I don't really count the months anymore...they are just three to me. But in keeping with those early times when there was one every month...well, here it is. My latest musing on the mothering of my twin boys.
Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I start to talk/write about my twins. I know I have said before that they are so grown and different than ever before. I know I have said I thought I understood what it would mean to watch them ‘grow up’. I know I have said that before my very eyes they have become boys. But I really had no idea.
I am starting to realize that this is the way it is always going to be. Because you cannot catch and hold your children with words; fingers can never type fast enough, shutters can never click as quickly and as often as they should, video will let you glance at the moment but not let you slide a finger over the baby softness that does not disappear so much as shift…shift…shift.
So, now I will repeat myself like the record needle that stutters over the same gap. Because what I once thought was ‘boy’ has been disproved and now I see a new version of boy daily. The ones I watch are able to tap into an imagination I had misplaced for awhile where every view is a vision of something other. Reality rarely intrudes or is flexible enough to bend to their will. And I see that slowly accumulating body of knowledge inside of their heads filling in spaces that make sense sometimes only to them.
The world of storytelling is theirs now, their unique voices tell night time versions of their days that morph into emergency adventures where they drive fire trucks and lock up bad guys in small jails, securing them with tape. They begin each oral story with the words “Laaaaast tiiiiiiiime…..” syllables drawn out for effect. They do this because every story I have told begins with the words ‘Once upon a time’ even if it about fire station 144 just down the street. I find it beyond endearing that they adopt my practices in their own ways. And so for our evening bedtime ritual now I listen rather than speak, I listen to them occasionally compete, then complete, then complement each other as they spin out their yarns.
And the singing, oh the singing. Gone are the days when I sing the lullabies to them. Now they sing along to Twinkle Twinkle and Teapot. And once Owen made up his own song, his little voice ringing sweet and clear as he sang, “’Nana, ‘nana, monkeys call on the ‘nana phone” (his own idea and lyrics, I swear).
That one is a study in contradictions. All sweet clear voice, then growling lashing out anger.
He can cradle and crush with the best of the three year olds and though I find it hard to deal with his wild swings when they happen, with his overt meanness and goading of his brother when he is off his game…well, it is always hard to hold onto the frustration. Not in it, but right now as I try to find it. It is not there….all I find is him, Owen, my boy, a boy that will keep growing stronger in will, in his challenges to us and the world.
But as he grows his empathy does too. I watched him sit next to a friend at the park the other day, a pouting sad/mad friend and ask her what he could do for her. And then he just waited. And then asked her again if she wanted to play. And she did. No prompting brought him there, just his internal desire for things to be right. In those moments I see the way he will grow, the depth he has.
And Mace. Oh, the Mace.
He is like wild sweetness all over the place. Like a naughty cherub or a grinning pixie. His eyes hold such a sparkle, a desire to tell stories and let his words and world run wild. He talks and talk and talks, gives us as many words as we ask for and more. He never holds back the words, tossing thank you and I love you with abandon at anyone that will catch them. He has a wicked laugh and pout now that he uses to full advantage.
He is easily wounded by correction or my freak out moments. And I find him alone, playing in his own world, no need for reassurance from play friends, just creating them as he goes alone. Mace is always willing to join me in my gym trips, open and willing to go to the kid’s care without his brother at his side.
But on the way home he asks for Owen, and Owen is looking for him. Because that it how is goes with twins. I am starting to see just how intertwined their lives are, will be.
It is fascinating and beautiful and I am struck by the privilege….of having children, of having twins, of mothering, parenting. It ain’t easy…hell, no, three has had some really rough days, hours, minutes…and in those moments, three feels almost unbearable.
And then those moments end and I find myself playing at legos, ridiculously entertained as I try to piece together a floating spaceship that will navigate the waters of their small pool. Drawing silhouette tow trucks and police cars with sirens just so and spelling out letters as they demand more words and pictures and sirens. Or snuggling between their sleeping bodies at 1 a.m. because I cannot sleep and their sweet deep regular breathing brings me such peace. And as I settle into my own sleep I feel so clear in the knowing that they are my people, some of the most wonderful things I can claim to be part of.
And I am sure you know what I will say next, my loves, if you are reading this. Your mama loves you, loves you so very much.