On a day like today, few years back, I scanned through my emails making notes, preparing to-do lists and scanning the web for information. We had just gotten word that we were soon to be parents of twins. Just like that in a few days we would go from a couple to a couple with toddlers.
Each day was torturous. Time slowed down. Yet, it felt like we would never get everything we needed done in time. I hugged my secret close to my chest. Afraid spilling it out would jinx it. As I tried to work or attend class, all I could think of were the two chubby kids I had seen pictures of who would soon be my daughters.
I obsessively checked email waiting for word on the court date. A date that would change my life as I knew it. How did one become a mother overnight?
My nights were fidgety. I would wake with a parched throat and toss and turn with visions of two little kids crawling all over the house in my head. I would wake early to check and double-check that I had every scrap of documentation I needed.
I remember feeling anxious and beyond excited. When you have dreamed of something for so long, the hours and minutes before it becomes real is fraught with too much emotion. One that leaves you blank and emotionless.
Out of the blue, the night before we were to fly out, we received a call from a neighbor. One who knew we were talking of adopting. She asked if we wanted her daughter’s crib. They were moving and would be happy to pass on their crib and high chair for when we would need it. I quickly said yes, put the phone down and cried. Cried with joy and fear. Fear about how things were falling in place quickly. Too quickly and too well for my paranoid mind to take.
I received pictures. A whole lot of pictures and scanned documents that detailed my children’s life till then. I devoured each scrap as if not knowing the minute details would somehow make me less of a parent. Years later, I re-read those notes today and feel the same sense of elation and wonderment. Today I look at those pictures and see details my new mother’s eyes missed.
I sit with my daughters one on each side and show them their baby pictures. Whilst they ooh and aah at their baby selves, I stroke their head gently and hold them close. The smell of their shampoo and the hint of lemon from their last meal leaving a tangible impression behind.
This week has been an exercise in nostalgia. One that has me digging through old correspondences and pictures and congratulatory messages from people far and near. I find myself overwhelmed with feeling. With love and a sense of gratitude that cannot be measured.
Of the twists and turns that life has taken, motherhood takes the pride of place. The scars and bruises from this adventure will fade with time but will forever remain.