“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Yesterday as I knelt down on the carpet in the brightly colored room to once again replace E’s pretty gold shoes on her first day of school at the UCLA Early Intervention Program, I looked around the classroom. As I wiggled her too big shoe on to her tiny foot she gave me her radiant smile. My heart moved to the front of my chest. As if witnessing our experience from above, I could hear Q as he enthusiastically banged a drum in the corner while KSP ensured he didn’t throw it across the floor as he is recently so inclined to do.
With her shoe now back on her foot, E leaned into me and I whispered into her ear.
“You are such a big girl. You can do this. We can do this. I am so proud of you, you can have come so far.”
Bustling around us the teachers and therapists settled the other minis and the parents kindly introduced themselves. ; Just then, it hit me, we were here. ; Like a wave washing over me, my expectations revealed themselves and I felt a combination of overwhelming gratitude and sorrow.
I know that may sound bad, but allow me to explain.
It really all goes back to my “Welcome to Holland” post. ; When I found out I was having twins, I had visions of 2 minis who were the same. They could run and walk. Pre-school meant backpacks, and adorable lunch boxes and toddling into a classroom. ; It never occurred to me that the children might be wearing helmets and special shoes and that our little E or Sweet Pea as I thought of her at the time wouldn’t be walking, crawling or speaking at 2 and 1/2. It didn’t occur to me that while she might look completely normal save being small, her whole person would not be that of a 2 and /12 year old but instead that of a 9-10 month old. Yesterday, I found myself disembarking into Holland from the plane bound for Italy.
It really started a few days ago as I drove back from Burbank through Coldwater Canyon and I happened to glance over at the dog park as I entered Beverly Hills. What I saw, took me back to those visions, those expectations, to Italy. ; Near the fence at the end of the park stood a boy and girl. They were clearly twins. As I sat at the stop light I was captivated by them. ; I watched them laugh and right as the light turned green, the little girl, with her honey-colored ponytail, leaned over and touched her brother’s shoulder. ; ; ; As he turned to look at her, my heart leapt and my breath caught in my throat…tears forced their way behind my eyes threatening to spill over. That was my Italy. As the essay so eloquently states, “people will come and go from Italy and for you that pain will never ever go away.”
So yesterday as I sat on the floor in Holland, I quietly looked at the beautiful minis around us. Like beautiful butterflies they were each special in their own way. Starting with my own butterflies, in their own special way they belong. In our own special way, we belong. We belong in Holland. I still sometimes long for Italy, I can’t help it. I am normal. I try, but I too am a butterfly, trying to find my wings to fly.
The love and support we received on Monday was beyond anything I could have imagined. Facebook posts, blog comments, texts and calls. My heart is full of so much gratitude. Holland is lovely because we have so many friends here and you all don’t care that we didn’t land in Italy. ; I am learning slowly that there will still be moments where I miss those visions, but I also know that I wouldn’t want things any different because that might mean it might not be E and Q and that’s really the unthinkable in all this.
Yesterday, was really more like the first day of school for me…the minis did great and it was mama that learned the most. ; I learned more about Holland, butterflies and that hope, love, gratitude and letting go of expectations are all beautiful gifts to give to yourself and others. ; Thank you for all of you for all the love and support. It truly touches my heart. ; You made what was a very emotional and highly charged day for me into a feeling of safety and warmth. ; It was indeed ‘mynewfavoriteday.’ I hope that today, if there is something you are holding on to, perhaps you can breath in and when you exhale just a piece of those expectations might float away, lightening your load and making today ‘yournewfavoriteday.’
(Featured image shared with gratitude from webexhibits.org)
Also linking up this week with a ton of talented folks at