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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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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