Today I did something I've wanted to do for a long time. Reintroduce these strong, healthy girls to the many NICU nurses from 9 months ago. Ainsleigh and Annabelle did their part well: smiled, cooed, and kept the attention of about 7 nurses that came from their stations to see the "grown" Shiffler twins.
I couldn't believe it. There I stood in the exact place that used to represent everything new, scary, intimidating, and unknown, with my cheery, chubby, and aware almost 12 month old girls.
We've experienced the most hardship and exhaustion in our family this year. And today, standing there while nurses smiled down on my babies, it hit me: We've arrived. We're in the exact spot that I've told myself over and over again we would arrive at, all along desperately hoping I was right.
Today I looked down at Ainsleigh sucking on her new toy, and the sentiment returned when I realized that in assembling it last evening, many of the ribbons I chose were the exact ribbons I saved from their shower gifts.
That little taggie blankie now means something more. It connects their beginnings with the closure of the difficult early months. Active, predictable, playful girls are here to stay.