A few weeks ago I was performing one of 1,000 nightly rituals, cleaning out the kids' bookbags, when I found a note from Liv's teacher. "You should congratulate Olivia," she wrote. "She was elected president of our first grade class today."
She hadn't even said a word about it.
After I congratulated her, I asked her why she hadn't told us the good news herself."Well, it's not what I was expecting," she said. "I don't actually get to make any rules or anything, Mommy."
I'd wager that 100% of our U.S. presidents have woken up a few months after the innaugural ball with those exact same sentiments: "It's not what I was expecting."
Regardless, we are proud of Olivia. And, in so many ways, she's not what I was expecting. I had expected, at 29, to get pregnant. I did, almost immediately. Then, I expected to have a blissfully perfect pregnancy. It wasn't, and it was very short-lived. It ended in about ten weeks. Eighteen months and two more miscarriages later, I expected that my husband and I would begin learning a little about the adoption process and maybe give it a try in a year or so.
What actually happened was that within eight months of our first baby steps into the process, we found ourselves on a plane to Ukraine, where we were told to expect to bring home a little boy.
Not only did we not expect a sweet baby girl, but we didn't expect her to toddle right to us after only a few visits.
We didn't expect her to somehow, incredibly, have my mother's eyes, Mark's cousin Pam's smile, my cousin Holly's complexion and my dad's silly sense of humor.
We had given up on finding a miracle, but then she found us.
The other day she told us this president thing has turned out pretty great, because she gets to announce when it's time to line up for lunch AND she gets to help with role call in the morning. See? Sometimes what you least expected turns out to be better than you could've ever imagined.