Four years ago yesterday your daddy and I were married.
It was the best experience of my life. Up until you. We were married in a small chapel in the midst of tall old pine trees. We had 70 or so of our absolute best-est people with us for a magical three days. It was a lovely time, full of conversation and love and joy. Very little worried me that weekend. I felt that it would all be as it should, we would have all the necessary accoutrements of a proper wedding (though we were miles from any real shop that could assist if we did not), that the food and flowers would make it , that it would all be set up in time. And it was. Not without effort, the effort of almost very guest we invited, actually. It was what I like to call a working wedding. But it made all feel so welcome and as if they were a part of the commitment Tim and I were making to each other. On that day I knew we were beginning something new in our long relationship and it has continued to feel wonderfully fresh.
A year ago we decided to try and make you. We were in Canada, on vacation. We had discussed it, extensively, for over a year. We were excited and happy to be on the same page, but apprehensive. It felt like the biggest decision we would make. It was the biggest decision we could make. We had no idea if it would ‘work’ or what to expect. We just knew that it was the right time to try. We had planned our trip to B.C. to include camping on Salt Springs Island and a trip to Whistler for Daddy to experience the singularly spectacular thing that is Whistler’s bike trails. He spent a day that I know he will never forget, a day I know he longs to do again with all his heart. The whole trip was wonderful in many ways and we enjoyed it to the hilt, especially knowing it could possibly be our last as a couple. For a long while, anyway.
And today, well, today marks your fourth month hanging around these parts. You are different babies than before, things keep changing so rapidly now that I feel like I cannot keep up with them in words or photos. Some changes are subtle, some drastic (to us, anyway). This past month I bought this journal, a clever and efficient way of jotting down a daily line that will be reviewed year after year. It is how I plan to follow these rapidly changing events, a way of remembering this time that seems to fade as quickly as the daylight does now that autumn approaches.
Sure, there are some days that feel stagnant and rough around the edges. The days when I cannot believe this is what I do, I mama twins. What? A year ago I was hiking through trails in Vancouver, now I live out of my computer (okay, a little dramatic, we all know we get out a bit). But I also know that the decision we made four years ago and last year have changed us for the better. It is unbelievable, the double blessing.
I recall standing on the patio of this winery on Salt Springs Island, having bought a bottle of their delicious white wine and thinking I would keep it in case I was pregnant, it would commemorate your making. I remember my sister-in-law looking at me oddly when I declined a glass of wine at Tim‘s mother‘s wedding, saying I would sip Tim’s instead. At the time there was no news to tell yet, I felt a bit foolish for being so cautious, almost like it would jinx my hopes. Remembering these things brings a fresh perspective to my daily time with you, it makes me recall that feeling of hope and desire and anticipation.
Now we watch you both as your motor skills begin to show. I have tried very hard to leave my training as a physical therapist in the back of my thoughts. You see, I once worked with infants, but they were the ones that needed help to thrive. They had none of the naturally developing skills that I see unfold in you both daily. In school we learned ‘normal’ development in order to have a baseline, but I have to admit, I have never witnessed it.. All my little charges required help in the developmental process. I marvel at the ease of your discovery, how you practice the same move over and over and then, suddenly, I can see the dawning of understanding in your gazes.
Mason, you know how to work a room, kid. You carefully study each face, categorizing almost. I see as you scan for the parents, then see your uncles, watch your Omi and Opa. You already modify your responses and always try to win the stare off game with Daddy. And lately you ‘tell’ stories at the same time as Mama. I start telling you a fearie tale or fable and you talk with me. If I stop to allow you to respond, you go quiet. So I will resume, at which point you start talking again. It is frickin adorable. And the sounds you make…I record them when I can because nothing had ever sounded so sweet. Oh yeah, you also learned to scream. Mama does not like that so much. No, indeed.
Owen this month you decided you like the world of people. You decided it was fun to talk to Mama and Daddy, that we were in your circle of friends (along with Fanny, and Wally, Doorframe and Window Sill). Once you get going, the charm and absolute devilry you can deliver with a lift of an eyebrow (yeah, you came out knowing how to raise only one in that rakish way) is really quite stunning. Sometimes you take my breath away with your smile. I realized I respond to you like I do to your Daddy. I so want you to like me, I live for your attention and feel like a million bucks when I get it.
Odd, how different you are, my two boys. You do not really acknowledge each other yet, but lately, when you lay down next to each other at play time, Owen reaches for Mason’s hand and gets it and holds it. It is as if he like the feel of it, the softness of skin that parallels his, but is not of him. Owen, you get it, Mason, you pull out of it, Owen, you go back to get his hand again. It is the neatest thing to watch. Both of you listen to ‘story time’ but in your own way. Owen watches the book, Mason watches me. But you are drinking it in, the attention, the love, the dedication. We do not always feel appreciated and you cannot reciprocate much yet, but we know it will all come back to us.
Now is the time that I can see a bit more clearly, with less apprehension. I can see you better and I know you well. There are still surprises. Those nights when the 730 bedtime just does not seem to be in Your (ahem Owen) agenda after three days of going down easy. Those afternoons when meltdown central occurs because Someone (ahem, Mason) won’t take that quick little catnap so we can eat dinner. These little kinks remind me to take it easy, to let it go a bit. I do not always feel the same day to day and I should not expect it of you two.
Lately morning time is the best. You both wake up happy, a little song I have sung since you were in your own room seems to have influenced something. It goes like this, “Wake up happy, wake up happy, you won’t feel crappy if you wake up happy.” Maybe I should not use the crappy word, but, hey, it rhymes. Anyway, you just laugh and roll around in your crib. We know soon we will have to introduce crib 2 as you are never where we leave you when we lie you down. Just the other morn we found you, Owen, with your head snuggled into your brother’s side. And I thought Mason would be the ‘toucher’. Like I said, you are full of surprises. It breaks my heart a bit to think of separating you, it makes me wonder if you will notice. I have started to wonder a lot about you, how you will interact, when the whole twin thing begins. It might already be there, maybe you do your ‘talking’ and conspiring after dark when we put you down to bed.
We celebrate you this month and we celebrate each other.
Nothing could have prepared us for this time, but the decisions we made 4 years ago and last year were blessed ones. They created the space into which you came, the place for you to be. I say to your Daddy, thanks to you for loving me and us. Thank you for marrying me when I demanded it. Thank you for proposing to me in our place despite my ranting on the church and preachers. Thank you for trusting and believing that I was the partner for you, that there was nothing to fear as we openly stepped into the new life we wanted to create. It has been an unbelievably inspiring and invigorating four years….I know 40 and more will follow. I love you so very deeply, my MCD.
Happy Anniversary, love. Your FumbElinA loves you.
Happy fourth month, boys. Your Mama loves you.