Twin Marathon

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in From My Perspective, Raising Great Kids, Twins | 0 comments

“Mommy!  It’s our birthday today!  If we hurry, can we please walk through the field of mist?”  Taylor begged this morning.

“Ya, Momma!  We’ll hurry!!  Pleeeaaasssseeee???” Sydney supported her identical twin’s desperate plea for adventure on the way to school.

I chuckled.  “Yes.  But we can’t make your brother late.  So get a move on!” I commanded with a smile.

They jumped for joy and hugged each other before running off to get ready for their special day.

***

Ten years ago I gave birth to identical twins.

They seemed to come out of nowhere – like a mystical force that can neither be fully explained nor understood.  An existence so intense that their presence was automatically accepted as a gift.  A blessing.  A miracle.

This morning before the sun even had a chance to rise, I watched my twin daughters frolick with wonder through the fuzzy blanket of fog that always settles a mile from our house.  I couldn’t help but marvel at their spirit.

I was struck by the metaphor of the occasion.

A moment that embodied everything I love and admire about their relationship, as well as everything that makes them so difficult to parent at times.

When Sydney and Taylor are together, they share a combined spirit.  They are always eager to create, explore and discover the beauty this world has to offer.  They never tire of adventure.  Together they are secure, confident and courageous.  They charge forward as a team without inhibition or fear.  Theirs is a relationship of total awareness and complete acceptance, relieving them from insecurities that might otherwise hold them back from trying new things.  Together they are bold, brave, and beautiful.

Together they are free.

But the morning mist – as mesmerizing as it is – stifles freedom with unforeseen obstacles.  Fog is not conducive for planning ahead.  It strikes when you least expect, offering no choice but to adapt to its present conditions with flexibilty.  When traveling through unknown territory, it’s impossible to predict any future bumps in the road.  As a result, you must resign to a slow journey.  One that must be navigated with careful patience and faith.  This is frustrating when you’d rather achieve your destination quickly.

Parenting our identical twin daughters is a marathon race in the fog.

It’s encouraging them to pace themselves, when it feels most natural to sprint.  It’s veering off course to take advantage of teachable moments as we stumble upon them.  It’s showing them how to get back up and run every time life knocks them down.  It’s learning to support them with quiet, blind faith as they build their own strategic visions of the future.  It’s accepting that a great team is composed of  strong individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.

It is a sport that requires rigorous training, great strength and perseverance.  In the end, it will be a hard fought victory for us all.

And great cause to celebrate alongside our little twin party animals.

 

 

 

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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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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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Changing My Luck

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twins | 1 comment

I should not be writing.  I have way too much to do.  But I NEED to write.  So the rest will just have to wait.

Last night Taylor woke me up at 1:45am.  “Mommy, my belly hurts.”

“Okay,” I said.  “Climb in.”

An hour later, Taylor’s identical twin sister Sydney nudged me awake.  “Mommy, I woke up because I knew Taylor was gone.  Is she okay?”

“Yes, she’s fine.  Go back to bed,” I grumbled.

Sydney didn’t budge.  She was hesitant to speak, but clear that she was going nowhere without her sister.  I sighed with tired defeat.

“Get in,” I succumbed.  There was no use fighting Twin Mode.  It’s a battle that can not be won.  Especially at 3 in the morning.

Another hour later, I left my overcrowded bed and moved to the couch.  There I slept like shit while Craig, Sydney and Taylor slumbered peacefully.

I awoke at 6:15 – to a dog that needed to be rushed to the Emergency Vet because she was choking and having difficulty breathing.  Also, Taylor’s belly still hurt, and she would be staying home from school.  Again.

$350 later, I left the vet with two prescriptions to treat either kennel cough or pneumonia.

I came home and went to the fridge.  I was hungry.  I noticed something wet on the floor.  It was brown.  I opened the fridge to find the bottle of Worcestershire sauce on its side without a lid, and its contents spilled everywhere.  I wanted to cry.  Craig could tell, so he offered to help clean it up.

I sat down at the table where Taylor was eating her breakfast.  Apparently her belly was feeling better.  Which meant a forty minute round trip to and from the school was now in my near future.  I took a deep breath.  Then I heard a thunk.

“What was that?” Craig asked.  “It’s the second time I’ve heard it.”

“I think there’s a bird in the house,” Taylor said with her mouth full.  “I swear I saw one earlier.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said, nonchalantly.  Birds love our house.  Unfortunately, this was not anything out of the ordinary.

Craig walked upstairs to verify the truth Taylor told.  We trapped the bird in Sydney’s room and let it fly out the open window.

Another deep breath.

“Okay, T.  Let’s go to school,” I told her.

Halfway there, I glanced at my gas tank.  My eyes grew wide with surprise when I noticed the needle was not only on E, but almost on the wrong side of E.  I looked at the passenger seat to find my purse.  It was not there.  I had taken it in the house with Bella’s medication.

“Great,” I muttered.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” Taylor asked.

“I have no gas and no money,” I told her.

“Uh-oh,” she said.

“Yeah.  Uh-oh,” I agreed.

I dropped her off at school and then scoured my van.  I found one single dollar bill.  That’s it.  The kids had wiped my change compartment clean for the last “donate” day at school.

So I went to the gas station and handed the clerk my one single dollar bill, gassed up all 8 seconds worth, and then prayed to make it home.

Thankfully, I did.  Now I pray I make it back to the gas station.  Even as I say it, I feel like it’s asking a lot.

So, I’m writing.  Writing with the hope that if I get it out, my luck will turn around.  And if it doesn’t?  Well, then I guess I’ll have more to write about later.

So at least there’s that.

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