What I didn't yet know about was how each extra child didn't just add extra joy to your family. No, even "multiplication" was not significant enough to describe the difference. I think "exponential increases of joy" is a more accurate description of the change.
I won't deny that the change was tough. There were some rather dark days at the beginning. Having 2 babies in 2 years is not an undertaking for wussies. Combining that with seismic shifts of self-concept and identity certainly didn't help much. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to those days.
But, as every tough phase of childhood does, it all passed. I learned, I grew. They learned, they grew. They grew into delightful and entertaining little people. And the joy grew exponentially. Here are a few sources of joy that the last few years have brought:
- Meeting a new little person, and learning that her personality was different from every other person in our family.
- Learning the role of nature vs. nurture, and realizing that it wasn't all because of me.
- Seeing the results of teaching and training, and seeing that some of it could be from me.
- Having a cuddly child in the house when another was independent.
- Watching independence grow while having to hold another.
- Watching the beginning of a lifelong sister relationship.
- Watching the development and growth of that sisterhood.
- The relief of observing that my children are smarter, cuter, funnier, and more interesting than I am.
- Watching beloved dogs grow to accept and love my children.
- Watching my children grow to love and care for my dogs.
- Observing a spark of music in my children that is beyond what I could give them.
- Watching my husband grow in importance in the eyes of my daughters.
- Watching my husband grow as a result of my daughters.
- Enjoying the growth in our relationship as a result of parenting our daughters.
- Nurturing a faith in young hearts that is greater than I'd ever imagine in children so young.
- Receiving exuberant hugs, kisses, and artwork with a frequency that is sometimes overwhelming.
I could keep going.
Despite missing a fantastic gourmet Thanksgiving meal the day that she was born, the entrance of MeToo into our lives was a huge blessing. And I give thanks for that day, 3 years ago today.
Happy Birthday MeToo!