don’t. We think about her constantly and find ourselves developing hashtags and posting pictures of her on all our social media.
Her name is Emilia, and she is our daughter. Motherhood has given me a new perspective on life. I find myself more appreciative of my parents and all that they provided for me. However, it’s more than that. It’s a great deal of responsibility to foster an environment for our child to flourish, while maintaining our personal value system. We worry about her safety, her success and her ability to love and be loved. We worry about what the future holds. But, we trust in our faith, friends and family that Emilia will become the person she is meant to be.
Caroline lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Luis and their adorable 5-pound Maltese named Mia. She enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. Hopefully she will serve as a breath of fresh air with her positive attitude and nerdy jokes to those around her.
Caroline and her husband, Luis, and Maltese, Mia, welcomed their first child, Emilia Austin, in July, 2018.