There is something so healing about watching her play when we are out in nature. Everyday should be spent like this.
Dear Naomi & Mila,
One day, when you two are old enough to understand, I hope that you will look back at these days and know just how hard your Mother and I have worked to provide the very best that we can for you. Both your Mother and I work equally hard. Her days spent trying to find the impossible balance of giving both of you her undivided attention and mine are sadly spent taken away from you when all I want is to spend every minute with you girls. Today however, was a very good day for Papa - a very good day for our little family. A reminder that working hard towards something is important and offers reward. I may never get back the hours that I have to spend working, but as a father, I never want to fail you girls when it comes to my daily duty of making sure you have a comfortable roof over your head and plenty of food to eat. I never want you girls to feel as though you are not safe. I hope that the small bits of time that we do get together to play and to laugh gets engraved so deeply in your memories that you don't remember all the times having to wait for me to get home as I sit in traffic or leave quickly in the morning because I am running late for work. I hope that what you remember more is me walking through the door as I get home and given you a warm embrace, not me walking out as I leave. I hope that what you remember and take from these days is the astounding love that your Mama and Papa have for you both, that the sacrifices we made show just how much we care for you. I look forward to that day. I look forward to talking to you and sharing my memory of these days - being proud for all the effort your Mother and I have put in to ensure better days for you girls. I look forward to laughing and even crying about it :) - all, because we love you girls so much.
I remember practicing in my head exactly how I would hold you for the first time. The first time I did so, you were no more than just a few minutes old and our skin touched as we shared heartbeats. That moment changed me forever. It changed the world for me forever. I thought I had things fairly figured out. I thought I understood as much as I needed to about this life to feel fulfilled and to feel as though the choices I was making in how I lived my life mattered - mattered to the people I loved, mattered to me, mattered. Yet all that understanding and all that belief was shattered in a single moment of feeling your warmth against mine for the very first time. It's been almost 3 years now. 2 years, 9 months to be exact. We are in the home stretch of receiving our second little blessing. A new baby girl that will fill our world with even more warmth and love. In that anticipation, memories of these past 2 years and few months have begun to race through my mind reminding me of days that soon we will be saying good bye to forever. You have been our baby. My baby girl. My sunshine. I hear the echos of your first cries and your first laughter. I can see your first crawl and your first steps replaying in my mind. I can feel the overwhelming love that I felt all the many times that I've watched you sleeping peacefully in the embrace of your Mother. Today, like then, I still hear your cries and your laughter, only now you can tell me what saddens you with your words. Now you can tell me to do the same silly dance over and over again so you can laugh louder than the first. Today I still see you take steps, only now it's as we chase each other through the house playing tag and watching you run through the playground. Today, like then, I still watch you lay peacefully in an embrace with your Mama, only now it's you who are embracing her. Even more than that, when I see you embracing the belly that is carrying your baby sister, my heart almost painfully beats because I can't find a means of handling just how much I love you and this family. To see the little human that you are as you shower the world around you with love, curiosity and innocence, leaves me breathless. You have surpassed every image that I have ever imagined. And soon, all this, at least in a sentimental sense, will be no more. Soon we will have a new baby girl that will inherit the special place of being the little one. She will carry the torch that you have so gracefully been preparing to pass on, as you embrace the role of big sister - our first born.
There really is no way to express in words what you have taught me during our young time together, but I take note of every lesson, practicing tomorrow what I have learned today. I find myself to be as much a student of you as you are of me. We play in our exchange of love and lessons daily. It's a dance that I happily will accompany you with for as long as this life will have me. A dance that maybe one day you will choose to continue with your own little sunshine. Thinking of the memories we've created and all the ones to come beg me to offer so much gratitude. Gratitude for opening up my world and holding my hand as we walk through it together.
And even though we say good bye to you as our one and only little one, we say hello to the wonderful next chapter that you will discover as a big sister.
You are and always will be, our first baby girl.
Everything has been happening so fast. It's been very different this time around. When Naomi was still in the warmth of Mama's belly, we had much time to reflect and prepare for her arrival. I found time lean in close to Nadia's belly and offer loving words to Naomi. I guess you could say those were my first conversations with Naomi. But these days, finding time to do so with our little miracle that will soon be joining us, has well, to put it simply, escaped us. Not that we are not filling the air with tremendous love and anticipation, but more like we just find our day to days so busy with the care of a now 2 and half year old Naomi, who's grown from my little whispers to her in Mama's womb, to full blown conversations. We've also learned that caring for a house, especially when Papa works full time with long commutes and Mama is bearing the weight of a pregnancy and toddler....well, let's just say we have our hands full :)
In the midst of all that, we still have managed to slowly prepare what will soon be not one, but two little girls filling our days with sunshine. There is no mistaking how joyous and miraculous that sounds. Yet, there is one thing that has escaped us - we've been so preoccupied to nest our cozy little home for a new member that we have almost missed a very huge, yet somewhat sad milestone about to take place. We are so eager to bring on the new twin size bed for Naomi to grow into and call her own, we are so anxious to re-arrange the room in a way that safely fits the baby's crib. We are so occupied with the happy chaos of preparing for this new life, that we almost forgot one very important thing....
