Baby books tell you about sore nipples, sleepless nights, and colic. They tell you that your life will change forever. That your relationship with your partner will never be the same. That you can say goodbye to your free time forever.
But what they don’t tell you about, is the way in which your heart will change. The way in which your insides-who you are and how you breathe and how you survive each day, will also change profoundly.
I dropped my three year old twins off at school for the first time today. Up until now, they have been with a nanny at home. It started that way because they were premature and I was in school and at the time and it made sense. I wish that it still made sense. As I turned to walk out of the building this morning, I literally gasped for air as my throat became filled with sobs. I held it together (somewhat) until I got in my car. Then I proceeded to cry loudly and intensely for forty minutes. I sat in my parking lot at work for another twenty minutes trying to pull myself together. In all my life, I have never felt such intense emotion about anything. Of course I love my family and my husband to the end of the earth. But with my children, it’s different. It’s a love that extends through my body and into my toes and fingers and to the end of each of my hairs. It is a love that is so heavy and so deep that as I sit here typing this, I feel like a thousand bricks have been stacked on top of my heart. Nobody warned me about this. This…this incredible but painful love is what’s hardest. This vulnerability is what wakes me in the night. And I don’t know how to handle it.
Because here’s the truth. I am terrified for them to grow up. For them to leave me. Having my twins is the single greatest thing I’ve ever done with my life. It brings me a happiness and a contentment that is indescribable. Literally indescribable. And today it felt like the umbilical cord was being cut all over again. Like they were separating even more from me. And what’s more painful, is that I know that there is no answer or solution to this pain. Children grow up. They leave. They have families of their own. My mother says that parenthood is the one job in which you are working to be fired.
And right now I don’t want to be fired.