The year 2020 body slammed me. A few times.
My day-to-day living was like being in a cage match and my opponents were time, emotions, mindset, and of course, an ever-increasing waistline. When my stomach tapped out, my thighs jumped over the top pinned me, and let my arms know, you are up next, so be ready.
All in all, I honestly cannot complain about my overall experience. Opportunities opened, I learned more about myself, and navigated uncertainty, grief, and the shortcomings of humanity. The greatest challenge was losing a dear uncle during the early days of the pandemic. Subsequent loss of life (be it personal or public figures) hurt my heart as well. And let us not tawk (in my New York accent) about this election drama.
Family became increasingly important and remains one of my greatest blessings by far. Whether it was my husband Los, my parents, my father-in-law, or my children, I ramped up my commitment and went to greater lengths to let them know how deeply I loved them. If you know me, it will come as no surprise that my relationship with my kids is everything to me. Our talks, spending time together, making plans, I live for those moments. While there is nothing like the mother-son bond I nurtured with my baby boy, that mother-daughter relationship is beyond fulfilling.
So, imagine my surprise when my husband, after learning through 23andMe, told me that another daughter was entering our lives!
You never know how you will react to certain news, until it is all up in your face! But after a long talk about the circumstances leading up to this 27-year old blessing, hearing about how utterly amazing she is, and discussing how—if she’d have us– we would fold her into the arms of our family, I was hooked without question.
Once she and I connected, I knew this was God at work. When you are someone who feeds off love, someone like baby girl is a full seven-course meal! I get as good as I give with mama. While there is so much more I (we) have to learn about her, what I have discovered so far is dope. I appreciate that, despite the awkward circumstances that brought her to us, she is willing to open her life and quite frankly, make herself vulnerable. She was already loved, thriving, smart, talented, strong, and ambitious long before we were all brought together, so she was taking a chance on disrupting a good life. I am grateful she trusted us with her feelings and her heart. Her mother and father have every right to be proud. I thank them as well for trusting us with their baby.
I watch Los as he talks about our new family dynamic and I am in awe at the way this man handles any and all situations with steady, reserved, thoughtful grace (even under pressure). His honesty, respect, and sensitivity to my feelings, reminds me why I admire and love him. What moves me the most though…baby girl did not become the “new one” to him. She immediately became one of us; we called her by name with no disclaimers and of course, I had a nickname for her within a week! LOL
Admittedly, this is the same love and acceptance with which he embraces my daughter (I say “my” simply for the sake of this blog and for context). As their relationship matured, and he became “my dad” to her, I realized that he forges relationships with each of his children in his own way and they develop their personal organic connections. I typically learned to get out the way and let them be who they are! I also see how much his entire demeanor changes when his efforts, love, and dedication are acknowledged and appreciated; when none of it is taken for granted. This specific dynamic has been so important with my daughter who did not have her father in her life. It takes an amazing human being and a dam good man to step into that role (especially with an older child) and take it as seriously as he would had she been his biological child (it’s that East Texas upbringing again!). She feels it now more than ever.
I imagine it will be the same with our lovely 2020 miracle girl! And I know his heart has more than enough room for all his girls (Or our girls, as we call them). And I am here for all of it!
I now have a beautiful tribe of the most amazing young women in my maternal village. I am more inspired now than I ever have been to be a role model, a beacon; to teach them they should remain fearless, strong, driven, and outspoken (which they all are!). I look forward to seeing myself in their eyes and living vicariously through their journey through life. Most of all, I will always be there for them, through the good, the bad and the ugly because I will never take the blessing of being their mother, and a mother to my incredible son, for granted.
You never know when your life will change. Live with purpose, lead with love, appreciate every second.
2020 may have had me on the ropes for a minute, but God said, “Hold my… bible!”