Monday, October 13, 2014

The Day Before.

Today is brought to us by "a flutter".

As in, today is the day before the girls' birthday and they are all "a flutter" with anticipation for The Big Day.

Pulling out a much loved reference to Bambi, one of them told me they felt completely "twitterpated" about all the joy to come.

They'll be 10 tomorrow. Ten. I keep trying that on for size. Wrapping my head around this really big idea that somehow, these two premature babies have become 10 years old. A decade. "Yes, my children are 10 years old." "Oh, they just turned 10." "The kids are the big 1-0". No matter how many times I say it, my brain can't quite seem to grasp it.

I know that as a parent I'm supposed to hold golden dreams of my babies growing up, becoming productive members of society, and offering a real contribution to their fellow man that will make everyone realize that Dan and I were just pretty darn amazing as parents. And I do feel that way.

But is it overly wrong of me to confess that I'm also just the teeniest bit---well---sad about the addition of another place value on their age chart? Maybe sad isn't the best word for it.....Maybe melancholy is better? It's just that they're growing so fast. (In my eyes.) No matter how much I try to keep my mental camera focused and snapping away pictures to cherish, there seems to be so much I'm missing. How is this going by so fast? (Slow down!)

Naturally, they are absolutely convinced that they'll tuck away into bed tonight as mere babies, (only 9, after all), and wake up as genteel young ladies. Fully endorsed by the Sisterhood of Women. Ten years old.

Today, I smile as they bounce around with excitement. I do remember the semantic importance of "I Was 9 and Now I'm 10". Tonight, while they dream about their upcoming "debut", I'm fairly sure I'll be trying to figure out just exactly where in the smack those 3,650 days have gone. And in the morning, when they jump out of bed with excitement, I'll be ready to embrace (with heartfelt gratitude) this new chapter in our life. Gone are the days of the single digits; we welcome the new era of double-digit birthdays.

Let the adventure continue!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Birthday Months.

We celebrate the girls' birthday month around here. Once the first of the October announces itself on the calendar, we are geared and ready to go.

"It's here! It's here! It's finally here!" we collectively rejoice.

I know it sounds simple, and maybe in some ways it is. But the truth of the matter is a lot deeper than you may realize.

You see, around here, we have an awful lot to be thankful for. Not just on the actual anniversary of their grand arrival, but on the days leading up to it as well. Their presence in the Birthday Seat of Honor was not a guaranteed thing.

When the first of the month arrives, my thoughts turn to my situation, some ten long years ago. (A decade. Goodness.) I was in the hospital, hoping against all hope that these two would try (Please!) to stay inside for a bit longer. (Just a few more weeks!) I was absolutely torn between two very pressing realities:
One, at 31 weeks, they were only just ready to make their way in the world. (They needed more time on the inside. Please!)
And two, their presence inside of me was becoming toxic to my system. Every day in which they remained in there, growing, was a day I grew sicker; my body (their incubator) shutting down. (Toxemia; nature's gigantic oxy-moron.)

Those long, stressful (scary) days leading up to the birth were, perhaps, not the most horrendous of all birth stories ever told. But in my little solar system, the entire situation was an asteroid tossed in from the outer reaches of darkness, threatening to destroy everything orbiting therein.
 I cried. I prayed. I cried some more. I hurt. (A lot).

And most of all, I waited. For whatever might happen. Whatever that might be.

Memories from those hectic days, a decade ago, are just as precious me to as the moment of their individual births. I cherish them as a reminder not to take one single moment I have with them for granted. I might have lost one or both of them. I might not have survived to write this entry. Maudlin though it may be, I'm grateful for the simplicity of the message I was blessed with during those weeks, ten long (or short) years ago.

So we celebrate the girls' birthday month around our house. It's kinda a big deal in our family. The entire month brings with it a reminder to be grateful; to live in the presence and learn from the past; and to always always always be thankful for each and every single thing along the way. It's all a journey. And it's all golden.