The Big Year – by Laura
We did it. We made it our first year with twins. Only 362 days and 2,933 miles ago we finally became parents at the age of 44. Somewhere in that year I might have gotten some sleep, fallen more in love with my husband, and learned a thing or two about babies. I also learned a lot about friendship. When we brought our little guys home to our farm in Oregon, there were friends coming and going, bottles of wine opened, meals shared, blankets received, and lots and lots of good, strong arms for holding babies.
These are my favorite memories from the year:
• The first time I saw the boys I was coming off the anesthesia as they wheeled me into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sunlight poured into the room as if God and every one of my relations was visiting, too. To show my deep appreciation, I threw up all over the NICU floor.
• The drive home from the hospital was spectacular. Behind the wheel of our minivan with husband and boys in back, I felt a profound sense of satisfaction and joy. Colors were brighter, music richer, touch more sensuous. It stayed that way for me a long, long time. All summer long. All of those images burned into my memory, and I can look them up any time and get that same feeling instantly.
• Watching my friends get high from holding my sons, and hearing to them talk about their fantastical drive home while they were drunk on baby love.
• Waking up at 2am to feed one of the boys, watching the moonlight pool on the tiles in front of the sliding glass doors, and listening to my baby’s breath as he returned to a state of sleep.
• Listening to the boys giggle as they watched the chickens outside on the lawn peck and prance around for their breakfast.
• The first time the boys held hands as they napped together in their crib.
• Spending a week on Lopez Island, WA, hiking the boys all over the place so they could see their first bald eagle, gray whale, sea lion, bunnies and deer.
• Flying over New York City and looking at the lights of Manhattan with Lyle on my lap. I pointed to the buildings and said, “Our new home.” Lyle jumped up and down and laughed and suddenly I didn’t feel so bad or so scared any more.
It hasn’t been an easy year by any stretch or measure. People often ask how I do it. If I stop to think, I get overwhelmed. I just keep my head down and keep going. Having two is incredibly intense. It requires practicing great patience with them, with my husband, and with myself. And after a year of juggling, I couldn’t tell you how hard it is because I don’t know any different. But I do know better. And if you ask me, twins are better.
Happy Birthday Boys!