In one month, my twins will turn two years old. If you know me, or if you’ve kept up with this blog, you know that I aim to lead an intentionally “live in the moment” life. As I’m sure we all do-or at least strive to. It sincerely irks me when well-wishers say “gosh, they grow up so fast don’t they?” and “It goes by in a flash”. As I’ve said before, I believe parents are acutely aware of just how fast time is moving since having children. Why must we be reminded of this in blogs or Facebook comments? The truth is, time is strange. On the one hand, being pregnant with these two seems like ions ago. Recovering from a C-section and spending time in the hospital feels like a different life altogether. And yet when I say the words “two years old” out loud, it hurts. I find myself subtracting the age of my children from 18 so that I can begin to grasp the concept that one day they will leave me. I re-ground myself by remembering how lucky we are to be here. Right now. Right now. I remind myself of the people I’ve lost this year-and how quickly and unexpectedly they left. I’m reminded of how fleeting and unpredictable the concept of “health” is. And this thought process brings me back to where I’m standing-it puts me back inside my life-inside this moment and I’m given perspective.
This afternoon was like a manic episode. When I got home, I felt good and strong and like an amazing mother who has great ideas and always encourages my children to be wild and imaginative and creative. And then one of them had a crying episode (for absolutely, and I mean this, no…reason..at..all) and I felt like ripping my hair out and my face got hot and my patience weaned and I told everyone to “calm the hell down!!”. And then it started raining. A big, bellowing summer thunderstorm that threatens significantly more than it delivers. And the thunder boomed deep guttural booms. And our daughter looked up at me with these big beautiful gray eyes, searching my face for comfort or reassurance as to what was possibly causing this noise. She climbed onto my lap and clasped her hands tightly around my neck, burying her wet nose and warm breath into my neck. She sucked her thumb and made little shakes every time the thunder clapped. I inhaled her smell and her hair and the little sounds she kept making and I thought to myself “we made this”. Just as I thought it couldn’t get better, that I could literally die the next morning and feel complete and perfect, our son climbed onto what was left of my lap and began rubbing our daughter’s back. And then he leaned over and kissed her on the head very gently before exhaling “ahhhhh”. We sat together for fifteen minutes listening to the summer rain pound against the window pains and race through the gutters. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I lay there and wished for the minutes to become hours and the hours to become days and the days to stretch on and on until they slowly dissolved into nothingness.
But as it is with most things, the moment ended. The thunderstorm let up, the dogs began to whine for their supper and the babies slowly but surely regained their confidence and climbed down from my lap, racing full speed back into the playroom. I watched them run from the room, leaving behind what we just experienced, and what will live in my mind and in my heart for as long as I can hold on to it. I wanted to reach out and pull them back in-to clasp my arms around the whole lot of them, dogs, babies, everyone, and just hold on.
For one more minute.