Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Simply Without Words (almost)

We have two children. Two beautiful, amazing girls.

I have been home for the past two days with them. Mondays I work from home, but yesterday and today I was home because the girls were both under the weather (I was too.) Being home to watch them, literally spending Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today with them has me in a state so far beyond worship. Watching them interact, moving through the transitions of waking up and playing, to morning nap and more waking up, it's a whole new world.
(Resist singing, it sounded better than "other world".)

Briar is so nurturing toward Avery, watching her I think in some ways she has a better handle than I do on balancing loving, parenting and teaching. She tells Avery no and sets boundaries, but still demonstrates an enormous capacity for love and instruction.

And Avery, well she absolutely adores her sister. Her entire demeanor changes when she has Briar in her line of vision, she leans toward her like a flower to sunlight, her face brightens, her mouth opens as if she is ready to tell her just how much she loves her and how devastatingly cool she thinks she is. Avery's non-verbal communication is pretty incredible. She watches us and responds with her body, I think once she starts to talk there won't be any holding her back, she wants it and she wants it now. One of my favorite things about her, besides the way her dimples startle and delight me with each smile, is the way she watches me, opens her mouth and pulls me into her for a kiss/bite. She also has an absolutely delicious laugh, throaty and infectious that I will do just about anything to get her to do.

Briar had a milestone yesterday. And another today. As a working mom I have struggled so much with missing special moments. I have tried to tell myself that they are all special, that just because her sitter saw her take her first step or say a new word doesn't mean that I am a bad mom, or an uncommitted mom. But I think I can speak for most working moms when I say that missed milestones pretty much make you feel like a total failure.

Why didn't she want to do it for me?
Why wasn't I there?
Will she know I missed things?
What else am I missing?

So yesterday, to be home with her and to take her to the bathroom to sit on the potty and to have her actually use it? To actually go poop on the potty? OH MY GOD. Priceless. Unforgettable. Heartbreaking. I have never been so grateful for anything...
can we agree to let me say things like that with the understanding that of course I am more grateful that she was born healthy, that Avery is healthy, that I met Sean, that I am healthy without a history of breast cancer in my family etc?

Well today, she did it again.
Pee and poop(at different times.)
First she pooped and got an Elmo sticker. Then we went in again later and she said, "Pa-potty?" and there was a little trickling sound. "Pa-potty, go. Sticker, Elmo?" More trickling, followed by me squealing a lot of, "Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, Briar. You are so big. You just peed in the potty. You peed in the potty!" And she said, "Pa-potty, Elmo big girl! Frush? Buh-bye poop!"

I will never forget today. The details may blur, the exact sound of her voice or the beautiful look on her face and twinkle in her eyes as she watched my celebration of her accomplishment may fade a bit, but I will never forget that I was here. I got to be with my sweet baby Briar as she did the not so baby thing of using the toilet. I know that it is inevitable that I will miss things and that I will make mistakes, but I hope that my unique ability to absolutely revel in their every accomplishment because I am their mom will always be something that they can trust.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, being a mom- being their mom, is the sweetest, most excruciatingly beautiful, painful and magnificent thing I have ever, or will ever do.

I love you two.

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