One of the very fun things about having twins is that whenever you go out, wherever you may go, you are accompanied by more than one child. (Surprising, I know). I prefer to think of them as my groupies. They go where I go. Follow where I lead. Jump when I say jump. Power trip! Well, maybe not all of the time. Rather, probably not most of the time.
In fact, venturing out of the house with my traveling entourage has had it's special moments. When they were younger, I'd toss them into the Twin Duo-Glide (the limo of strollers), give them a few toys, and I could peruse most stores at my leisure. Until someone filled a diaper. Or someone got hungry. Or the back kid pulled the front kid's hair. Or a toy was dropped on the floor. Hmmm, guess it was trickier than I thought.
But as they got older, it started to look silly putting them in the stroller. Sure, seeing their knees bent up to their chins was funny at first, but it didn't look in the slightest bit comfortable and I never did like the looks I was getting. So next came "The Leashes". I am forever grateful to the company that has dedicated itself to creating child leashes that look semi-humane. Is my child on a leash or is she being hugged by a dog while I hold its tail? And who doesn't love an opportunity to say, "Geez kid, look at that monkey on your back" every once in a while? The leashes were fabulous things. I still got looks from passerby, and in truth, it must have been amusing at times to see a hurried mom being pulled through the mall by her kids, running ahead of her on their leashes, darting back and forth and getting the leads all tangled up. "Don't mind me! I'm just walkin' the kids. Such a nice day out and all."
But over time all our gear has dwindled down to the two legs God gave them each. Wherever we go, they walk. Or gallop, it depends on their mood, I guess. And despite what I'd always feared about this stage of no-apparatus, they do an exceptionally good job, no matter how many places we visit. Mercifully, they discovered quickly that their own two legs could take them a great many places, and that they are more likely to get to go to the things they want to see if they are willing to transport themselves there. They've cavorted all around Cedar Point, zig-zagged around the zoo, pranced around Port Clinton, and hiked up the hills. All on their own.
It pains me a little to see the progress we've made, going from stroller to feet. It has its perks, of course, not hauling the Limo around in the van, or worrying about carrying them around. But as with all stages we pass through, there is that part of me that lingers in the past, missing the dependency that's been given up, even while rejoicing in the Independence gained. I realize that Ashlyn and Caedance are marching through childhood, holding hands, and heads held high, ready to take on anything. Each step ahead is one step further away from the past that I'll always feel even though they'll little remember it. I find that odd, that I'll be a walking catalog of their childhood, the re-teller of a past that they'll only know through my own recollections. But I guess that's how it is for us all, and I think it's part of the privilege of parenthood.
As always, even though I'm surrounded by the memories of yesterdays, (like the folded Duo-Glider in the garage), I do my best to say firmly footed in their present. My every day is filled with the memories of tomorrow, and it's my prerogative to make them all count. To make them all precious. And they are.