Avery turned 10 on the 18th.
I can't sleep. My stomach is killing me and I have been having sweats and chills for days- having to change the bed linens.
Happily we had a 'down' weekend(punctuated by me throwing up all over the bathroom etc.) and celebrated with just our immediate family tonight. I will say she had a pretty sweet weekend- gymnastics one evening, a sleepover with one of her gymnastics teammates, mini golf and lazer tag.
I still remember vividly when they held her up, screaming, over me after having a c-section and I couldn't believe she was mine. She was so perfect, beautiful- she also didn't have a huge head of dark hair like Vi did so I thought in my drugged, low-blood-pressure state that there was some sort of mix-up.
I remember two student nurses(I had, between passing out from low blood pressure, managed to consent to having like 20 nursing students observe the c-section) came with me to recovery and thanked me profusely because they said it was the first birth either of them had ever seen and the would never forget it. I think about that, sometimes, because it is one of those things you never really do forget- the first time you see life, any kind of life come into the world.
10 years ago, I held Avery in my arms and she was a blank slate. And these have been the best ten years of my life watching that slate being written on. That is too small an analogy, I think- maybe more like watching a magnificient book being carefully written.
What I feel right now is gratitude- and a little sadness, nostalgia. It is going by far too fast- 10 years come and gone gone just like that, in the blink of an eye.
She grows more amazing by the day, as she grows into herself.
Sometimes I wonder why some of us lead smaller lives than others. I always thought people who punched the clock at the same job, lived in the same hous, raised their kids, went to soccer practice and waited in pick-up lines at school were mediocre.
I've come to understand that I can get as many degrees as I want, work at a job where I fly around the country, write a bestseller, write a song- compose a symphony, run for President. But no matter what else I do in my life, these girls, they are my magna opera.
No matter what else I have done in my life, it all led to this- whichever numerous tracks I could have gone down that disappeared as I fell in love with and married Dean, had Viola, then Avery. This is the greatest thing I have done and these three people are the ones who have given me the most joy in life.
The clock keeps ticking. This is my life now. I don't know what I gave up for it but those nebulous sacrafices- I would make them again and again. 10 years come and gone but so much joy- and that is a gift that can never be taken from me.