Three years ago today, something wonderful happened. Two healthy newborns came home for the first time. Of course, technically they were already 80 days old and had fought battles most children never have to, but home they went to meet their big brother and furball sister, to sleep in a room decorated with stars and a pleasant quietness that can never exist in a NICU.
Today is certainly very special, but life since then has been complicated and busy, and even I forgot the meaning behind today until I placed my hand on my office door and the realization hit me.
So strange how then time stood still. Feeling as though the world outside kept moving, but us inside the NICU were in a time and place where seconds seemed like hours and days felt like months, but now that time is like a memory that seems faded, like a melted snowflake that sits in your hand as a small drop of water. That time exists in me, in my heart and in my bones, etched deeper than imaginable, but it does not for the kids. The girls live as sunnily as possible, almost unaware of their status as warrior princesses.
I do wish the doors of the NICU had closed and only the brightest days laid ahead; however, we have seen many a clinic, hospital, doctor, specialist, therapist since. We have fitted for equipment and I have filled out countless paperwork. I have told our story so many times to so many people that you would think it was written across my body for the world to see.
Today, I look at three years with my girls, three years as a mum of three all at home, all learning through watchful eyes. Today, my children seemed giant; my son towering over kids a year older than him, my daughters with their curly hair and long limbs. They don’t know how special today is or really, how special life is, how quickly it can slip from us.
Today, I am so proud of all three of my hilarious monkeys and honoured to be their mum. Today, I am thankful to so many who have allowed this moment to happen, but mostly, today I think of those doors closing to the NICU, the first breath my children took outside of a hospital room, the first thing they saw after being alive for 80 days, that first hint of sunshine on their skin. I am simply thankful for today.