Every night since we came home from China, I've laid in bed with E until she fell asleep. She often takes two hours to fall asleep--never less than 30 minutes. That's a lot of time to spend silently in the dark, just surrounded by E's myriad stuffed animals and my thoughts.
One thing I've thought about alot is how much one little under 25 pound package can change your life. We've replaced sleeping in on the weekends with never sleeping. We've traded our famous cocktail "hours" with blowing bubbles before dinner. Our long meals spent talking about work and what's going on with the world are replaced with stories about E's day and "If you don't eat one more bite then Elmo will be sad!"
But, on the other hand, there are also many similarities. Every morning I used to rush and be the last one running to catch the train as it was pulling away, coffee spilling everywhere. Now E and I run down the street, dropping shoes, a water bottle, and a bag of Cheerios so we aren't late to story time and can get a good seat. I was always fiercely loyal and protective of P...when anyone hurt him or would treat him unfairly, they would have to suffer my wrath 10x more than his own. Now, I have that same "Mama Bear" instinct with E, wanting to defend her from the boy who grabbed her crayon or the girl who snuck ahead of her in line for the slide. Before I turned in my ID and joined the ranks of the hardest job in the world--being a stay at home mom--I took orders from those senior to me at work. Now I have a new boss, and although she might be tiny and cute, she's the toughest boss I've ever known. I used to think that the love I had for P was the biggest, most amazing love there was. It's still big and amazing, but my love for E is unlike any other, literally taking my breath away at times.
These are some of the things that I think about at night, in E's little bed. Sure, sometimes I think about whether I'll ever paint my toes again or see the inside of a gym or start a conversation with something other than, "Guess what E did today?" or pee alone, but mostly I think about the incredible ways that E has changed and added to my life, and what it's like to be the luckiest woman in the world.