The time is going by too quickly and I feel like I'm not really experiencing anything. We do our daily routine: I go to work while she spends 80% of her waking time with strangers, and we come home and eat and bathe and go to bed. And the next day is the same. All of a sudden I find myself looking at photos from when we went to visit Santa at the mall, and there I am, but I'm holding this chubby-cheeked child... whom I barely recognize.
Why am I taking someone else's daughter to meet Santa?
Oh wait, that child belongs to me.
And then I look at the picture of the little lady I took to daycare this morning.
That child belongs to me too.
The child in the picture above (you know, the one clutching the pink bunny) has has a rough few weeks. She survived the Bubonic Plague of the Bierlein Household in early March, she's left one daycare, tried 3 more... all the while with a runny nose and a constant cough. She's been sick and thrown into new situations. And while she's trying to adjust, things don't always fall into place so easily. And I get that. My heart breaks as I see her struggling. I see my 1-year-old child trying to establish a normal routine in the midst of new people, new colors and noises and sounds, trying to take naps in a new place. Trying to eat sweet potatoes and peas at daycare while all the other kids are eating green eggs and turkey sausages in honor of St. Patrick.
We spend quiet nights on the couch, just the two of us. After a year of refusing to snuggle with me, she's finally taken comfort in sitting on my lap, clutching her pink bunny, laying her head on my chest and feeling the rhythm of the heart that beats for her. I talk to my sleepy Sol about how incredible she is, and I tell her of the grand plans I envision for her. I tell her how much I love her; and after sending up a silent prayer of thanks for the miracle in my arms, I thank her for the life she's given me. I thank her for every frustrating 3am wake-up that helps me learn patience. I thank her for every snort/chuckle hybrid that escapes her mouth and makes my soul do a somersault. I thank her for showing me that perfect love is not only possible but necessary.
Before I know it, I've talked her to sleep and she's snoring softly on my chest, her eyelashes laid delicately atop her resting eyes. Her chubby hand is still gripped tightly around the soft pink bunny that's clearly become her source of security in a world of uncertainty. Just when my mind starts to wander and I think, 'If I had chosen a different route...' her tiny snores snatch my attention and I fall in love all over again. In moments like these, I get to savor my Sol.