Our three-year-old twins are the learning how to skip count by twos at local rallies and marches. At home they shout: 2,4,6,8 we will not be ruled by hate!
Three months ago they had no idea what Washington D.C. was or what was happening in our government. Now my children are no longer innocent. While the twins ask about a bully president saying mean things, our nine-year-old has asked us about what the purpose of pussy hats is and what pro-choice means. We give answers that seem to be the best in the moment. Developmentally appropriate, but not glazing over the truth of our present reality.
This is the brave new world of parenthood. We are doing our best and trying to remember to breathe.
Even with our Christmas tree set up in the pack-n-play, our twins are wreaking havoc on the decorations. I recently glanced over to see angel head down, trapped mid fall. Part of me wanted to fix that angel and another part realized that it is an important reminder that even “fallen angels” have a place in the Christmas story. No matter who we are or what we’ve gone through, we all deserve to experience the hope and joy of a new birth.
Tonight the twins had me crying with laughter. I sat there trying to figure out who I could share the hilarity with and realized any attempt would be in vain. That funny moment was meant just for me. Whether it be a student’s witty comment or a cat’s random pounce, sometimes the best audience is an audience of one.
I found myself with two sad babies at three a.m.. Snuggling them in on both sides of me, we rocked back and forth, passing the last hour of their first year, together. Dowan is walking now, Greta is not far behind. The Dolch babyhood era is numbered in days. While I am looking forward to the day of diaper bag-free excursions, leaving babyhood behind is bittersweet. In the meantime, I will try to soak in each three a.m. vigil.
Where is the bittersweet in your life?
Our babies fling food across the kitchen three times a day… at least. We wipe it up but don’t have the energy to mop until it gets really bad… It did. I spent an hour scrubbing on my hands and knees, meanwhile taking some time to appreciate the small things ( a clean floor,) and recognize that which we take for granted ( a floor you can walk on without getting stabbed by hardened Cheerios cemented to the ground.)
What small things do you take for granted?
Going to church with mobile twins is crazy. I doubted any point in our attendance until an elderly woman approached me after the service. She said she had just moved to Ithaca after a tough transition and was sitting with her eyes closed when she felt a breeze on her face and thought it was the Holy Spirit. She opened her eyes to our effervescent three year old waving a fan in her face and said, “The Holy Spirit showed up through your daughter today.”
We have no idea how our lives will effect others. All we can do is show up.
After a wild day with friends and family, my job was to give the twins a bath in an unfamiliar tub. They are in the “mobile but dangerous zone” of avid crawling and exploring while lacking spacial awareness. This means every ounce of my being was spent from keeping them from drowning while tumbling over each other. For example, at one point I caught one by the ankle (in order to avoid falling the rest of the way out of the tub) while simultaneously blocking the other one from smashing his face on the spigot (again) and falling backward into the water. The whole scenario made me think about the times in life when one hundred percent of our beings are invested in a particular moment. To me, it’s a thrill and a rush…and a little exhausting.
What are times you use one hundred percent of your being in a single task? How does it feel once that moment is over?