Christmas Eve we always get together with my father's side of the family for dinner, singing and presents. Everyone was excited to see Azure for her First Christmas of course. We arrived with zero ornaments which proclaimed "Baby's First Christmas" and left with four or five of them. She made out like a bandit! The most memorable time that night however was when she met my Cousin M for the first time. He has been away at grad school and this was the first family function that both he and she have attended together since she came home from the hospital. My aunt who saw her for a split second in the hospital when she was about 3 weeks old leaned over to M and said, "Now remember, the first time I saw her, her head was the size of a lemon!"
It shocked me. I look at my daughter who is now over 13 pounds and I have trouble reconciling the idea that she is the same teeny tiny baby that was in the hospital for a quarter of this year. How is that possible? She is so big and healthy and happy. How can this be the same kid who was hanging onto life by the thinnest threads of hope? This girl, who was giving out belly laughs as I alternated tickling her toes and her belly yesterday was at one point muted by tubes and too sensitive to be touched.
My Cousin A made a digital photo montage using pictures of Azure set to music for a school project. At the end it said "Elephant Family Miracle". She said it made her teacher cry and she received an A.
I think I have reached a point where I do not like looking back at where we were. We are moving on, focusing on her new developments and skills, like blowing spit bubbles with a mouth full of carrots! Life handed us a pretty big lemon at the beginning of the year, it was sour too, but we squeezed the shit out of it and I think that Azure is now the sweetest lemonaid ever to have touched my puckered lips.