We made it, y’all. All three of us, we made it.
Up there you see me before I had any clue at all what was about to happen, and then J’s first look at Olivia (I was still attached to an operating table). I’m still not sure how we all made it from there to here:
But we did.
Today as the three of us were horsing around after dinner, a song came on from a running mix I used back in the winter of 2008 (!), as I was training for a half-marathon. Like some songs can do, I was immediately back on that fucking Elliot Bay bike trail- just completely transported in my mind to the exact place, the weather, the sound, the seagulls, the whole thing, and then I realized Olivia wasn’t even a thought then. She wasn’t even a point of discussion between J and I, she didn’t even exist in my dreams, the me of that time wouldn’t even have been able to conceptualize her, not even just for kicks. And, oh, is this going to sound ridiculous, but the me of now, standing in my new living room, MISSED HER for the me of then, even though the me of then didn’t have a clue she was coming, and the me of now was actually holding her hand. I don’t even know if that makes any sense, that the me in my own memory could miss someone she didn’t know yet.
She let go of my hand, and toddled off with a doll in one hand, the other balled in a fist near her armpit, in that funny way new walkers have. And then my eyes sprang a leak, because, oh, just LOOK AT HER.
Oh, you’re the one thing I’m the most proud of, and all I want in this whole world is to do right by you.