Dearest Jorgie Bear,
Sunday the 20th was one year home, making today the anniversary of Day 3.
Bear with me here...I promise this is about you.
When Katie was three days old we had a pediatrician appointment (what did we do before blogs?) and I remember the adrenaline was just starting to wear off and things were starting to get a little dicey and overall it was a rough day for no particular reason. I distinctly recall sobbing in Dr. BadNews's exam room at one point and having the nurse tell me "It's ok. It's Day 3. Day 3 is the worst day." Hormones, exhaustion, milk, soreness....it all adds up to Day 3 being a perfect storm for most moms. Thanks for the (non-existent) warnings, every other mom ever.
Looking back at your Day 3, that same sense of exhaustion, fear, anxiety, hope, and uncertainty jump back out at me. I remember taking your hand repeatedly for the two days earlier and pressing it to my face and saying "Mommy" over and over, nodding and smiling and hoping we'd both believe it. Kissing your hands and feet and eyelids. I remember marveling at your beautiful eyes, your perfect teeth, and your belly laugh--rare but delightful--as if you were a newborn. You weren't a newborn, of course, but you were newhome, newours, new. I remember being bone tired; physically and emotionally spent every night but knowing that the night was not going to be restful in any sense. The adrenaline was wearing off; the sleep deprivation was kicking in; hormones were racing; it was Day 3.
Last weekend we celebrated your one year anniversary home by going to church where you played quietly (ish), and then we hit the annual parish pancake breakfast, came home, rested, and hosted a little Guatemalan-themed dinner party with aunts and uncles and grandma. You played happily with Katie and later your cousins, rested in your bed, chattered endlessly in perfect toddler English, helped set and clear the table and generally had a typical 2.5 year old day (ending in an age-appropriate mind boggling tantrum, by the way) . It was a perfectly lovely and normal day and something I could only dream would happen a year ago when we were in the thick of biting, hair pulling, and multi-hour bedtime routines; I honestly wasn't sure it would. Back then, everything was too raw, too new, too sore, and too tiring to be anything but Day 3.
But we made it. One year home. A year of incredible changes for our whole family as all four of us have re-imagined our roles as parents, sister, brother, and a family. As you've mastered English, potty training, sibling roles, your bike, and general American life. It's had a lot of rough spots, a lot of wonderful spots, but these days it's delightfully just a pretty typical 2.5 year old day, which is all we'd ever hoped for and more.
Love you, J-Bird,