The Elephant in the Room

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in From My Perspective | 0 comments

I had a crazy dream this morning.  One of those dreams you have while trying to force  yourself back to sleep after waking too early.  It was so vivid, and so real.

I dreamt I was on a bus loaded with people I knew.  Also on that bus was an elephant.  Yes…an elephant.  He was standing in the aisle for easy transportation.  The purpose of our trip was to get that elephant where he needed to go.

Many people were scared of the elephant, including myself.  But my children were on the bus with me, so I took it upon myself to keep them safe.

I took a seat right on top of the elephant.  I scratched his back and rubbed his sides.  I wanted to keep that elephant calm and happy.  Because a disruptive elephant is a dangerous elephant.  Especially on a bus.

After a while, I started to trust the elephant.  He no longer felt like a threat.  He was quiet and content, and the trip was smooth.

I decided to get off him and sit comfortably in the back seat.

At first the elephant didn’t seem to notice.  I engaged in conversation with other passengers on the bus.  Suddenly I felt the elephant’s trunk on my hand.  He had turned his head to get my attention.  I patted his trunk with a good sense of humor and looked the other way.

The elephant did not like this.  He grabbed my hand with his teeth this time.  I became terrified of the enormous beast.  He was agitated and I feared for our safety.  I backed further into my seat, scared to go near him.

So instead, the elephant came to me.  He backed up and sat right down on me.

I felt my back break, but somehow managed to stay alive as I found an air hole in the seat.  It was then I realized that the elephant wasn’t trying to bite me, he just missed my company.  Since I wouldn’t sit on his back, he decided to sit on mine.  The elephant was not mean or malicious.  He only wanted to be noticed, but didn’t understand the power of his own presence.

I woke up reminded of a very good lesson:

If you don’t address the scary elephant in the room, you might just be crushed by it.

 

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It’s a Sign…with wine.

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twin Turbulence, Twins | 0 comments

(Thanks to Nicole Barczak Photography for this family photo.)

Last week Craig and I went on vacation.  We were in need of some deep breaths – the kind that make you feel human as opposed to the ones that keep you from losing your mind.

Upon arrival, I sat on the elegant terrace with a glass of white wine.  I took a sip of liberation.  I laid my head against the quaint rocking chair and closed my eyes.  The moment was orgasmic.  Full of pleasure, excitement, and most of all release.

I opened my eyes feeling lighter.  For four days I would not be bothered with the constant needs of my kids.  For four days I could live according to my own agenda.  For four days I was free.  I really liked that story.

I started to admire the view.  The beautiful green grass.  The flowers in bloom.  The creative design of the landscape.  The warm rays of the sun on my pale Michigan skin.  Then I noticed a sign in front of me:

Multiply

I began to read the sign and connected immediately.  As a mother of multiples, my natural response to the word MULTIPLY was automatic.

I read the definiton of the verb:

increase or cause to increase greatly in number of quantity

I nodded my head in agreement.  When our identical twin daughters were born, we went from a family of three to a family of five inside of just two short minutes.  That felt like an enormous increase of quantity.  And chaos.  And confusion.  And cluster.  And CRAZY.

I took another sip gulp of my wine.  That memory alone required it.

Then I continued to read the synonyms:

increase, grow, become more numerous, accumulate, proliferate, mount up

At first this list was perfectly suitable.  But then it was confusing.  Then?  Downright hilarious!

Let me attempt to explain.

I was connected to, invested in and intrigued by this sign.  So I analyzed every single word and how it was used.

I was fine all the way through accumulate.  But signals started blaring at proliferate.

I needed to know more about this word.  I’d heard it before, but never used it myself.  What exactly did it mean?

Proliferate.  I repeated it a few times in my head.  Funny, I thought, it kind of reminded me of prophylactic.  Which led me straight to a condom.  You obviously see the natural gutter-mind progression here.

I squinted my eyes and pursed my lips in eager anticipation of the punchline I knew I’d find.

Mount up was all it took.  That phrase had nothing to do with numbers.  Trust me.

And lastly the example.  In red!  As if it’s a warning:

“Let’s multiply.”  

Are you KIDDING me?  What kind of a freak came up with this definition?!  Was Freud related to Webster?!

I laughed.  Out loud.  By myself.  (Craig was getting me another glass of wine.)  It was a deep belly kind of a laugh.  The scene in my head was just too funny.

Funny stuff

“Oh Craig!  Come on!  Forget the prophylactic!  Mount up, baby!  Let’s multiply!!!

Had this been the scenario a decade ago, he would have run.  Very fast and very far.  And a decade ago this sign would have meant nothing to me.

But now?  Now it was pure filthy entertainment!

Just like our twins.

Twin Fun

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Deep Breaths

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in From My Perspective, Raising Great Kids | 0 comments

Parenting is deep breaths.  One right after the other.  From the time they wake up, until the time they go to sleep.  (Actually when they go to sleep it’s more like a sigh of relief, but a deep one nonetheless.)

“Mommy!  I can’t find my school shoes!”  Deep breath.

“But I don’t like eggs anymore!”  Deep breath.

