Sometimes I think back to when P was brand new... well, brand new to us. We were young and overly worried and rather unprepared, and he was tiny and scared.
We went through a rough first year, both adjusting to each other as well as our new life. Everything was so different and new! People saw us differently, we reacted differently, we liked different things, we didn't like many of our old favorites, our friends appeared different to us, our priorities changed, our marriage changed, everything changed.
Then Ambrose came along and the changes were smaller. Oh, sure, still lots of a changes. Our first little baby so there was a learning curve, but even so it was easier and milder. Instead of feeling like we'd been slammed in the face by a high speed truck, we felt more like we'd been pushed a little by a tricycle. We had to change, sure, but it wasn't nearly as much. And, in fact, it was pretty pleasant.
Now? We're established.
Oh, we're not exactly old hats at this, and we sure as heck aren't perfect. Our oldest child is only 5, after all, and we're still so young in all this (young as parents and as spouses and even just as people).
But we're still established. We're a solid family unit. We're no longer several small bits trying to twist and turn and chip away until we all fit together.
I read so many blogs, some about general parenting, some about those who adopt, and some about those in the infertility world (and yeah, a few outside of all of this). And whenever I'm reading a blog where people are in the same dark place we've come from, well, then I thank God for how established this family is.
I remember those days of trying to conceive and begging adoption agencies. I remember feeling like everyone around me was charging ahead into this new game called parenthood while we kept raising our hands saying "pick me, pick me, I'm ready to be next!" and never being chosen. We weren't certain it would ever happen for us. And it's so frustrating! To see others forging ahead with no issue, embracing pregnancy, giving birth, learning about parenting, growing and becoming established, while you're still waiting for step one.
And then there was that first year of parenthood. It was rough and we were rough and life was just rough and I just wanted to scream "why does this have to be so difficult?" I mean, other people produce babies who grow and bond as you grow as a parent. We were handed a screaming, angry, shell shocked toddler who didn't know our language. It all felt so jumbled and out of control, and we were just trying to hang on.
But we made it.
And by the time Ambrose was placed in our arms we had a solid foundation. P had been here long enough that he really started to trust us. And we were used to him and loved him. Adding Ambrose only made us love him more, even if it made alone time more difficult.
And by now...
We love them. They love us. And we're a solid unit. We have history together. We look at our photo books together and tell P about his toddlerhood. We have memories together and go places together. And this year we're starting a new journey, together, as P enters public school.
Now when I read about other's frustrations with building a family, I feel a little guilty. And relieved. That could be us right now. Instead of waiting for this journey to start, though, we're celebrating milestones and preparing for school. We're living our dream every day.
This doesn't mean that we don't still want more, or that we think we're done with journeys. I would still love to tackle the journey of conception and pregnancy, and of course we have the journey of school and Ambrose starting preschool. And this whole urban homesteading thing!
But as parents and as a couple, we're established. We know what we're doing, at least right at this moment. And man does that feel good!
Lily in a loafing barn
11 months ago