I remember fondly (now) those first insane weeks.... when it seemed like the entirety of days was spent nursing, changing and my eating to keep up strength. I remember, not proudly, how I ignored my mother's advice, failed to rest and had an infection which rendered me practically useless at a time I was needed most. I remember putting Joe, shirtless into the bay window trying to avoid hospitals and sunlamps. I remember my mother in law making me what may well be the BEST roast beef, lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwiches and reminding me (to the babies benefit) to drink more water. I remember the MOMS group from our parish, providing us with dinners week in and week out. I remember waking up one morning in early October and recognizing my ankles again. I remember so many volunteers who came to sit quietly in a house with sleeping babies, so mommy and daddy could rest as well.
I remember the not so fond memories - of Joe screaming in pain with reflux, of feelings of helplessness and understanding how judgemental I had been upon hearing stories of parents who snapped and harmed their children. I remember being afraid. I'm grateful beyond measure now that God never removed His hand from me and Mark in all the dark hours.
The cliche says there is no instruction book for raising children. I've come to understand that its true. We face another big milestone tomorrow ironically. Sarah and Joe start first grade. Who knew it would only take 2, 190 days to get them to this point. It somehow never seemed possible as I struggled to give Sarah her first bath. A few days ago.... here's what she can do herself.
It hardly seems possible that after so many nights in those first months singing away to Joe to solace his pain with reflux that we would ever come to a day when he would be the one singing and be singing to his baby brother; he's now the eldest of six. It really is amazing what can change in 2,190 days!
And me, with 14, 235 or so days under my belt sit here typing and realizing that as I teach my children, so they too teach me. They teach me to know that they will always be able to do more than I believe they can.