Fast forward to tonight, 8/10/2011...I walked in to the most amazing little boy opening the door for me and loudly announcing to daddy that it's 'mama', 'mama', 'mama' followed by jumping and then peeking inside my purse for the banana I bring home each night, which he then grabs and runs to the kitchen where we sit on a large throw and a have a 'picnic' together.
I feel our biggest hurdle has been coping with lack of sleep. You're not the same person when you don't sleep. Things just don't make sense. YOU don't make sense.
We've had a great strategy going from day one, which is called My Night, Your Night. It's self-explanatory and only has one rule...we do it until neither of us have to deal with nighttime drama for 14 consecutive nights. Eleven nights is our record. We've been home a year. Yup.
I tell him I'll be home by 6:45am the next morning to do the a.m. Niko routine and it won't be a blip on his radar at all. He tells me to enjoy it and that he may do the same in the near future which I completely encourage. I checked into the hotel around 7:30pm, ate dinner, drank 1.5 glasses of wine, caught about eight minutes of Shark Week and was comatose by 8:35pm. It was the best night's sleep I've had in so long. I woke up so refreshed (yes, still tired) but not exhausted. WHAT a difference that makes. I could function and was on top of the world.
A recent melting 'o the heart moment occured as Niko was in our bedroom flipping through one of my fashion mags as I stared in the mirror wondering what to wear to disguise my banged-up, tired looking self. He then comes bounding toward me with much excitement pointing to a Versace model saying "mama"! I melted. My baby thinks I'm pretty, not old & haggered! This couldn't have happened on a better morning for the self-esteem. (On the flip-side of this, our nephew continues to think the shot of David Johansen in our hallway is ME. So, good day = Versace model. Tired day = 61 year old, MALE rocker.)
There will be a warm & fuzzy feeling as I go about my day today, looking back on last year as we landed at JFK with a little boy who had no idea what's in store. His Uncle Scott and Cousin Jack met us at the airport with big hugs & smiles as Niko simply stared them down, assessing the situation. A year later and they're inseparable.