Since she was a baby, J would unaccountably turn delirious with joy - her exuberance was so contagious that it was impossible for anyone to feel blue around her. Today was one of those days. I pray that she always has the ability to be happy for no reason at all.
Reading this Atlantic article about the correlation between early adversity and depression, planted a little seed of fear in my heart. J has known more than her fair share of "early adversity". I was so consumed by doing all that it took to provide for her basic needs and stay gainfully employed that I was never able to be a real mother to her. My attention span for her was non-existent, it took very little provocation for me to become really angry and I never felt well rested. She learned to entertain herself, make do with very little and make the most of what few opportunities came her way. She learned to survive and thrive in a situation that was less than ideal.
With DB coming into our lives, it fell on J once again to cope with change and uncertainty and all things considered, she did remarkably well. In the last several months, my attention has been divided between a new spouse, career transitition and home buying. J adjusted to my (and our) circumstances as she always has. Today, I paused to wonder what the cost of that adjustment might have been. Seeing her being irrationally exurberant today was a reminder of my responsibility - she has a precious gift that I have to protect and keep out of harm's way. If I failed, I would be identifintely wounded.