Today, you are one.
While we have already begun celebrating this milestone with sweet gifts and preparations for a pumpkin party on Sunday, I feel like I need to celebrate on my own. No, not just that we have survived this first year, because, frankly being mobile scares me more than your heart monitors!
Today, I celebrate my mental state. I celebrate my acceptance. I have finally come to terms with the fact that you are in my life.
I know, sounds strange, kind of like a toddler who has finally realized the new baby(ies) is/are here to stay. This is my truth, though. This year has passed with so much change and heartache and happiness and zigs and zags, but now that I have soaked it in this past week. I feel at peace at being your mother.
You see, you rewrote my whole life plan.
Did you know that?
You were a chapter in my life's book that I didn't expect. I suppose as a writer, I should marvel this unique plot line. A strange twist in an otherwise predictable story. My mothering story was complete, or so I thought. I had four kids already, and unfortunately and embarrassingly, I spent most of my pregnancy with you in shock at this twist, wondering and worrying way too much. How would you two fit into our already full life? How would my career would survive with you in it? How would our life on the farm would weather this strange storm? How would our marriage stay afloat?
Here's the short answers:
You make our family complete.
My career is on hiatus, and that's okay.
Our life on the farm has zigged, and we are zagging.
And, marriage is hard. Kids make it harder, but we're going to come out stronger...and with great stories.
While this may seem like a sad letter, a tale of a life turned upside down. It isn't. I promise you.
Having you has rewritten my story. With this new plot line, you have made me see myself in a different light. While I had this grand plan, your lives have allowed me to see that life isn't about a plan or a schedule or a structure. Life is about love and change and choosing joy in the face of the unpredictable. This year I have realized I can be stretched in so many different ways and not break. I can love even more than I thought I could. I can balance and plan and fail and succeed and love and get frustrated and angry and forgive even more than I realized.
And it's because of you two.
It's taken me a whole year to say that, though. At first, I was scared. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I could be the mother I wanted to be for you. I am older than I was when I had the big kids. We are busier thanks to fun new chapters with the girls. Dad made a career change. We jacked up our house to make room for you.
But the thing is, twins, while I'm older, and more tired and busy and still scared at times, I'm wiser. I know to keep the main thing the main thing. I'm raising up little people who are independent and creative and funny and smart and fun, and that's what matters. My years of previous mothering have allowed me to realize I can get most of it done (whatever "it" is that day), and the rest will just have to wait. My schedule is full, but my heart is fuller, and love always wins.
It took me a full year and a big, deep breath to admit that.
It didn't take me a year to know that I loved you, however. From the minute you two came into our lives, we knew we were in for an adventure. I am in love with you, you two. There are two of everything around here, personalities included, and that has made this truly an adventure.
Caroline, you greet me every morning with a big smile and a round of applause, but, really, I should be applauding you. You have come through so much this year, and still are so sweet and smiley. Born in distress, watched carefully, still seeing a specialist for a small kidney issue, you are surprising us every day with your tenacity. Because of this, you have taught me to slow the heck down and enjoy all those little things in your precious life. You are my miracle baby, and I am so thankful that this year has come and gone with all of worries being quelled with you meeting your milestones or a doctor telling us, "she's fine." Whew. Your sweetness has cemented your role as the baby of the family. Your siblings adore you.
Girls, I am so lucky.
Yes, my hands are full, but sweet babies, my heart has been made fuller. You are blessings that I wasn't sure I needed, but God knew better. I am so lucky to be your mom, and when you're old enough to understand how freaked out I was about you, I hope you realize it was just for a moment. Well, okay, more than that, but in the grand scheme: just a blip.
Happy, happy birthday, my sweet twins. Thank you for rewriting my story. I can't wait to read the rest of it.