Four Years Strong
Thursday marks year four of my oldest children’s survival. They continue to weather the storm day to day. From the obnoxious amount of photo taking to the random hugs and kisses.
Raising toddlers is sort of like being in a constant mini war-zone. Raising boy toddlers is like being in a constant war-zone knee deep in urine puddles. Four years into parenting, I wouldn’t necessarily say I am an expert but I am a grizzled and worn out veteran.
From potty training to being shown how big their poops are getting, the trials haven’t always been easy. Yet, I still walk through the baby clothes section. I seek out the select few preemie outfits, remembering a time when even they, the smallest size of clothing before having to revert to clothes designed for small animals, didn’t fit my boys. I look through pictures, remember feeding tubes and a fear of possible breaking the fragile little people I had been blessed with. I remember the tribulations of walking. The stand up, fall down, stand back up, fall again, up, butt, up, face-plant, up, feet moving, down on butt again, sudden sprinting through the house clearly misinterpreting what the term, ‘NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE’ means.
As we jump off the porch steps, the memories flood in faster and better than any FB daily memory post. It hasn’t always been easy, and I know the future doesn’t get easier. Someday, as my children tell me about people they have crushes on, I will remember the good ol’ days. The time when we rushed to the hospital after finding out their bodies didn’t take too kindly to peanuts. Reaching for the hidden jar of peanut butter, as I hear my kids try to sneak out of the house for the first time. I know there are many trials and tribulations to come.
But, I’ve learned a lot in these four years. There were good days followed by days I wished I had left my kids in baskets at the local fire department’s front door. For every fight I have had to break up, there have been just as many, if not more, cuddles. Every tantrum we had to endure together is only remembered for the warm snuggles that came after.
I often wonder if I am doing this whole parenting thing right. I hold an innate fear my children may someday grow up to hate me. Or worse, somehow hate themselves. I have always had a loose grip on anxiety, overthinking things to the point of utter ridiculousness. In my mind, my children are four, going on fourteen, to me waking up at forty. I worry I may blink too much or too fast and miss the in-between.
I can only hope the dinosaur piñata hidden away will bring them joy on their big day. That they will love their T-ball set and play their Hungry Hungry Hippos game for hours on end. I pray they are still illiterate and don’t read my blog, because it would ruin the surprise.
I sit here, three days away from the big day, looking at twin boys who hold such a powerful bond yet are radically different from one another. I am proud Killian calls a shape a diamond where Nicolas, the more sophisticated child who I have bet money and extra kisses on to succeed, calls it a rhombus. I watch Killian write his name without any help and change my bet to him.
I see two boys who have come into their own identities. They see things different and it is one of the most beautiful things about parenting twins. They will always be twins and have each other, but they are, at the end of the day, their own people. Younger brother in tow, they race through the house, still misinterpreting what, ‘NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE’ means.
There is no amount of reminiscing or looking forward equal to the now. The little moments we live life to the fullest in. My life lacked a certain level of substance before they came along.
I wish I had wisdom to impart on them on their big day. To be honest, I don’t think I know where to start. Having spent a majority of my life picking the hard road, I am still reminded of where that difficult journey took me. What it gave me.
But, If my four year old’s are suddenly reading at a mommy-ish blogger reading level, the advice I have to give you is this:
No matter what you do in life or the journey you choose, every step still takes you somewhere. If I had taken my steps differently, I wouldn’t have been blessed with you.