It's that time of year where we bid farewell to the days past and set out to conquer new goals and declare our future aspirations. It's the time we make resolutions and vow to "be better" at working out, returning calls or watching less reality TV. But for me, it's the first New Year in 8 years that I haven't wished for a baby. Wished to have a baby, wished to not lose a baby (or babies).
The last year has been emotional, exhausting, rewarding and completely bonkers as these two new humans exited my womb, entered stage left and took our world by storm.
I've taken the last six months off of most everything just to focus on this new normal, letting phone calls, sleep and washing my hair fall to the wayside. But now, I've returned to civilization. I'm back to work, back to writing, back to life and exploring my new reality as a mother of three.
2017 taught me a lot. I learned that what I think is my 'homeless chic' look is sometimes viewed by others simply as 'homeless.' I had a new neighbor question if the double stroller I was pushing contained babies or cans.
No, really, that happened.
I learned that having twins draws lots of attention and questions. It usually goes like this:
Random Stranger: "TWINS?"
Me: (thankful they didn't think I had cans in the stroller) "Yes! A boy and a girl"
Random Stranger: "Wow. Are they identical?"
Me: "Nope. One is a boy and one is a girl"
Random Stranger: "Right. But are they identical twins?"
Me: "No. He has a penis."
I sometimes sugarcoat this, depending on my gauge of the person. But you get the idea.
No one basks in the attention better than Lloyd. He parades those babies around as if he were a proud peacock and they were his feathers. He gets upset when I don't bring the babies to preschool pickup because he knows he can get a good crowd with the babies. He's like Tom Selleck in “Three Men and a Baby,” using the twins to draw a gaggle of little girls to the playground who begin cooing over the twins and then Lloyd swoops in and steals the show.
Speaking of which, we've learned that despite our deepest hopes of our eldest son discovering a passion for science or mathematics, he is instead following in his parents’ footsteps and loves nothing more than to perform. Thankfully, the babies find him hilarious and it gives me some cherished free time. Lloyd asks us to line the babies up in their swings and he will do a song and dance routine, followed by juggling, sword play and just last week he showed the babies how to pick up balls using only his butt checks. Someone call Jimmy Kimmel. This kid is on fire.
It's been a hard year. But it's been better than we could have ever dreamed. There are days I'm still floored that we made it. That these two beautiful babies are here, and (relatively) healthy. And there are other days, when I'm overwhelmed by the sheer number of diapers and coffee we manage to go through in a week and how expensive life as a party of five can be.
I lost a lot of things this year. Mainly, that deep dark sadness that would creep up inside me when I thought I may never have kids, or wouldn't be able to give Lloyd a sibling, or worried that I wasted our life savings on another failed round of IVF for a selfish dream. That feeling has been with me for almost a decade and suddenly, it's vanished. I've lost track of all the fertility drugs I took. Their names have faded along with the protocols and bruises that came with them. I've lost my mind a few times this year. Lost my ability to function without coffee. I haven't seen my hairdryer since we moved in July. My metabolism and my willpower ran off together around that same time. I'm not sure where they are, but I hope someday we’ll be reunited.
For all I've lost, I've found even more. I found out that I actually can function on three hours of sleep. I've learned that Walter loves to be sung to and Mabel loves kisses on her ears. I've learned how to clean poop out of a baby vagina and get spit up stains out of my clothes. I discovered Lloyd to be the best big brother. I've been reminded how lucky I am to have a partner in all of this who often does more than his fair share while I get to sit in a comfy chair and nurse babies, one at a time, for hours on end. And boy, do I milk it. Pun intended. I've found my heart in these four people. They are my home.
2018 is starting off with a bang as Walter will be having major surgery, if all goes as planned, at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in January. But that's a blog for another time.
Today is to reminisce on all those things we've lost and found this past year. This next year is sure to hold plenty of "firsts" - first words, first steps. A world of 'firsts' awaits us and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
So here’s to a new year of adventurous days, long nights, dawns of discovery, hours of hope and joy and patience. Such is life with our three. Lots of caffeine, love and laughter.
We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne. But leave the pot. Just in case.