A great light flooded my world the day Alistair and Emerick were born. Two tiny cries. Two babies to hear my voice. Two sets of eyes to lose myself in over and over again forever. I fell in love hard that day.
While there has been a great deal of happiness in this season of caring for baby twins, I've had a particularly difficult time pulling it all back together. There's that place when fresh slates were wrapped in swaddling blankets and laid in my arms to nurse for the first time and then there's reality. The reality of three kids, not just two babies. Laundry that does not jump in the washer and clean itself. A three year old who whines, grunts and baby talks, desperate for my attention. Waking my husband up at 2 am with an avalanche of naughty words to describe my feelings on night time rounds with two babies for the 5th month of never-ending nights in a row.
This time last year I was adjusting to a new job, teaching at a new location after five years at a rural school. It took me too long to realize those students cared little who I was or what I could do or how much I said they mattered. Success skidded on minimum even when I crafted perfect plans, stayed stupid late or poured myself over new ways to reach them. Here's what mattered. One thing. If and when I sincerely cared. The rest took second place. There's no cheap trick to convince kids you care. They can see right through the guise. They won't buy in or sign up for the rest of the program.
And just the same, as I'm coming back to life here at home I'm making sense of what's important first. I'm chomping at the bit to do it all. The projects. The organization. The routine that's starting to unfold. The friends I'm making. The lists. The skills I want to teach the boys.
But first, there's love. Long hugs. Highs and lows at the dinner table. Spontaneously getting into the car to chuck bread at ducks. Pretending the one million pieces of paper my spitfire cut up at the table are money that we found at the park and need to grab RIGHT NOW!
I've got one broken-hearted boy who feels lost among baby cries and a mommy who seems to always be nursing or changing diapers. I'm trying so hard to reach him. Countless days I've hung my head and wrenched my hands in pain that I haven't got his world pieced back together for him.
Some of it is coming together. A lot of it is two steps forward, one step back. By way of force, I'm learning to chill out a bit. Clean the kitchen if I can. Get all the laundry put away if I can. Touch up the paint and sketch the garden plans and print off that resource and stuff those diapers if I can. But love, I must. Be patient, I must. Listen, I must.
No one will see these things. These little tiny choices of love I'm seeing now, at 28, I really need to daily, hourly re-commit myself to. In fact, they'll see them less than the thankless window wiping and cabinet scrubbing I thought I was signing up for.
But I will know it in my heart. And hopefully, maybe, if I'm really lucky my sons will know it too.
That is when I remember to not scream "SPACE!! SPACE!!" and walk over to put his hands in theirs instead. When I remember, friends. Please, Lord, help me remember!
|Excuse me. I tooted.|