....our little Naomi is growing up.
Tonight marks the last night that she may be sleeping in the crib that has housed her dreams from the first day that we brought her home. As I type these words, she sleeps peacefully in her room, tucked away inside the same protective nest where we watched her stand for the first time, and where we have watched her literally grow before our very eyes. It's such an odd thing preparing for a second child. Your love and attention is spread so thin that if you aren't careful, you can easily miss the moments that are so important and special for each little life. I don't want to make the mistake of not being there in my full consciousness to see each of Naomi's milestones, nor do I not want to give our new baby girl the same attention that we so carefully gave Naomi when she was in the belly. And although we may never find that perfect balance of the two, I know that as we continue on over the next couple of months heading into the birthday for our little one, we will without a doubt be as ready as the two of us can be.
The picture up top has so much impact to me. Maybe it's a feeling only her Papa or Mama can get from this picture. It speaks to how much Naomi has grown - how far she has come. She has so much mature emotion and understanding of the ever growing world around her. She knows that her baby sister is on the way. She's excited for her new bed, and her new friend that she will be sharing her room with. Today she even said that she's loves her. If anyone in this home is ready for the new baby it's Naomi :). I guess as a Papa, it's both hard and beautiful to embrace all the changes that come with being a parent and seeing your child grow up. I'm excited for the days to come. I can't even imagine how much overwhelming love will be in this home when our baby girl is here, but one thing I do know - I'm going to remember these last days of just the three of us. Seeing a chapter end always makes me sentimental. But when the book is as beautiful as the one that is our life, there is always the next chapter to look forward to.
Normally, my little breaks from the blog were always because of little spurts of days where I was just a little too preoccupied with life, that getting time to sit down without the urge to pass out from exhaustion, was just too hard to come by. This time however, was usually would last a couple weeks, turned into almost 3 months! I think what made the past few weeks so difficult to catch up was many of the usual day-to-day stuff, but what was new entirely was the overwhelming amount of challenges that were in those weeks. Much of my time has been spent with so much anxiety and stress about so many different things to do with my work and my life, that I just lacked the usual affliction to catch up on what was already an almost unsurmountable amount of posts I needed to catch up on. But after a little exhale and a deep breathe, I am here sitting down, with a urge to pour out a little bit. I have many pictures to share, and video as well, but all that good stuff will follow this post separately.
Some how, some way, I let all the mentioned challenges get the best of me these last few weeks. I let work, finances, various responsibilities use up all my energy - or should I say drain me. So much so that it has left me deflated. And in the midst of all that deflation I forgot to nurture this wonderful blog and maintain it for everything it means to me - everything it means to people who looked forward to seeing the casual updates as much as the bigger milestone post of Naomi. As much as I've had to deal with change these past few weeks, Naomi and Nadia have had to as well. So much growth and beauty from those two, that it easily balances me back to where I need to be. Back to where my feet can grasp the soil underneath them.
As a father and husband, I contemplate failure very often these days. Failure to provide, failure to serve as the right example, failure to give all of myself to wife and daughter.... failure to just keep this ship moving forward. It's easy to get lost in that. Easy to presume that I will never amount to the person I try so hard to be - a fixture of stability and calm for family, a rock that can weather the crash of every wave. I forget the most simplest of things. I forget to see what's in front of me sometimes. I forget to see the wealth that I have accumulated in my life. I commit the worst failure of all - to acknowledge my accomplishments. My wife, my daughter, and the life that we have so long as each other is there. What more can a man truly ask for? How can any of life's complications ever blind me from the beauty that is my family. My growing family.
So let me get back. Let me get back to the joy of documenting this life of mine as the happy hubby. Much more to come in the next few days. Lots of catch up to do. Nonetheless, so much to share.
It's been a long while since I've posted a video. I admit, it's hard playing catchup to a little person running around. Seems overnight that Naomi decided to graduate from infant-hood and start toddler-hood. Funny how Mama and I always say that a certain age is our favorite. We both definitely say it now. I mean, how could you resist seeing a little human start to express in such a way and how could you not get amazed by how they must see the world. I guess the right thing to say is not that we have a favorite age so far - I guess the right thing to say is that Naomi growing, and every phase that comes with that, is our favorite. Here's a small video with Naomi sharing some of her toddler-hood.