This pretty much says it all…
Who would have thought that 9 years ago tonight, at 11:30 pm as I lay in the hospital bed watching SNL and listening to KSP’s increasingly heavy breathing as he drifted softly to sleep that I would go into labor. That just 8 hours later, I would have 2 tiny, frail babies who would suddenly transform my role and purpose in life and on this planet.
We have grown together as we find our footing in the journey that has been set for us, but the paths we choose and take end and begin in nooks and crannies where we find great moments of joy, surprise corners that tug at the seams of fear and sometimes the very dark places that we are afraid to go so we try to keep the door closed for a little longer until it’s time to throw it open and shine the light and figure it out.
While I could have never imagined this would be my journey of motherhood, I can never imagine a world where it isn’t, and yes it does define me. It does complete me. It makes me whole.
Q, through his beyond his years soul and wisdom that challenges me to remember he is only a boy, creates space in our family for all of us to love and learn and understand we aren’t perfect and to always come back to I love you anyway. He leads by example, and in his wonder he shows us what the world can look like if you just change the way you see things…
E, through her innocence and purity, keeps me grounded in what’s important. What’s real. What life really means. To show up and be there even when you don’t know what it all means or where it’s all headed. To create the space for kindness and patience and learning and grace for myself as a mother for all of us as humans just doing the best we can.
It’s their birthday, to be sure. We have the balloons and the breakfast and dinners planned. But it’s the conversation with Q about how he came into the world. His birth DAY); When he asked if he cried when he was born and we said no, because his lungs were too weak and we only got to brush cheeks before he was whisked away, only for E to come and go immediately after. When I tell him that he and E are miracles and he should never believe any differently. That life is full of moments where you make choices and he and E made the choice to fight to stay here with us. 3 months early, isolates, tubes, monitors, their birthday, their beginning will always ground me in how viscerally I love them not always all at once but in the moments when I look at them and really see them. And to always remind them, they can do anything, survive anything and that life is just a series of moments and choices for all of us…
And so today I saw them, I looked at them, I felt them turning 9 in just a handful of hours. I saw them growing, and felt the familiar creep of the reminder that, while E will always be our baby, Q is starting to look for himself and see himself as part of this larger community and life and for me. It’s the same feeling as that night in the hospital. The feeling of unknown, of pause, of slight fear, of excitement, of joy, of selflessness and love that this is a new chapter. But as a lover of books and writing, I am not afraid in the same way. I know that only in chapters do we have the chance to try, learn, reflect and build upon on our past choices and moments. And there, in the moments, so many moments, he is still my little boy and E is my little girl. My baby 2 lb boy and girl who fit down my shirt for hours as I would rock and sing to them and tell them stories about what the future would be outside of those white walls. My 8 year old boy and girl who now in the quiet moments are soothed as I sing them to sleep or rub their back.
So my sweet Q and E, even though you are 9, and you and we are still learning and growing and changing, we will all still cuddle up and read I’ll Love You Forever, because as Robert Munsch so insightfully writes, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby (babies) you’ll be.”
And for tomorrow, I will make you feel my love, which isn’t just our song, it’s our hymn sheet. You will feel and know you both make each day ‘mynewfavoriteday’ in some moment, in some way. Today, for you all, if you have minis, cuddle them just a bit more, if you have people you love you haven’t talked to in a while, reach out, because our minis won’t be mini forever and life can change in an instant, and so there are never enough moments to love a little more and show how much we love all of our loves forever and always.
Happy Birthday my loves. Mommy loves you.