I am still surprised sometimes by my children. I mean, of course, they do and say surprising and wonderful things. But I mean surprised by their presence, their existence. I am amazed that they are here. Sometimes I wonder how the stars all aligned to put us together in this place. I look at Mane and wonder how she ever came from my body, how our DNA tangled up to make her. Intellectually, of course, I know. But, somehow, that doesn't really explain it. Not really. And Vespera? How did our life stumble into hers? Is it really divine appointment? Does that really happen? How did we ever end up adopting her? How did some come to really belong to us? How did this life become so familiar? What was life like without these two girls? What would it be like? I cannot even wrap my brain around the possibility. Their presence is something I take for granted, yet, when I really begin to think, I can hardly believe how they came to be here.
And when I stop and think like this, I have a look at what my children really are, apart from their role in the family, in my life. And, in this indescribable way, they are strange to me. They are so utterly "other." They are familiar, yet unfamiliar. I know them, but I don't. They are wholly their own people, with their own private thoughts and feelings, their own expressions and ideas. I can never know fully what makes them tick. Maybe even I understand Mango better than I understand my own children. It is so amazing. And so alarming. Wonderful and humbling.