As the days close in on the end of January when my life as I knew it changed for ever last year, I am flooded with memories of the convoluted ways in which the heavens conspired to bring Kay and Cee into our lives. One year, 3000 odd photos and 500 plus videos later, we are not done soaking up the joy the girls bring us. This past weekend K and I sat and watched videos from a year back when Kay and Cee were tiny babies with chubby faces and cheery smiles. We laughed and cried over their unsteady feet as they learned to walk. We smiled away tears as we relived their adorable baby talk. All our conversations over the past couple of days have been punctuated in disbelief. Disbelief that this is our life. Disbelief that our girls have grown and changed so much in one year. Disbelief that it has been one year. One year!
This past night as I sleep walked my way through finding fever medication in the dark for Cee, it struck me how far we have come. As I prep milk in the morning with one of the girls hanging from my hip, emotions overwhelm me. I resolve each day that I should never take this for granted. Ever.
Some days as I drive into work leaving K to juggle home, kids and work before he finds sanity behind his monitor at work, I wonder if this career thing is worth it at all. Yet, I keep at it. The promise of a secure financial future for the girls spurs me on. My view of the world has changed. Somewhere in this one year, the usually self-centered me gave way to someone who could actually put others first. Yes. My girls have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. They have taught me to examine my deep-seated prejudices. To stare at the stark truth and acknowledge that I could be a better person. They have taught me to catch my tongue as I am about to spit out something judgmental. Each day I confront the issues of race and racial stereotypes that are ingrained in my being. They make me look for teaching moments in everyday events. They propel me to find the good in other people. They make me view the world with childlike innocence.
The excited squeals of “snow” force me to discard my dread of driving in the snow and look at it with wonder and amazement. The uninhibited joy that Kay shows when she is in the vicinity of a dog makes me want to rush out and adopt a pet. The adamant look on both girls’ faces when they do not want to eat/bathe/drink forces me to revisit my ideas of discipline and manage my anger. They force me to be patient and understanding.
As I celebrate one year of mothering my girls, I realize this is just the beginning. The beginning of years of wonderment and adjustment. Years of worrying and celebrating little triumphs. Years ahead that will be filled with gratitude for the gift of life bestowed on us.