As soon as Addison was born, people started to tell me to enjoy every moment - for they grow so quickly.
And I did. I enjoyed the moments before her birth, the first look at her face, and the heavy feel of her on my chest for the very first time. I even felt mournful as we left the hospital the next day, for it seemed her first 2 days had flown by so quickly.
As Aidan's "step monster," I enjoyed the first time he reached for me, the first time he laid his head on my chest and insisted that my special way of dancing him to sleep was the only way he would stop crying when he was just 7 months old. I realized instantly that giving birth to a child was not at all a prerequisite to parental love.
With both children, I felt a strange and overwhelming love the first time I calmly cleaned their sick little bodies and held them as they were ill in the middle of the night. I was surprised to see the new attitudes and acceptance motherhood brought as I wiped noses, nonchalantly gave medications and changed my own clothes as frequently as theirs during sweaty nights of stomach flu and high temperatures.
I will celebrate every moment that they think of me as a hero who can banish all monsters, soothe all aches, and chase away any sadness.