I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. You are all far too kind, and I appreciate you so very much. I know that in writing publicly about our family, I create an opening for criticism, but I believe that the good we can do by sharing our lives is greater than the negatives that exist. I may not always feel that way, but right now I do, and I feel that way because of all of you. I wish I could give you each a pony for Christmas (house trained, of course, with stable services included). Instead, how about a photo of Elvie, asleep on my lap, in polka dot jammies?
Sometimes when she sleeps, I see the remnant of the baby I first held in Ethiopia. I still rock her to sleep every night, and it is still one of my favorite things, though it's a bit harder than it used to be, with her so aware that there are things she could be doing, and the night is still young. But eventually she settles in, clutching her Lamby and her bottle, and with her Nuk handle flipped up against her nose. She seems so grown up lately, with thoughts and ideas and very strong toddler opinions, but I remember her tiny self. I still put my hand to her chest even now when she sleeps, just to check for the subtle rise and fall that means that all is well. She is such a gift, this little girl. I wish you could all meet her in person; she is the personification of exuberance and joy.
And then there's Zinashi, wise beyond her years. She asks me questions that I didn't think I'd have to answer for years to come, but she understands my responses, and she takes things to heart. She doesn't shy away from the hard questions, and so I don't either. Her depth is astounding, while at the same time she still retains the magic and wonder of childhood.
Tonight on our way home on the train, a man who looked remarkably like Santa, and who was, in fact, wearing a Santa hat, sat down next to us. She looked at him, and looked at me, and looked at him, grinning. "I look like Santa, don't I?" he asked. She nodded, eyes full of wonder, and engaged him in conversation. She is still trying to figure out if he was really Santa or not, but she thinks the answer is yes. Regardless, he made her night, and sent her home with a candy cane and questions that made her eyes twinkle.
I am so lucky to mother these two little girls. I really can't get over it.