Like staring into the sun, I could not look upon Ada too long without tears for the first several weeks we had her home. Tears of joy, obviously. But, also tears of much more complicated emotions. Emotions that were surprising to me, and not all together pleasant. Having this perfect new bundle of joy in my arms bought memories of Lilah's infancy rushing back. Memories that I had forgotten, or probably, more accurately, just pushed out of my mind. Looking back, comparing these two babies....of course Lilah was sick, how could we have missed it, they are so different. But, as I've said before, I don't beat myself up for missing it in those early weeks...it was a blessing. What strikes me more are all the tiny (and big) ways that Ada is strong, and curious, and engaged...how she literally develops more by the day....and all the ways Lilah is not.
This is not your typical "I wish Johnny was smart like Mike" comparisons of offspring that every parenting magazine warns against. This is more of a subconscious matchup of right and wrong. They way things should be versus how they are, in my oldest girl versus my youngest girl. A startling equation that spells out exactly what was taken from Lilah when those tiny bits of chromosome went missing.
And it has made me incredibly sad. Missing what I missed out on in her infancy. Grieving what she will miss out on in this life. Realizing in new ways how hard it is going to be to care for a perpetual child. Knowing the day is coming that her 3-year-younger sister will run circles around her.
But that quote, by Henri whoever is spot-on. The good and the