Nearly a month after his birthday and I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Parker is four. To think that four years ago, I was sitting in a 10 x 12 studio apartment with a new baby in a foreign country, feeling excited to go back to the United States.

It is funny to think that I thought living away from family for that year was the hardest thing I had ever done. And here I am not having gone home in two years. I hated that no one in my family had seen my newborn boy yet. I was worried that they wouldn't bond with him or love him as much because of the 6-week delay in seeing him after his birth. HA!

Sending Parker back to Montana to stay with family while we waited with Matilda in the hospital was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I don't want to imagine having to endure anything more painful and heartbreaking than that. That time with Matilda in the hospital, not knowing each day if it was her last, took every ounce of strength that I had.

And I was so lucky to have a boy like Parker who was so adaptable. Who loved being on vacation with family. Who still talks about the adventures and shenanigans he had in Montana without us.

Nearly four years ago I was a new mom. I thought everything was hard. I thought I was exhausted. I thought that love depended on touching and holding. And that's okay, I needed to learn those lessons and feel those feelings. But now I know a world more about love. I know that although many people in my family have not met Matilda, she is still loved. I know that life will always be hard and exhausting, but so full of life and adventure that the hard things are able to fade away.

I know that my children have taught me more about life than I ever knew was possible. And, with each new day, my eyes are opened.

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