Head nestled in the crook of my arm Kay traced her fingers along my lashes emitting a belly laugh when she saw I flinched and scrunched my eyes. She repeated it. I let her play with my eyes and pretended to bite her as I kept an eye on the bottle I was feeding her. 2 Oz to go and she tires of my face. Squirming to get away, I tempt her back with a remote.
The charade repeats morning and evening in our home with both girls. Today however, I realized what a treasure it was. In the 10 plus weeks I have been home with the girls, I have soaked in their routines, their facial expressions, their likes and dislikes, their expressions of love and what ticks them off. Each day after I bath them, I cocoon them in the bath towel showering them with kisses. Every part of my day follows a routine. One that has become second nature to me now.
I realize as I prepare to become a working mommy, how little I have missed work and how easy it is to sink myself into domestic bliss. I hear from wiser women that it gets easier with time and I will be no less of a mom for building a career for myself. I hope I can keep that perspective as I learn to juggle feeding fussy kids with work deadlines and MBA classes.
As I prepare to spend my ‘last’ SAHM weekend, I also realize that before I blink, the girls will be all grown up and ready to fly the coop. So I spend this Friday evening reflecting on the most wonderful 10 weeks of my life in recent times. In no particular order are moments and lessons learnt that stand out.
There really is such a thing as being color blind (I mean racially). I only realize our girls have blonde hair when visitors make a comment about it or ask questions. Over the past few weeks, all I can see in my girls are liquid brown eyes and enormous smiles. Their physical features have morphed into the images of them that I carry in my heart.
I actually feel envious that both girls prefer K to me. I hate to stand by first thing in the morning watching both of them clamor to be held by him.
I love that our families are totally into Kay and Cee. I mean totally. It warms my heart to watch my mom nuzzle her nose into the girls cheeks or neck and cuddle and tickle them. I melt when I hear my FIL call out endearingly to them over Skype and sports a huge smile when they call him ‘Thatha’. Acceptance is a gift and I treasure it.
I feel my heart swell with pride every time a passerby remarks on how cheerful the girls are. I know I have nothing to do with their natures yet I feel I could burst.
In the many, many years I have passed by people pushing babies in strollers, these few weeks have been the first time I have ever wondered what the age of the child is and paid attention to whether he or she is walking/running etc. I find it incredibly strange!
The first time I had to clean Kay up in the trunk of my car after she vomited mid ride, I understood what it meant to walk around with your heart outside your body.
I realize it takes more than empty words to actually raise children well without spanking or yelling at them. K is way better at it than I ever am.
As I dressed the girls up in pattu paavadai on their first birthday per lunar calendar I realized how much I wanted for them to experience everything I had as a child.
In the three short months we have had them, it already feels like they have been our children forever.
I sneak hugs from the girls by purposely holding them near me when I know the pressure cooker is about to whistle. They cling to me and I love it. I know! Evil amma.
I am amazed by how natural all of this feels.
It thrills me when a friend and new adoptive mama herself calls me from the grocers asking me advice on what to get for her daughter. It makes me feel like I have arrived!
There are evenings when I am ready to drop from the exhaustion and I have to consciously walk away to take a moment for myself.
I realize it is easy and convenient to let friendships slide and let communication get tardy but I have to make the effort now for I will regret it later if I don’t.
Each passing week teaches me to view life with child-like eyes and I think that is the best gift of all.