Seven years is a long time and it is nothing at all. As the girls are turning seven on Friday I’ve been looking over their previous birthday letters and getting ready to write new ones, I’ve been thinking about how they came into this world and how the world has changed for having them in it. They have changed the lives of a lot of people; they are well-loved.
My mom was the only other person present at both of my births; so now, I alone, hold the memories of what those moments have in common and the ways in which they were vastly different. This year though I’ve been thinking all about the people who helped make parenting twins, my twins, easier.
My mom and Dan didn’t always see eye to eye. They liked one another but they always seemed vaguely distrustful of one another’s motives. On the night that my girls were born they were a team. They fought for me, they supported me. And then something interesting happened; they fought for one another and they supported one another when faced with the possibility of gaining two babies and losing a daughter and a wife. It was a definite turning point in their relationship.
My aunt Donna who came and stayed with me and helped me take care of my still very tiny babies because my mom had started a new job and couldn’t take any extra time off. She made a long trip and left her own family to help mine and took really great care of me and the girls.
My mother in law and her sister; I don’t write about Dan’s family often, it isn’t their thing; they are private people (weird, right?). But, I have often joked that while I’m not certain I’ve won the husband lottery, I most definitely won the mother in law lottery and the aunt in law lottery as well. Patti and Mare are sisters who don’t have a lot of common interests; my children are what they do together. Mare also stayed with us when the girls were newly home, she held babies while I slept to tried to regain my health. For nearly all seven years my daughters have been alive, every Saturday morning Patti and Mare show up with doughnuts and the gift of their time. That time was one of the things that got me through that first year when everything was dark and I couldn’t see past it.
Aidan went from being an only child for eight years to being the big brother of what were, for an extended period of time, an energy sucking vortex of need. He adjusted so much faster than I did; he made it look easy. My brother is one of my very best friends, we are very close. Nearly every memory I have of our childhood involves one of us perpetrating physical violence against the other; not Aidan. Aidan treats his sisters like they are his puppies. He is kind and caring (although on occasion he forgets he is babysitting them) and he is always watching out for them; they are very lucky to have him.
Shawna who couldn’t be here often, but when she was, reminded me of the pleasure that can be taken in day to day activities with babies. She made me remember how much I had enjoyed Aidan as a baby so that I was able to slow down and be present with my girls; it is easy to get into auto-pilot mode with multiples.