Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy birthday boys!

In an email exchange two years ago, I asked author/twin mom Susan Heim whether it gets easier as twins get older. Her boys were about 4 years old at the time.
"It's doesn't really get easier," she said. "Just different."
I thought I understood and, the day after Matthew and Jonathan celebrated their second birthday, I wrote this:

All I could think about--honestly--is that 2 is halfway to 4 and that by 4, they will be potty trained, they will respond to reason at some level, they will no longer need a stroller and they will talk in sentences.
That doesn't mean I want to rush them.
No, not at all.
I don't want them to grow up too fast. I adore their little kisses on my lips, cheeks and nose. I long for their tiny hands around my neck. I cherish their nonsensical exchanges that result in fits of giggles.
And, wow. That unconditional trust only babies and toddlers have. That belief that mom is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-everything. That she is flawless. I see that in their eyes as they reach for me. They believe that I can make anything better. They really do.
No, I don't want to rush through that.
But they exhaust me lately as much as they exhilarate me.
And I find the exhaustion much easier to contend with if I have something to look forward to.
So, on their birthday, while I was chasing them around the house trying desperately to persuade them to keep their clothes and diapers on at least until our neighbors arrived for cake and ice-cream, I focused on the future.
I focused on how much easier it will become instead thinking about how hard it sometimes has been. With that in mind, I found I could laugh at our little strippers and I caught them.
They made it through the evening fully clothed.

Silly, silly me.
Jonathan and Matthew turned four today.
It was an exciting day for me as well as for them. It was an emotional day. It was a trying day. It was exhausting.
Wonderfully exhausting, and loaded with strong little hugs and kisses.
They sang.
They danced.
They fought over the birthday song.
They hugged each other and pushed each other.
They cried a bit.
They laughed a lot.
Just as I had hoped two birthdays before, they are fully potty trained.
They understand reason on a fairly high level.
They no longer need a stroller, and they carry on long and fascinating conversations.
They are amazing human beings and my heart aches each day they grow just a little bit older-- each time they recognize the words "up" and "go" in books, each time they count on their little fingers, each time they create new, complicated games that include roles for me.
Part of me whimpers whenever they talk about their best friends: Jack for Jonathan; Adam for Matthew. I have to work hard to hold back when they want to put on their own clothes, cut their own food and ice skate on their own.
They rarely even let me carry their sleds.
I relish the moments when we cuddle.
I don't want to rush them.
I really don't.
But, as Susan said, four is not easier.
It's just different.
And, I have to admit, there is that little part of me that keeps saying, "Yippee! We're two-thirds of the way to six!"

1 comment:

Lady Estrogen said...

Cute! Our twin boys turned 2 last Wednesday - and we were often fantasizing about simpler days to come. lol.