• Cindy Zampa

Week 51: Sara

This year, December 21 is a very special day! Annually, this day marks the winter solstice, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This means it's not only the shortest day of the year, but from this day forward daylight hours slowly increase while the nights get shorter, signalling the start of a steady crawl toward summer. This year the winter solstice also coincides with a full moon, known as the Cold Moon. The next time a full moon lines up with the winter solstice will be 2094. And, if that's not enough, there's also a meteor shower in our skies tonight.

However, all of these special celestial portals pale in comparison to the reason December 21 is such a special day in our family - it is my daughter's birthday. Yes, I remember the day well when, on 12/ 21, at 2:11 a.m., with some minor complications, I delivered a 9 pound, 9 ounce baby girl we named Sara!

After my first child, Ben, was born, I crossed through the 'motherhood' portal. (See the blog for Week 33: 'Ben'.) He enjoyed 16 months of 'only-child' status, with his doting family heaping attention on him. I couldn't believe how much becoming Ben's mother made my heart swell up with love and joy. As my second pregnancy progressed, I began to wonder how I could possibly have enough love to share with Ben's sibling when it arrived, I just loved him so much! But an amazing thing happens with the birth of a second child, and I soon learned how much more love I was capable of holding in my heart. It was more than enough for both of them, that's for sure!

The birth of my daughter meant yet another portal to traverse through, especially because Sara was so different from Ben. At just 2 weeks old, Ben slept through the night, and remained an excellent sleeper for years. Sara was the polar opposite, taking years before she'd sleep through the night. Growing up, Ben would often take on the 'quiet observer' role in new situations, standing just at the edge of the group. Sara, in contrast, was never one to hold back on expressing her emotions, and would usually be right in the thick of whatever activity was happening. As a toddler, Ben disliked the feeling of sand in his sandals, and would refuse to play on a beach or in the sandbox until his sandals were removed. As soon as Sara could crawl, she'd make her way to a position near the sand table, where she'd lick the sand off the floor if left unattended for a moment.

I saw a meme recently that made me laugh:

"If you have an easy firstborn child, don't feel good about yourself.

It's a trick from Mother Nature so you, fuelled by a false sense of confidence, reproduce again. Your second will be a no-limit soldier who likes to slap and doesn't sleep."

Regardless of their differences, Ben and Sara have grown into amazing adults and we continue to love them very much. I'm happy to report that crossing the threshold of becoming a mother to 2 children had the effect of expanding my heart and multiplied the amount of love to be shared exponentially!

Happy winter solstice, meteor shower, full Cold Moon, birthday, Sara! This painting is from a picture taken after your baptism, when Nonno was holding you. You were laughing so hard we could see your tonsils. To this day, whenever I look at this photo, it makes me laugh. You continue to bring as much joy to my heart as you did then, and I love you more!

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