As Brian and I walk into a restaurant, the hostess usually asks “Just two?” and I cringe. As hard as the words are, I manage to agree, “yes, just two.” But it feels like a big, fat lie.
For Brian and I are never just two. No matter where we go in life, our daughter is here. She is present in our hearts for every second of every day. To most of the world, we are just two people walking into a restaurant for dinner, but we know we are so much more than that. We are a family of three.
In the last three months, I have realized that our family’s structure just wasn’t made for this world. I hate filling out medical forms and legal documents for this very reason. There’s always that one, awful question; “How many children?” And though my heart longs to tell the whole truth and include Aria, I know what they are really asking. The IRS doesn’t even count her as a person because she wasn’t in our household for more than six months. So with great apprehension, I write “Zero.” And it feels like I’ve just written my daughter out of my life.
I think a lot of people tend to see us that way too. They see Brian, they see me, but they don’t see Aria, so she doesn’t count. It often feels as if a lot of people don’t fully comprehend her impact on our lives. Aria may not have been here long, but she is just as much our child as you are your parent’s child. We loved her just the same.
For us, 1+1=3, and I hope that when you see us, you see all three of us too.