I am awed by the dimensions of my love for these girls.
Just when I think I sort of have a handle on how I feel about Briar,
how I feel about Avery and how I feel about them together,
I am hit by a new wave of emotion.
Last night Avery slept in her crib. In another room. The entire night.
Who knew that you could celebrate and mourn at the same time? I am so fiercely proud of how smoothly she seems to figure everything out.
From the day she came home she has seemed to anticipate things that needed to happen before Sean or I ever clued in. She shifts gears and adjusts to whatever happens. She has spread through the fabric of our little family, filling in gaps we didn’t know we had, while creating new spaces that we have been able to fill with even more joy, more wonder and more love.
The mourning comes into play with the realization of just how fast life moves when there are no huge hiccups. I look at Avery now and she has already grown so much. She’s so long and her movements are so deliberate. She is babbling, cooing and responding to us. And the way she follows Briar with her eyes…it won’t be long before she is sprinting down the front steps in pursuit of Briar.
And Briar, good lord. She is transforming into the most incredible little girl. Her face, the expressions, she is remarkable. A joker, fiercely determined and incredibly loving. She has this wonderful mix of independence and playful affection. She is wonderfully nurturing with Avery-talking to her, sharing and tending to her if she is fussy. She loves to help Sean and I with projects, but she’ll also go and sit in a chair and have solitary time. Sometimes just looking out the window or contemplating things as she talks to Blue. Other times she turns in circles until she falls in a fit of laughter or has us dancing and spinning with her until our clothes are literally drenched with sweat.
There is no denying that Briar and Avery have changed our life. And changed us. Sean and I are now forever partnered as a team. We will always be Mom and Dad to these girls. The shift from looking inward at our own needs to the needs and futures of these girls has opened up so much. Rather than limitations or responsibilities it feels like we have new opportunities. Introducing these two incredible people to new things: pointing out a shooting star, gasping at hot air balloons at dawn, puddle jumping in the rain. We get to be examples- the way we live, the relationship we have will be a template for how they understand love, compromise and cooperation. It’s so much easier to not be selfish when you know how positive (and important) that decision is. And, we get to enjoy simple things. Pure things. I am looking forward to being with my family, to cuddling and wrestling, to coloring and tunneling. We are looking forward to cheering from the sidelines and applauding from the front row, to sitting at the table and helping come up with adjectives.
The opportunity to have this family, my family, is profoundly humbling and exciting.