One night last week, my husband and I were in the kitchen, chatting as we put the 900th coat of paint on our cabinets, and he said the words “school” and “next week”.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. Our twins, my *babies* would be in pre-K this year. Somehow the summer had slipped away, right before my eyes, the same way those 5 and 6 pound babies turned into preschoolers that can read and operate Netflix. Though this year is only 3 days a week, part-time pre-K means school, and the accompanying schedules and demands will be a part of our lives from this point forward. It represents a big change and I am not known for handling changes well.
When one is expecting twins, and when they are in the first few years of life, the oversized belly, and then the oversized stroller, causes a conspicuousness that lends to every manner of comments from strangers. One such comment is “buy one, get one free!” I would usually give a wry smile and say “not quite!” But, nestled deep in that silly stranger comment is a sad truth of having twins: there’s only one set of milestones. The nest empties as quickly as it was filled; the two little people who came home on a sunny Saturday in November will leave it together on a too hot August day, beginning a new chapter in our lives together. Twins bring double the joy, but the bittersweet moments are magnified times two.
I spent all weekend with the last Monday on my mind. The last Monday of their baby days, where our time and lives were scheduled around their needs, where our time is ours and days are long, lazy and simple. I wondered how we got here so quickly; that first Monday that my husband was back at work, and it was just two babies and me, it all seemed so slow. The panic of new motherhood is doubled when it’s two babies and the learning curve is more of a mountain peak. Slowly we found our way, we hit a groove, it sped up, and now that I’m fully confident in this phase, it’s time for the next chapter. The last Monday came and went with a picnic, a trip to the park, and more than a few tears from me, constantly aware of what the day represented.
So many parenting lasts just happen and we don’t know they are the last. Sometimes it’s easier that way. But this time we know and I’m grateful for that to be present, to sit on the floor with them instead of the couch, let the laundry and the messes just be, and make an effort to be extra patient and just enjoy these last few days of this phase, knowing the next one is going to go even faster.