“I didn’t mean to spill my milk!”  Deep breath.

“But I don’t want to sit in the back of the van!”  Deep breath.

“Turn the station please!”  Deep breath.

“Stop touching me!!”  Deep breath.

“I’m hungry.”  Deep breath.

“She hit me!”  Deep breath.

“I don’t know how to do this!”  Deep breath.

“But I have to use glitter for my homework.”  Deep breath.

“Mommy!  I cut the neighbors’ flowers for you!”  Deep breath.

“I didn’t know I had mud on my shoes!!”  Deep breath.

“Mommy, will you practice my hair style for tomorrow?”  Deep breath.

“Mommy, remember when you said I could paint your nails?”  Deep breath.

“Hey!  Let’s play a board game!”  Deep breath.

“Go to bed?  But we haven’t even had a chance to cuddle!”  Deep breath.

“Will you read us a story?”  Deep breath.

“Mommy, will you bring me water?”  Deep breath.

“Mommy!  I can’t remember your tuck-tuck!!  Just one more kiss?”  Deep breath.

“I can’t sleep, Mommy.”  Deep breath.

I could go on and on.  But it’s not necessary.  If you’re a parent, you don’t need to be convinced because you already know.  And if you’re not?  More than likely you’ve left a houseful of kids thinking, “Thank God I don’t have any of those!”

But here’s the thing.  All those deep breaths?  They add up over time.  They get built up in reserve, and that’s a good thing.  Because when you least expect it your child takes her first step, offers you an unsolicited hug, bursts in joyful song, dances as free as a bird, creates with infinite possibility, offers to help clean up the kitchen, hurries to the car ahead of you so he can get your door, opts to carry her big brother’s monogrammed backpack with pride even though the other kids think it’s weird, makes it a point to kiss you in front of his friends, etc.

And those moments?  Well…they take your breath away.  Just like that.  BOOM.  It’s gone.  Every last bit of it.  So the only thing you feel in your chest is your heart.  Your great big happy heart which feels as though it may just explode with love.

Then, when your breath returns – thanks to the reserve – you exhale pure gratitude.  Thankful that your children are happy, independent and full of so much loving spirit.  Lucky to have been blessed by the amazing little people they’re turning out to be.  Gracious for every  deep breath of patience you’ve ever taken, because right then you know one thing and one thing only:

They are so worth it.

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Is there an I in TWIN?

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in From My Perspective, Twins | 0 comments

I have identical twins.  They are 9 years old.  You would think by now I would be used to having twins.  That I wouldn’t still be amazed every time they answer a question the exact same way in separate conversations.  Or still enamored when their arms and legs are ever tangled, as though they inhabit the same personal space.  Or shocked when they unknowingly mispronounce the same exact words.  Or dumbstruck when I discover they’ve missed the same questions on standardized tests.  Or surprised when they’ve disappeared from the rest of the world in Twin Mode, their own impenetrable bubble of joy.

You would think that eventually I would get used to this phenomenon they share.  But I know I won’t.  Because I’ll never fully understand their identical twinship, even though I’d love it more than anything if I could.

Last week Taylor was coloring a picture beside me while I was folding clothes.  Out of the blue she asked, “Mommy, why did Butter die?”

Butter was a very sweet puppy that belonged to our close family friends.  Butter’s unexpected and premature death has really bothered the twins.

“She was born with bad kidneys, sweetie.  They didn’t work right, so she couldn’t pee out the yucky waste inside her body.  The waste turned into poison, and made her very sick,” I tried to explain in the simplest terms she might understand.

Taylor was very quiet for a minute.  Then she asked with uncertainty in her tone, “Mommy?”

“Yes?” I waited, nervous for the question that was to follow.  I prayed I’d be able to come up with an appropriate and applicable answer.

“Do we have bad kidneys?” She put down her marker and looked straight into my eyes.

“No, sweetie.  You don’t have bad kidneys,” my heart ached for her anxiety as she related Butter’s young age to that of she and her siblings.

“Does Gabe?”  She caught me off guard with this question – I had assumed Gabe was included in her collective usage of we.

“No, Taylor,” I assured her, while my mind spun to process her train of thought.

“Hey, T?  When you are scared for yourself, how often are you scared for Sydney too?” I asked, realizing that she used the pronoun we the same way singletons refer to themselves with I.

“Always,” she said, matter of factly.  “Whenever I dream, Sydney is always in my dream with me.”

“Every single time?” I asked, amazed this was the first thought that popped into her head.

“Yep,” she said.

“You’ve never had a dream about just you?” I had to be sure I was understanding.

“Nope,” she answered.

I couldn’t believe it.

“When you are awake, do you ever think about just you?  Or do you always think about Sydney too?” I probed further.

“When I think about me, I think about Sydney too,” she stated a simple fact.

“Every time?!” I couldn’t hide my surprise.

“Yes, Momma!” she giggled.  “Every time!”

My mind was blown.  Again.

Forever I will be mesmerized by their innate bond.  They exemplify the purest form of love.  A love composed of complete acceptance and total understanding.  I will never fully relate to their twinship.  But I will always be thankful to witness it.

 

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