Early morning January 6th, 2013, we made our way downtown to the hospital. I was fully made up, OF COURSE, because that was my plan and I like a plan. But of course, babies have their own plans.
You didn’t want to come out. You had been perfectly happy inside my belly for 38 weeks and you didn’t see the point of coming out of that warm safe space. Nevertheless, it was time. Your mama had enough and just had to meet you! After 24 hours of pushing and epidurals and no movement, a c-section was determined to be the best course of action to speed up your arrival. And once that was decided, boy did it happen fast!
Bubby at 5:06am and Bebe at 5:08. Weighing in at 6 and 5 pounds plus each, all was well with babies. Your dada was elated to be the first to hold you as your mama was TIRED. And had the shakes. And was very foggy, to say the least. But we met soon enough and my heart grew larger than I ever imagined because as we discussed, babies have their own plans. And your plans, dearest darlings, was to capture us and never let us go.
You two were best friends inside my belly where you would hiccup and somersault at the same time. Something you still do today at 8 years old, by the way. Twins, man. Honestly, one will have hiccups and, inevitably, so will the other. Thick as thieves, twin speak, feeling and thinking for and with the other? ALL TRUE. I never knew the wonder and now I wish we could all have a twin, that bond you two share is so incredibly special.
You’ve asked to hear this story so many times, and of course, I oblige. We are so fortunate to have so many videos and pictures of your lives, that we get to remember and tell stories of everything that’s happened and really take a moment to reflect.
My mama texted me the day before your actual birthday, “have you stopped to think about what was happening 8 years ago?” and the answer is simply, I never ever stop thinking about what was happening to me 8 years ago. When you go through infertility and IVF and then ultimately two perfect miracle babies are the result, you never ever stop being grateful for that not for even on millisecond.
So here we are. I have posted a birthday post here every year for the last 8 years now (linked at the bottom of this post) and it always blows my mind that you are the age you are. I remember when you were little little twins, so much was about what foods to eat, what bed you sleep in, strollers (OH MY GOD SO MUCH TIME SPENT TALKING ABOUT AND USING STROLLERS) and now we are on to roblox and cats and baking and video games and our generation kids and hot wheels and Disney series and cats cats cats and it isn’t so much about making sure you’re growing the way you need to but instead about helping you thrive and become the kindest most clever and helpful kids you can be. Frankly, you do that so well yourself, I question what my role is becoming daily.
Isn’t that mamas do? Our whole lives are spent with the questions of am I doing enough, am I engaging them enough, am I making sure they will be good citizens of the planet enough? When the truth is – and so many of you have told me this – if you are asking yourself these questions, you are doing it right.
All you mamas have told me what a great age 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are. You’ve told me all the wonderful ways you’ve experienced your kids through all these years and while I appreciated it, I had to live it, and guess what. YOU WERE ALL RIGHT. I never hated any age, I never got the terrible twos or rotten threes or any of those because honestly, I was too busy to feel any of that. And when I did get to feel, it was mostly exhaustion and gratitude. Sure, poop on the walls and the like aren’t the most glamorous moments of my life, but it all goes with the territory. That old Facts of Life song, right? It has all been pretty damn great, from my point of view.
Twins are a whole thing, I won’t lie. The first year is extraordinarily hard. And then little by little you (all of you) grow into yourselves and each other and then you cannot ever for one second imagine that they aren’t twins – that there are two of them. We feel so incredibly lucky that we have twins and for the moment in time when they told us our girl might not be “viable” we’d never wished so hard for her to come through. Her middle name is Hope, you see. We couldn’t help but choose her. My friend Sheila taught me about choosing hope years ago and it is something I still practice every day, even when it’s stupidly hard.
Oh my babies. My little teeny tiny perfect helmet wearing tongue sticking out screaming crying at the same time so often babies. It seems like yesterday I had you propped on our big bed and would sit on the floor crying with you waiting for your dada to get home from work to give me a minute. Now we are more friends than just having a one sided care taking situation. You complete us. You make us whole. You make us laugh wildly and think about the world in fresh hope filled excited ways that we so desperately need today. You give us so much more than we have ever been able to give you and for that, we would do it all again. I don’t want to, like AT ALL and please don’t ever make us, but boy oh girl has it been worth it.
8 is great because you are funny smart clever kind brave and cute. You say these affirmations to each other, me, the cats, your dolls and stuffies each night now and I am overcome. You are animal lovers above all else and my heart swells. You are about fairness and acceptance and forgiving each other and us 1000 times each day. We have our own little society in this house this year and we’ve done pretty damn great. Our little dining room classroom has had moments that we’d never get to be part of had this last year not happened.
Bubby you are experimenting with fashion and fancy leggings and nail polish and doing your hair in crazy ways each day and you are so pleased that you don’t have to go to school right now and deal with anyone saying anything about the way you look and you are free to be who are you becoming. You love animals so much and nothing makes me more proud. Star Wars and Avengers and lego playstation video games and some mad dance skills are your entire jam. Bebe you love make up and fashion and want to give away your money to anyone who needs it and you want to help all the animals and it is the sweetest damn thing I’ve ever seen. Slime and dress up and singing and dancing and Liv & Maddie are your favorites.
We are far too invested in the Masked Singer and Dancer and coming soon the Masked Accountant (KIDDING, OR AM I) every week. We love to go ice skating – though this year it’s entirely at outdoor social distanced rinks, BUT STILL. Your feet have grown 18 inches this year so ebay ice skates were procured and sharpened and off we go! Hearing you on facetime with your friends as you play Roblox together is LOUD but also the most joyful sound. You both love to make “youtube videos” which is really just recording yourselves as if you are doing youtube videos even though we don’t put them out there. It’s great for me because we get recordings of all your thoughts and feelings about what you’re into these days. Technology is wonderful and terrible.
I get to be your mama and I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my whole life. You, your dad and my not having to drink alcohol today are the most important things in my life and I want you to know how much I love you and every second of every day. MOM! MAMA! I can hear you screaming as we squeeze again because there are never ever enough hugs. Hearing you call me mama is my favorite.
I’m writing this post a week after your birthday my precious babies – my perfect 8 year olds – and reflecting on our day on January 7, 2021. The first weeks of January have been a shitshow already to parent through and explain the rottenness but we turned off the news that day and we celebrated YOU. We will take the day off school on January 20th and have a celebration for the inauguration. We all deserve a party that day!
WE CANNOT LET THE CONSTANT AND UNENDING STREAM OF SHITSHOWS STEAL OUR JOY, DO YOU HEAR ME. If we do allow this, if we get so sucked in 24 hours a day, we miss all that is happening right under our own noses. Life is hard but you – my babies – you are goodness and light and everything about loving you is so easy. We just keep doing the next right thing.
We had a big sign and decorations and 8 is great t-shirts and your classmates sang to you on your google meet and a donut cake and a new bird feeder for outside our window so the cats can watch and NEW BIKES and it ended with a birthday parade of friends and family (it’s really hard to keep surprises from you in a pandemic when we are together 24/7 but we did it!) that made my eyes well up with gratitude and disbelief. Even after and through all this, we keep showing up for each other. You are loved, my babies. My greatest hope for you is that every second of every day, you know and feel how deeply you are loved and you remember to actively show that love in return to those around you.
The promises come true. I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams. Our big little Hall & Oates, you make my dreams come true. Happy happy happy 8th birthday. You are the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life and it is my favorite thing to watch you grow into these incredible helpful kind kids that I never could have imagined.
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Past birthday posts: