31-million-odd seconds ago, my daughters emerged into the bright lights, Claire quietly and Katherine with an angry wail. It was, without a doubt, the best day of my entire life.
How that squares up with the fact that each day is better than the next with them, I'm not sure, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I won't pretend that every one of those 31.5 million seconds has been wonderful, but the couple thousand that sucked are vastly outweighed by the joyful remainder.
I have been looking at their newborn pictures today, as you might have guessed, and I'm struck by how different and yet how similar they look now. When I was pregnant, I had no picture in my head of how each baby would look; and then when they were born, I couldn't imagine what they would look like as toddlers. Now that they are toddlers, it's the most self-evident thing in the world that of course they would look like they do now, and yet I can't extrapolate to their two-year-old selves. I have a feeling, though, I'll find out sooner than I can conceive.
When you're pregnant, or have a tiny baby, everyone tells you how fast it goes by, and you shrug your shoulders and say, yes, I know it will. Still, you don't really know what they mean, until one day you look up and it is their first birthday, and your babies have been replaced with two little people who are crawling and walking and going to Mother's Morning Out and playing pattycake and eating grilled cheese sandwiches.
Happy birthday, my darling girls, my Claire-bear and my Kitten. Your father and I love you more than you will be able to imagine for many years to come. We have been richly blessed in each of you, and in the pair of you.