Every time that Steve and I ride in the car with both of our girls I think, “This is it: our family.” We only plan to have two children, so I’m trying to wrap my head around the implications of having all of the major players in my life in place. I have a great husband, two kids, a good job, house, friends, church community… It’s all in place. Now I just have to live it, to live up to this life that dawns every day before me. At 7am Margaret calls “Mommy!” loudly from her room to wake me up, and I’m off. Now that I’m back at work, each little slice of time during the day has something that could fit into it. One of my strengths as a person, though, is my ability just to sit and be peaceful with others. I enjoy just sitting with Caroline on my lap, looking at her face to face and studying her. We talk. Repeating consonants and vowels mostly. I know that tomorrow she will be different, so it’s important work, this studying. I also know that I won’t remember these moments for the most part. But all that eye contact, I think, is helping to weave our hearts together. I also feel full of joy when I sit and hold her because I know a little bit of what’s ahead, having been through it with Margaret. Margaret is still an absolute wonder, and her temper tantrums have really slowed. (I’m so thankful.) Yesterday we played with a Christmas nutcracker for hours: “I am Marie and you are Marie’s Mommy. I want you to write a note to put on my door saying “No Fritz” with lots of O’s in No to keep Fritz from coming into my room to break my nutcracker.” When she was “Marie” and I was “Marie’s Mommy,” I put her to bed under the Christmas tree (imaginary since we don’t yet have one) and tell her to beware of the mice or of Fritz (not cousin but brother from the ballet) who is naughty. Margaret reminds me that as Marie, She is “nice and good and does what she is told.”