I should be in bed. I 100% should not be writing a blog post. It goes against all rules. All personal boundaries. I’m exhausted. Emotional from exhaustion. It’s 11:23 PM currently. None of those things are good, healthy grounds for speaking on a public platform. And here I am. Writing. Maybe because I’ve missed it. Maybe because the house is silent. The little space heater at my feet is humming. And my email is caught up. My mind, for the first time all day long, is still, in some regard. And it’s easiest-in that space-for my brain to let my hands type freely and without too much thought.
My babies (the twins) graduated Pre-School this week. I’m not sure how it happened so quickly. And honestly, I’m not sure they’re ready for kindergarten in a lot of aspects. But ready or not, we are sending them in the fall. They’re both very smart and academically will not have any issue. They’re still just “little”. They won’t turn 5 until July 22 and developmentally, I don’t know that in every aspect that they’ll be at the level of a lot of their peers at first. I worry about them a lot. How they’ll do in school. If they’ll make friends and if they’ll be a kind friend to others. I worry about the influences of other children and other adults. I worry about all they’re going to experience as they grow, and all of the things that I won’t be able to fix or navigate for them as they transition through different seasons of life. And I sobbed over the whole gamut of it as they did sign language to “Jesus Loves Me” on the stage of my home church Tuesday night.
But as much as I worry about them, I am also so so so grateful for every single season with them. I’m so grateful that they’re here and they’re mine to love. I’m so proud of them. I’m so honored to be their mama and so humbled that God chose me to raise them, despite the fact that I am a literal walking disaster at times.
The infant stage with twins was REALLY HARD. I always kind of roll my eyes when someone says they basically had twins because they had two children close together. Though I don’t doubt that is a really hard journey, it’s a different journey than two babies the exact same age, needing a bottle at the exact same time with the exact same scream and cry. And having twins as FIRST babies is an even stranger journey as you don’t have any idea what you are doing as a mom with one child, much less two. Then there’s two of every stage that follows: double the potty training, double the meltdowns, double the big boy beds, double the power wheels, double the clothes, double the cookies, double the cleats. And it all goes by strangely fast but strangely slow at the same time.
I told someone once that my life was “steeped in chaos”. And I think that’s still a pretty good description of life mothering three little boys. Especially this past week or so as we have prepared for Pre-K Graduation among other “first of the lasts”. But as chaotic as it is, I can’t help feeling the weight of the gift that it is to experience all of it.
I know a few mamas that have lost little boys. I know some that have lost their little girls. I know some that have babies facing such hard medical issues that they just pray they make it past another surgery to even make it to a graduation someday. I know some mamas that dreamed of days like Pre-K graduation when the pregnancy test said “positive” but never got so much as an anatomy scan. I know some women that long for just a positive test, and have yet to get two pink lines. And I would be lying if I said that all of that didn’t’ flash through my mind and pierce my heart as I was searching for white t-shirts in a 4T for my boys to wear under tiny white graduation gowns. Tiny gowns some mamas will never see and that others can’t un-see as they look at the grown men whose once little bodies used to fall asleep holding the hand of a mud stained Mickey Mouse.
Does thinking about those things make me a lunatic? I don’t know. I’ll ask Peggy at my next counseling session. But usually, she just smiles and tells me that I simply feel deeply. And sometimes I really hate that quality about myself. But this week, I’m pretty thankful I do. Because on weeks like this, I soak up every ounce of the beauty. Every ounce of the worry. Every ounce of the immense weight of the moment and the lighthearted humor of raising boys. I allow myself too steep in the chaotic emotion of it all, and repeat over and over in prayer “thank you”. And I cry. A lot.
Sometimes I think I’m really not doing a great job at this whole “mom” thing. I know my kids already probably need a therapist from living with me and a nutritionist from the amount of drive-thru meals we’ve consumed in the last few months. I don’t feel equipped or qualified to lead them through school or through life. I desire for them to love Jesus above anything and feel like most Sundays we BARELY even make it to church much less have life-giving devotionals. To be honest with you the fact that Banks’ first word wasn’t a cuss word is an actual miracle. If we all get bathed, it’s a GOOD day. And someone always has a cold here. Always. But I say I love you a lot. And I mean it. And they know it. And I think that counts for a lot. Their daddy, tells them he loves me a lot. And he means it. And they know it. And I think that counts for a lot. I sing them Jesus Loves Me every single night. They know it by heart, And I think that counts the most. Not that they know a song, but that they know the truth of that song.
People give you a lot of advice when you have kids. They love to tell you “the days are long but the years are short” and stuff like that. All of these little “sayings” like “babies don’t keep” and “the dishes can wait” and it’s all super annoying. Because, if you’re trying, you know all of those things, but you’re also a person, and trying to savor it all and survive in the moment is nearly impossible. So then you feel guilty. And less-than. And the cycle of the madness of motherhood begins and ends and begins again with each birthday and each baby. But I don’t think-in my three little boys experience-we have to make it that hard on ourselves. I think maybe if we just try and be present-for both the moments we are savoring and the ones where we are just surviving-we end up cherishing all of it after all. We end up seeing that every stage and every age is its own gift. And that maybe, though time marches on, and our hearts break a little more at every milestone, they somehow grow a little too. Maybe as our babies grow, our love for them, and our capacity to hold it all in our hearts grows right along with them.
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