Today my baby is eight months and one day old. In some ways it feels like it was just a blink or two ago when we were welcoming her into the world, and yet at the same time I can hardly remember what our life looked like before her. It feels like she has always been here, been a part of our family.
Everything before Hope led up to Hope. Everything before Paige led up to Paige. Everything before Nora led up to Nora. Everything before this moment, led up to right now, these eight months and one day.
It all led up to now. To two proud big sisters who can capture her attention like no one else. To the way she giggles when I nuzzle my nose in her neck. To the way she smiles when her daddy comes home, kicking her legs and squinting her eyes right at him. To her fuzzy brown hair, her rolly thighs, her big blue eyes that don't want to miss a thing.
She has been with us the whole time, patiently waiting. A glimmer in my heart. A spark. A butterfly. A secret that only my heart could feel. Only my heart knew.
We are an odd number in our house now, the five of us. And I worry sometimes about the three girls growing up and someone always feeling left out, of it always being two against one. Yes, I worry and we are an odd number, yet there is nothing odd about it.
She is the magical golden thread weaving into our family's pattern. Her thread was always there, intricately tied into all of our designs, waiting for its time to be noticed, to be seen, and now we do. Now we can see what a beautiful part her piece is adding to the whole. How is it possible that we ever existed without her?
Eight months and a day. Nine months before that. Years before that. A lifetime.
It all leads up to today.