Ok, DTT readers, time to fess up. Who besides me saves their day planner from the previous year just so they can look back at what was going on exactly 365 days ago at any given time? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
*cue the crickets chirping*
Ok, so maybe I’m the only crazy one who saves these types of things, but you never know when you’re going to need to see exactly what you were doing on some random date like March 13, 2011. :0) It’s hard to believe that May is already upon us, especially considering the raw and rainy weather that we’ve been experiencing over the course of the last few days. However, it is May and spring is in full swing — rain, blooms and all. Seeing as it’s that time of year again — time to start gearing up for summer barbecues and dips in the pool — I can’t help but think of how much has changed in our lives, as well as in the lives of those around us, during the course of the last 12 months. I’m using this particular time of year as a benchmark because it was just about this time last year that we began trying to get pregnant again. When I looked back at the May 2011 calendar, I discovered that May 2nd marked the end of my Spring 2011 semester at Bridgewater State, which meant that exactly one year ago today, I was more than likely up to my eyeballs in end-of-the-semester grade calculations. Today, was spent much differently than that of one year ago. Clara, Elyse and I braved the dreary and wet weather and made our way to Clara’s first Kindermusik class at Zambinski Music Studio in Pawtucket. While Elyse napped in her infant carrier, Clara and I sang songs, played instruments and danced with the other children and their moms. We (at least I know that I) had a blast and am excited to go back next week. When I asked Clara if she had fun, she repeated, “Had fun,” so I’m taking this as a good sign. I think her favorite part of the class was when she got to choose a sticker from a sheet of foil stars the teacher presented her with just before we left to go home. Of course, as a fellow lover of all things shiny, she chose the silver star, which she proudly displayed on the top of her hand for a good part of the afternoon.
Besides giving birth to one of the cutest baby girls in the world, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of watching Clara grow and change into quite the toddler. Take this very moment for instance. Since I began writing this week’s reflection, Clara has managed to fall flat on her face while jumping off of the pillows (thankfully, she recovered quickly with the help of our resident Boo-Boo Buddy), take a poop (it’s a good thing I gave her a bath earlier this evening — ugh) and get scolded for standing in the desk drawer (she likes to stand in the drawer so that she can get at the computer mouse and keyboard). All the while, she babbled in her cute toddler-speak, much of it being easily discernible to her father and I.
Like all parents, we feel that Clara is an overachiever and very smart for her age. But, I really think she’s a genius. I’m not kidding. In addition to inheriting her father’s Angelina Jolie-like lips (I’m sure Taylor would be thrilled to know that I was comparing him to Angelina Jolie), Clara has been given the gift of her father’s great intelligence. When I say that Taylor is the smartest person that I know, I’m not just blowing smoke because he is my husband. He really is highly intelligent. So, intelligent, in fact, that I can never win an argument and oftentimes get frustrated with him because he can’t understand things from my perspective. But, thankfully, it looks like Clara’s IQ has benefitted from her father’s genes. She really does amaze me with her vast vocabulary, ability to create complex sentences (well, complex for an almost two-and-a-half-year old), and knack for solving puzzles. It’s a good thing we got a Kindle Fire from my parents for Christmas, as it’s provided many, many hours of puzzle-solving fun for our little genius-in-the-making. On a daily basis, Clara continues to astonish me with her antics, which I proudly share with Taylor as soon as he gets home from work. Just today, in fact, she was reading a Thomas the Train book on the Kindle and making up the story from what she could see in the pictures. The funny thing is, she was right on track (pun intended!) with her own fabricated tale. Unreal.
The biggest changes in our lives have centered around our children. But since last May, Taylor and I have also done our fair share of growing — as parents, as a couple and as individuals. Carrying a NAIT pregnancy tested our marriage and, thankfully, strengthened it as a result. Carrying a NAIT pregnancy tested my strength, my courage and pushed me to limits I never knew existed. Since last May, I’ve come to the realization that once NAIT entered our lives, they were forever changed. And even though we’ve overcome this disease and have two healthy daughters to show for it, NAIT will never truly go away; it will always be a part of my life. However, I’ve coined a new acronym for the affliction that has not only taken away my innocence, but has also given me a renewed sense of confidence and a strength greater than I have ever known. Last May, NAIT stood for Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia. This May, the letters N A I T now represent: Never Allow It To win (NAIT Parents: fill in the blank here…).