The heavens opened and saturated a thirsty San Antonio with steady glittering rain. After church I pulled on the first sweater of the season and found my shearling slippers. I enjoyed my first chill after a long hot Texas summer. The smell of rain gives cause to search for the hand knit blanket and an intriguing book full of adventure. Baby Kira stepped into her rubber boots, pushed up a yellow umbrella and stomped in enough puddles to know that’s not something she enjoys. By mid-afternoon I found myself searching the fridge and pantry for soup ingredients…sausage, beans, carrots, onion, garlic, rice, cumin… it was that sort of a Sunday. Soon the house smelled of simmering goodness. Anyone who passed through the kitchen lifted their nose and took a deep breath. I wasn’t willing to ruin a good cabin enclosed day to run to the store for crusty bread. We would have to suffer without. The promise of change in season made us greedy for it to rush in.
Of course I itched to visit Gwinny, give her a solid grooming and let her graze in the rain. But, after church I gave into the strong pull to be a home body.
When Kira rose from her nap she cooked me some dinner and served me tea. She also fed her baby doll. It’s funny that her baby gets the urge to potty at the same time Kira does! We are making progress with that adventure. She is happy to use her potty and we are reluctant to push her and create hard edges around the process. I can’t think of anything cuter than her concentrated face as she sits and does her business.
She has become the sweetest, happiest creature we’ve yet to meet. I scratch my head and wonder where she is hiding all that chili she used to ooze. She skips, laughs, hugs, kisses, helps, shares, and dances through her day. She occasionally disagrees with our program but it doesn’t take more than a count to three for her to follow along. What’s amazing about parenting is that one size does not fit all. Each child needs a new set of parents wide open to subscribe to skills they may not have on board yet, and it doesn’t matter how many kids they have, each one needs a customized program.
She was such a sour baby, hardly ever smiled for us, and had big storms behind her eyes most of the time. To see her blossom into this radiant child bubbling with personality and happiness is enough to astound us into quiet awe of a great God. The security this little girl has whether she is with her brothers, her dad, Hannah or Andie, at preschool or with mama is solid.
Last Friday Hannah took Kira and Jack to the children’s theater in downtown San Antonio to see Aladdin. They were all dressed nice and ready for a new adventure. Kira walked out the back door blowing me kisses, saying “mama, wanna come?” I have to work baby. “Ok, bye, yuh you” and she blew me kisses with smiles then settled into Hannah’s car. There is great love, but no separation anxiety, and this tells me her life is well balanced. She is secure. All of her care givers are consistent so she has learned to relax and trust us.
As a parent, new to raising a girl, new to adoption, a little older maybe a bit worn, I feel like her security is worthy of a lifetime achievement award. It chokes me up. Nothing is more precious to me than when she cuddles up close and smiles deeply into my eyes knowing I’m the one. Before bed last night I was lying on top of my bed engrossed in a book I had to finish, and she climbed up to lay next to me with her own book. She pulled up the covers and we talked about our books. When daddy walked in to see his two girls side by side in bed giggling, he shook his head and said, “that’s how it should be.”
Of course, convincing her eventually that she had to go night night in her own bed wasn’t easy, but since daddy promised to stay with her (which he always falls asleep with her) she was willing to go.
The most fun we have with her is when we are all together working in the kitchen, and the boys put on music with a good fun beat. She bursts into creative self expressive dance moves we haven’t seen before. When the song ends, she searches our faces and begs, “again?” Of course we let the songs roll. I think watching her dance while the boys help in the kitchen is the happiest I ever feel.