Nora is 17 days old and nursing in my arms as I type one handed. My parents have been staying with us since Nora was born. My sweet mother has been keeping us well fed preparing tastes of home for dinner, silently doing load after load of laundry which is washed, dried and folded in piles on our bed, keeping Levi's dirty diapers washed and folded not to mention keeping me full of tea and making sure I'm eating during the day. And my parents together have been getting Levi up, dressed and fed breakfast before I have even left my bedroom in the morning, not to mention them being the eyes and ears when I am feeding or changing the baby or when my stitches from surgery have made it impossible to get to Levi fast enough to avoid disaster. Our family has been truly blessed to have them here and saying goodbye today was really, really hard. There is just something so sweet and special about watching your parents as Grandparents. I love how well my children are loved by both sets of their Grandparents.
I'm also sad envisioning Levi running into our guest room in the morning eager to see them and play as he has done every morning for the past two weeks only to see the bed stripped and no smiling faces to greet him. As much as we talked through Nana and Grandad were leaving on an airplane, his comprehension is limited. Thankfully Skype can help the miles seems shorter and Jeremy's parents will be coming over to spend the morning with him tomorrow so he will have different adults giving him attention to lessen the blow but still, I have tears in my eyes thinking of the disappointment and confusion I know is coming in the morning.
We will see how the rest of the week goes as I try this solo parenting of a busy 18 month old and a newborn. In the moments when I feel totally overwhelmed by the prospect, I cling to the nights when I cried out to the Lord for a child. I prayed and hoped and picked my heart up, loss after loss to get to the place of God giving us our sweet boy and now this precious baby girl and I am reminded that they are indeed gifts from him. Miracles, entrusted into our care, unique individuals placed in our family to be parented by us. No mistake, no accident, but God's perfect plans coming to pass.I know He will be faithful to give me what I need.
I am sure there are days ahead when I will be pulling my hair out, when my toddler's constant boundary testing will bring me to my knees or my baby girls need to be held will drive me to distraction because of all I cannot get done one-handed but I hope that they will be balanced out with the joy of seeing Levi master a new skill or hear him say a new word or finally eat a meal without dumping his plate or throwing his food to let us know he's done, and by seeing Nora smile or roll over or do a million other cute baby things.
My dear friend Sarah dropped over dinner for us today and because Levi's bedtime has moved to a little later it worked for all of us to sit around the dinner table together and share a meal. (until now I have been feeding him first and then we eat after he goes to bed) We talked about our day and Levi was so well behaved and engaged. He joined in conversation and had us all laughing as we enjoyed a meal prepared in love for our family. Nora was nursing on my lap throughout the meal too, and we talked about what a special "first" it was for us to share a meal like this on our first night at home alone as a foursome. We hope it will become our new normal.
And that's the first of many new normals to come I am sure.
This is our life. We will find our new normal even if it takes a little time.
The future may look scary, impossible even on some days, but I know we will get by. We fought so hard to get here, I am certainly going to fight to embrace and enjoy it even in the midst of lack of sleep and lack of time for myself :) After all, that's what we signed up for, right?
Lord, equip me for tomorrow.