My dearest boys,
While sitting upright here in my bed, I hear your voices in the other room, playing with your toys, acting out another one of your made up story lines of action heroes and robots. Maybe it’s dragons. Transformers, perhaps.
Today it’s Avengers.
Good versus evil.
Heroes dying. Coming back to life. Stronger.
Defying their master.
Only one chance to survive.
Relying on teamwork to do it.
The choreography to your play fights always in perfect precision. For each time someone’s attacked, someone also defiantly fights back.
Everything accompanied with self-made sound effects.
One arm flies one way, the other in the direct opposite. With little instruction, you both always seem to have the moves all figured out. Completely in sync.
Until you don’t.
There’s the dramatic outburst and storming out of the room and into the bedroom, in protest that something wasn’t fair or right. Then everyone’s out of character.
But the two of you always, somehow, eventually figure it out,. Returning to the lounge room, finishing up the Abomination scene with a dramatic climax, complete with the humming of the famous Avengers theme song.
And so this is just another afternoon like any other.
Except for one small difference that tomorrow is your 9th birthday.
This time 9 years ago, I sat up in like I am now, in the very same bed, only heavily pregnant, unable to sleep.
Counting down the hours until the next morning’s elective C-section procedure, anxious and worried, all your dad and I could think of was how we were going to get through the night. That and what we were going to name you!
I selected one. Papa picked the other. Middle names? That was easy. One each from your respective grandfathers.
Every birthday past I wonder where the years go. Every birthday I’ve been in awe as to how far we’ve come.
Maybe it’s because this is the last one before you hit double digits. Maybe I’m just feeling my years.
But this birthday? There’s a touch of melancholy.
I mourn for the years past and worry for the years ahead.
Maybe this is where the real nitty gritty of parenting begins. But how can we dismiss all those years leading up to this?
The shaky start in NICU.
The endless nights of asthma.
The countless allergy tests of needles pricking into your tender toddler skin.
Nervously starting school and confusion of being in separate classes, throwing all of us out of our comfort zone.
The tears and delicate intricacies of learning to make friends beyond the twin realm.
For without those years, we wouldn’t be here today.
And today I see two happy giggling brothers snuggling on the couch, whispering secrets.
“What is it?” I ask.
“No Mama! it’s a twins conversation thing!” You shout back with glee.
For all the tough starts and difficult chapters, your bond never falters.
It only seems to grow stronger.
As does my love.
With this yearn for the past, the deep concerns for the future, there’s also reassuring calm knowing you’ll always have each other.
Happy 9th birthday, my loves.
Let’s make it the best one yet.