The Year of the Possum


It is strange and amazing how two sisters can look so alike, and be so different. A year ago, Erin released a book based on her pregnancy and first year with Vivian. It was entitled The Mongoose Diaries, since “mongoose” seemed to capture what Vivian was that year: high energy, high spirit — and a tendency to snort and snarl as she leapt for the breast. Ouch. For Nora, the monicker has to be the possum. She’s a far calmer child than Vivian. If she’s tired, you most often need only to give her a bath, put her in her jammies and lay her in her crib. She’ll curl up under the blanket, put her middle two fingers in her mouth (as she did in her first ultrasound pictures) and be off to dreamland in just a few minutes.

This isn’t to say that she’s docile. She’s capable of standing, and can scoot around the room on all fours at top speed. She looks set to walk, a whole four months before Vivian achieved the feat. She’s a very physical girl, always willing to try new things, whereas Vivian seemed to think things through beforehand. I wonder how this will translate in different years, how Nora will differentiate herself from Vivian. I hope there won’t be too much jealousy if one girl takes centre stage, but it might help if both girls excel at different things. If this means that I have to take Nora to hockey practise and Vivian to drama class, so be it.

People warned us that two children didn’t mean twice the work, but four times the work. Still, as Erin told me, I’m glad that Nora wasn’t Vivian mark two. I’m glad that Nora has proved to be more easy going. But I’m glad that Vivian is so spirited. And I’m especially grateful that Vivian arrived first. It makes raising children so much easier.

2008 has been a good year for us. There’s been the arrival of Nora, Erin’s big book deal, the release of The Young City. This has made up for a bad couple of months, medically. Next year promises to be interesting as we forge ahead on our writers’ careers, raise Vivian to school age, and watch Nora take her first steps. In many ways, we’re taking our first steps as well, not really sure what will happen next. I hope we’ll have good news on The Night Girl, and more good news on Plain Kate. We’ll probably fall on our backsides, a few times. But hopefully there will be more laughter than tears, and your continued support and prayers are appreciated.

I’d like to thank everyone, friends and family, for sticking by us, offering your love and friendship through our joy and hardships. It’s been a long journey, of which this blog has only covered a fraction of the steps, but this blog has helped connect us to a community that has supported us every step of the way. Thank you all once again.

Favourite Posts of 2008

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