Tomorrow she turns 3.
I woke up reflecting. I woke up thinking about the last 3 years and everything that they have meant to me.
To say that they have been life altering or story changing would be a dramatic understatement.
Life was altered when Mabel was born because we added another child to our family. That is typical. The days, weeks, months and now years that have followed have been thing except typical with this little girl.
I have never known beauty the way that I now know it. I knew what it meant to be brave but never to actually feel courage. I knew what it was to be strong but I never truly understood inner strength. Without Mabel I wouldn't know the meaning of words like endurance, longsuffering, devotion. She has taught me the truth in things that seem so superficial. It's a gift because where most people stop seeing something, on the surface, I am just beginning to look at it and have learned to go so much deeper.
In three years I have learned more about our bodies, our DNA, genetics, the brain, muscles, and our minds than I ever wanted to know. I have learned more about people and the human interaction than I ever wished to. I have learned more about loyalty, dishonesty, religion, and myself than most people will have to learn in a lifetime.
In three years there has not been one day that I have not held Mabel. There has not been one day that I have not fought for her with all of who I am. There has not been one day that I did not know the depth of what this journey means for us, no matter how challenging it has been at times. There has not been one day when I did not feel torn, frustrated, guilty and conflicted in one area of my life as another has had to take priority.
And standing here on the eve of her third birthday I can confidently say that in everything that has taken place in our lives, I am thankful.
I wish that it was easier to put into words the bond that we share. The intimacy that a mother and her child has is always evident, but here it goes unspoken. I have learned that love, of any kind, should be felt more and talked about less. There is a deep connection from the heart to the spirit and if we just allow ourselves to quiet and settle, we can experience something that we might otherwise miss.
There has been so much talking in my life. There have been so many empty words, hollow spaces and broken promises. And yet, this little girl stepped in and put a stop to all of it just by being. Just by breathing and smiling and being. I looked at her and decided once and for all that the empty that was surrounding me was just not acceptable any longer. When you have tasted the delicate truth of a tiny, wordless child you don't ever look back.
I have learned that quiet is ok and I expect more there in those spaces.
In the quiet of our days I see a three year old little girl who is and will forever be my baby.
She saved me and set me free- from myself.
She and I light one another on fire and I have never been more grateful for this life that I get to lead with her draped over my shoulder. I have never felt more humbled that I get to be the one to care for her and carry her through this life.
Most people only hope that they can find love like this in their lifetime and it is mine for the taking every single day. She is a beautiful, tiny gift and brings the greatest joy.
Every day she is with me is a celebration of her life but tomorrow, I plan to feel it big in my soul.