Today I was able to have two of those rare experiences in which your heart is so extremely full of love that it begins to overflow into every part of you. I do the best I can to capture these moments, to remember them, but unfortunately I have a memory of a doorknob, so if I don't write them down, they are lost in the cobwebs of an empty mind.
I spent much of the morning preparing Samantha's birthday cake. After Callie ate breakfast she dipped her fingers in the powdered sugar I was using. Instead of being frustrated, I thought it was kind of cute. She giggled and I tossed some sugar at her face. She was absolutely gorgeous to me as her smile stretched from ear to ear and then opened wide, revealing her bright white teeth, to release a huge built-up giggle Callie style -- which really is more like a cackle. The sugar on her hands and arm created a stark white contrast to her beautiful dark skin. She really made me stop because of how beautiful I thought she looked. And in that moment I remembered that we adopted her. It may seem kind of strange, but I forget that sometimes. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she is mine. That I get to see that smile, hear that crazy crackle, read her books, teach her where her tummy is, sing her songs, put her to bed, etc. In that moment, Callie at age 2, 3, 5, and 8 flashed before me. I'm so excited for Callie's future. I'm excited to take her places, to send her off to school, to watch her soccer games or dance recitals or choir performances. I'm excited to live life with her because she emanates joy in all she does. That is a moment I want to capture with Callie -- her innocence, joy, and beauty. I do happen to think that Callie is a pretty girl, but her personality is what makes her adorable. She is a happy and fun little girl. I can't stop her from waving to people everywhere we go (ok, not that I've tried). She makes people around her happy. I can't tell you how many people randomly come to our shopping cart while we're out because Callie has lured them over with the triple threat -- smiles, giggles, and waves. But she is also a sincere little girl. She is beginning to learn about feelings and has become more compassionate to others as she realizes someone is "saaaad". There is a genuine look of concern on her face when she sees someone cry. As her mother, I hope that she always understands that inner-beauty transcends any physical shell. I hope she understands that about herself and maybe more importantly, about others.
Callie is currently taking a nap. She has started taking one nap a day which allows a few hour block for Mommy Sammy time. I admit that most often this "free time" isn't spent playing one on one with Sammy. Rather, it is spent cleaning, cooking, organizing, or doing anything else I need to do for our home. And typically this is fine because this is usually the period of the day when Sammy is playing on her own and is very content. Though she isn't napping, it is, in a sense, her own down time when she can do her own thing. Today, however, was different. Too often I get caught up with things I need to do. I get too busy. Well, lately, I've been tired...guess I must be slowing down in my old age. I laid down on the couch and brought Samantha up with me. She began jumping on me, which wasn't all that comfortable, but she was sure having fun. After a few minutes, I took her and held her close. Together we curled up on the couch. She didn't fight it. She didn't twist and turn. She just laid there with me, curled up against her mommy on the couch. She began softly talking "woa woa woa" while I played with her hair. At one point she began chewing on my shirt. I didn't care. She then wiggled her face into my neck and stayed there for the next 30 minutes. She didn't fall asleep, she just stayed there occasionally letting me know she was still awake by slipping out a very soft, whispered "woa". I loved it. During that time, I hoped that Sammy would know that I loved her, that she would understand that I am trying my best. I told her that I am so happy to be her mommy and that my life would be so sad without her. I told her that I would always be right here for her and we could lay like this on the couch whenever she wanted. I also told her she has super huge biceps -- because she really does! We were on the couch for 45 minutes together before she started to giggle. Why the giggle? I have no idea but it was pretty darn cute. So I tickled her so she'd have a real reason to giggle.
Now she's up, playing with a balloon and roaming the family room, and Callie will be waking up soon. I've tried to write down these personal experiences so I remember. I know, though, that they are greatly lacking the proper words and description that really explain how I feel in those moments. One day I'll reread this, and I'll be glad I wrote it down...and it will still be lacking. But I do also believe that one day, when my mind is perfect, it will recall all the moments I wish I could capture perfectly but just couldn't...and they will be pure memories, as if I were there again. I can't really imagine that day, but I think it'll be pretty great.