April 1, 2011

Half Birthday

My girls at 2 days old
My kids are 18 months old today.

I know, it seems like this has to be some sort of prank.  There's no way that it's been a full year and a half since two tiny, helpless, hungry little monkeys were pulled through a hole in my belly and started a whole new world of exhaustion and joy for me and M.  It's got to be a joke.

But no.  My children are children, they walk and talk, they occasionally pick out their own clothes and foods, they jump and laugh and play with the cat... they're people.

People that M and I made.  People with thoughts and feelings that I cannot even begin to understand.  People with unlimited potential.

Almost exactly 18 months ago to the minute
They're my favorite people in the world.

Things have been very, very hard.  School is hard.  M being gone all the time because he's in school and working a job he is painfully overqualified for is hard.  Having all of our family living two states (or an ocean) away when we just kind of want to be around them is hard.

And raising twins is hard.

So this has been a very difficult year and a half.  And no matter what I say in polite company, it doesn't get easier.  It just gets different.

We sleep a hell of a lot better now than we did eighteen months ago, but then on those nights that we DON'T sleep it's all the more painful for being out of practice.

SI and DD at 3 months
My neck isn't constantly killing me from craning over three to five times a day to spoon food into two uncooperative mouths.  But my entire spine is on fire from my almost-daily routine of lugging sixty pounds of excitable toddler down three flights of stairs.

I can clean my house more effectively, thanks to my children being happy to watch vintage Sesame Street and Dr. Suess while I tidy up a few times a day, but then they ACTIVELY trash it again- leaving it in just a ridiculous state.

They constantly amaze me with how adaptable, how helpful, and how cheerful they are.  Our mealtime routine includes them cleaning their own trays with a wet washcloth.  It's amazing.

DD and SI at 6 months
And then if feels like this has always been my life, like I've always been the mommy, and there have always been these little people around, watching my every movement and somehow learning something from it.

And then, suddenly, it feels like it never happened at all.  Like I just woke up, and those tiny little infants that terrified me just by being in the car on the way home from the hospital are PEOPLE.  REAL PEOPLE.

People who want to sweep the floor and eat with a fork.  People who prefer striped socks.  People who sing, and dance, and shower me with hugs and kisses every morning.

DD and SI at 9 months
And I just want to go back and do it again, because I know I've missed something.  I know there's something profound and important and it happened some time during the last eighteen months.  Somewhere in there, I became a mother.

It was all I ever really wanted to be, from the time I was in pre-school and both my parents and my teachers feared I was being indoctrinated when they weren't around.  All I wanted to be was a mommy.  To me, it was like wanting to grow up to be a wizard, or a spaceship.  It implied something fundamental and unchangeable about the very nature of who you were.  No matter what else it might be doing, a spaceship is always a spaceship.  And a mommy was always a mommy.  And somehow, now I am a mommy.  And I just don't know when that really happened.
SI and DD at one year

So they're sleeping peacefully (thank GOD) and they were perfect angels when we were out for the afternoon (as usual), and while I pushed the stroller through the light rain, with my sleeping children tucked into their sweaters and hats and blankets, I thought to myself how I have no idea what on earth is coming next.  What will change when DD is constantly speaking in complete English sentences?  What will I do when SI (as she inevitably will) dismantles her crib?

So how am I supposed to cope with the grublings that I swore at constantly as they pulverized my internal organs becoming children who will, do doubt, find even more sinister methods of driving me insane?  Ways that might be every bit as uncomfortable?

I don't know.  And that's the hardest part.  No matter how difficult establishing breastfeeding was, or the sleep deprivation, or the switch to solid foods from nursing once we were finally getting good at it, the worst part has always been the just not knowing.

DD and SI at 15 months
I know that now I'm supposed to say that I can't wait to find out, but that's not entirely true.  I am anxious to celebrate every change, every landmark development, every moment that I'm so full of pride I could burst... but that's not what I'm really feeling right now.  What I really want is to go forward in time, just for ten minutes, and see what's coming.  See- if only for an instant- what the future is like for my perfect kids.

Because the worst thing about not knowing is not knowing how you're going to screw it all up.  And I'm still confident that I'll find a way.  But I just want to know that in another year and a half, no matter what dumb mistakes I've made, they're still just like they are now.

Only completely different.
SI and DD at 18 months


  1. It's amazing the changes that they can give you! :)

  2. My 3rd is now 18 months too. I am continually amazed at all she is doing, learning, copying. And yet, I have been through it all already - TWICE. I keep saying, dontcha remember - was it like this? LOL. I guess each one truly is unique in their own way. Happy half birthday to your adorable little ones!

  3. Hi!!! I'm stopping by and following you from Relax and Surf Sunday. I hope you'll check out my blog Frazzled Mama at http://frazzled-mama.com and follow me back.

  4. awww your lil one's area adorable ;) Luv the penguin costumes, jejeje

  5. What a great commentary on life as a mommy! I loved it!

    And don't worry, most of the mistakes you make won't be horrible. They won't be life-scarring. And chances are at this age your kids won't remember them! (or at least that's what I tell myself when I find that I've goofed up on a monumental scale. :) )

    I found you from The Mom Pledge Blog Hop and I'm so glad I did! I love your writing style!!

  6. beautiful! glad i came over from wobble over wednesday (happi shopr)




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!