My pretty brown basket with a lid where I've crammed all of my thoughts and feelings for the last three months is bursting at the seams. They are escaping through the tiny holes of the weaved seagrass.
"Hey lady, I'm here. When are you going to get to me?" They say.
It's taken this entire time to see how our four lives are merging together into one outside of survival mode. Charlie included.
We're all having glimpses into a normal life, how the flow of our new combined life is happening. There are times now when I am calm, present and in the moment. Charlie is realizing this kid isn't here for just a few days. I watch LO play with toys on the porch, hear Adam tap away at the keyboard in the office, smell Charlie's stink and wonder how long it's been since I've given him a bath.
How have I quieted myself down?
Ear plugs. When Adam's home, I lock the door to our bedroom and put in ear plugs. If I can't hear it, it doesn't bother me.
Taking small notes on my phone. Can't stop thinking about the to do list? Write it down. Have a funny or negative thought? Write it down. GET IT OUT.
Where am I wasting any extra time I have? Social media. I've been using that time to go back and read my notes. I've made it through, my bowels are back to normal. That counts as a success, right?!
I'm not in constant anxiety anymore. I'm starting to appreciate the little moments I've cried so hard and so long for. Chubby, tanned fingers wrapped in mine. I worry if my arm is too heavy to be draped across their ribs at bedtime. I find myself crying over the little shoes in the kitchen.
I text Adam after putting him/her on the bus for the first day of the school year that I felt something I couldn't put my finger on. He said sadness. Yep, that's it. We are the ones experiencing these life events, not the "real", biological parents. We are raising this child, teaching him/her how to pray, brush their teeth, spell the word "love".
Here comes the cliché, s/he has taught us how to spell love in a different, very obvious way. We are finally feeling the love a child has for their caretaker and what it feels like to love a child like our own.
It's so easy to say, "Of course, we love him/her. We're real parents because we're doing these life moments with him/her. Yeah, we're raising him/her for now."
But they were just words until that morning. That morning they became for lack of a better word, real.
What a wonderful gift it has been to sift through my basket of good, bad, anxious and calm thoughts to find those real moments.
I prayed to God to make me a Mother and He did.