Saturday, July 10, 2010
Knock knock. Who's there? Lettuce. Lettuce who? Lettuce in, we're freezing.
Kids who proudly count to my favorite number: eleventeen.
The vestiges of toddler/preschool speech: "birf-days, Stoy Story free"
Fights about who will be the line leader, who gets out of the tub first, who gets dressed first, who hit who first.
Squeals of delight that they can: pump swings themselves, ice skate around the rink without falling, swim without floaties, do backward somersaults in the pool...and(shouted loudly) "WATCH ME, MAMA" as they do all of the above.
When I was little my family was a member of a local swim club. We would go when it opened and leave at dusk. Ten minutes after the five minute warning, the four of us kids would emerge form the pool. We would reluctantly follow our mom, however, there were only three sets of small footprints. I made an effort to always step in the prints she made..in the hopes that I would be like her when I grew up. In the years that followed, I had many goals: I would be a ballerina, an astronaut and an airline pilot. When each of those aspirations passed I realized, with certainty, that when I grew up I wanted to be a mother.
My journey to motherhood had many obstacles. It was my mother who walked by my side when I went to my first appointment with my In Vitro Fertilization doctor. She paced the floors while waiting for the pregnancy test results and she jumped for joy when she heard that we were having twins. When a stroke left her unable to walk, I told her about the foorprints at the pool. I thanked her leading the way so well and for so long and though she treads a lot lighter these days, I am still following in her footsteps.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Find Dar Williams video of "When I was a Boy" on You Tube. GREAT SONG.
Long before she announced that she was not going "to grow up and that is that!" Annabel countered her sister's goal of being a princess to her own: "I am going to be a boy. And that is that!" She picked Diego toys to her sister's Barbies, she got a spiderman skateboard, her sister: a dollhouse. She played soccer to her sister's ballet. She wanted hockey skates. She liked blue the best. Her favorite thing to wear: feetie jammies printed with construction equipment. In fact, we had to cut the feet off of them when she outgrew them; we could not find the next size. This girl really intrigued me. She was so unlike me. But I loved it. Every second of it. Recently, though, she traded in her jammies for dresses that twirl and wears ballet slippers as much as she wears her soccer cleats. While ice skating is still her favorite sport, she would like "figure skates. And that is that." This afternoon, though, is when this song played in my head. We were having lunch in a diner and she caught a glimpse of her reflection. She kept checking herself out, smiling, cocking her head to one side. She said she would "like some lip gloss, please." Fast forward to this evening: she puts on the bonne bell Easter bunny lip gloss, grabs her soccer cleats and heads out the door to play. Atta Girl!
Friday, July 2, 2010
I saw it coming. They stood up by themselves, they cruised. So why did I choke up it when they took their first steps? I cheered as they took step after step and "ta da-ed" after each stumble...but this walking really hit me hard. Was I able to foresee the opposite directions they would be going in? Was I thinking I'd have to get them baby leashes? As I thought about it, their steps grew stronger and their gait faster. Then it hit me: I was feeling ambivalent because this was the beginning of their walking away from me.
We have journeyed far since they took those first steps. We have walked into preschool, joined soccer teams, danced in a ballet recital, jumped into pools without floaties. Their steps have taken them into the bathroom for 'privacy please' and together they have sashayed into their bedroom and talked about how unfair and mean I am ;). I am grateful that their strides progressed gradually and I am equally happy when they take a step or two backwards. Like last night. When Willa tiptoed into my room and asked to sleep in our bed..with her baby blanket.