Eleven years ago this morning, we had an early flight out of Guatemala City.
Eleven years ago this morning, we landed in Houston and then flew on towards home.
Eleven years ago this afternoon, we landed at CLT and it hit me...all the things I had read...all the things "they" had told me...all the things I had brushed aside...all the things you don't truly *get* until you live it...
I realized what it was like to be surrounded by people yet be so completely alone. No one in the airport knew how excited I was...that my dream was finally coming true as I wheeled that umbrella stroller that had developed an obnoxious squeak through the airport terminal towards baggage claim.
I realized that you will dig your last $5 out of the bottom of your purse to tip the skycap after he wheels your suitcases to your car after he spied you standing at baggage claim in a quandary..."Just how am I going to get this stuff to my car?" (That might have been the first time I actually envied an octopus!)
I realized that I should have held onto that baggie of Cheerios that I let my mom eat in the Houston airport after I got stuck in rush hour traffic and the usual 20-25 minute drive home from the airport turned into almost an hour and a half. Thank goodness for the last few "wagon wheels" in the diaper bag!
I realized that despite all of that...this child arrived home like this...
Eleven years ago this evening, I sat on my living room floor, amazed that my daughter was finally here too.
And I realized that this was no longer MY living room floor, MY house...
I realized that it was OUR living room floor, OUR home.
Eleven years ago this evening, I was so happy when Beth and Kelly came over...just so I could go to the bathroom and then get the suitcases out of the car...because I couldn't leave this little one...not even for a second.
Eleven years ago tonight, I put my sweet Gloria to bed in her crib for the very first time...and then stared at her for such a long time...marveling at her very being.
And in the morning, woke up to find this quiet little girl just lying there, not making a sound, just waiting to see what new, strange thing would happen next.
Eleven years ago, I became fully entrenched in the role of "Momma," as she still calls me.
Being Gloria's Momma has changed me.
Being Gloria's Momma has stretched me.
Being Gloria's Momma has challenged me.
Being Gloria's Momma has worn me thin at times.
Being Gloria's Momma has lifted me up.
Being Gloria's Momma has enlightened me.
I think she would say the same things about being Momma's Gloria.