from outside the bedroom door: what progress sounds like

Tonight, when I left the twins’ room after tucking them in bed, I stood at the door and listened for a while to the little voices calling out, “I love you mama” repeatedly in tones that were too sweet to adequately convey in written words. I remembered standing outside the same door just a few months ago, tired after trying to soothe anxious and upset babies, wondering how long the bedtime strife would last. Tonight’s noises were a wonderful reminder of the progress the twins have made in their adjustment to life as Ludwigs. There is other evidence of progress too- Cora’s 8 teeth that are just starting to come in, Elias’ need for size 3t t-shirts (he was barely filling out the 18month size when we came home in October), the ever increasing vocabulary of both kids, their huge smiles, their willingness to greet strangers and to share food, their normalized bowel movements (this one I am particularly thankful for), their fearlessness on the playground, Cora’s complete change in countenance and disposition, the continual singing and chatter that can be heard pretty much ALL the time, the dancing, the clapping, the wrestling… oh man.  Every day, these two seem to become more “alive” and more themselves.

To be fair, we do have our fair share of tears and timeouts. We have the battles of the will, testing of limits, a disdain for sharing, and a whole host of “normal” two year old struggles (times 2). But these challenges are developmentally healthy and normal and are actually signs of health and progress in their own ways. So, we celebrate them (at least in moments of silence at 2am, maybe not when both kids are throwing a fit in time out, ha!), and we embrace them, and we remind ourselves that, in the grand scheme of things, we are all doing really, really well.

I still can’t believe that we are all under the same roof. I remember not so long ago when I tucked a weepy Macy in bed as she cried for her brother and sister that she so desperately wanted to have home. I cried too. It felt impossible- the idea of all four of my kids being in one place seemed out of reach and a long way off. And now, well, I think I’ll go peek at the four of them as they sleep soundly in their beds…

my grown-up christmas wish

Laundry folding. It’s not something I’d say I typically get very excited about. In fact, tonight as I even thought about walking from the cozy house to the cold garage to get the load of laundry that was ready to be folded I grumbled (post on “first world problems” to follow). But as I folded piles of super-hero shirts, footed pajamas, and little boxer-briefs (also super-hero themed of course), I found myself smiling and actually cherishing this mundane task.

Maybe it’s because I was folding in front of a lit Christmas tree and a warm fire burning in the fireplace.  Maybe it was the conversation I had earlier tonight with a mom who was lamenting the fact that her “baby” is getting ready to graduate high school which means a much emptier and quieter house after all these years. Maybe it’s that I’ve actually slowed down a bit recently and can enjoy and appreciate the time I have to fold said clothes.

I’m not sure what it is, but it made me want to write. It also made me long once more for the day when I will have double the laundry to do, two more little bodies to dress, two more hungry mouths to feed. I’m sure I’m idealizing the thought of it, but tonight, I can think of nothing I’d rather do. So, I’m savoring this moment, giving thanks for these little clothes and the healthy bodies that dirty them oh so quickly (knowing that 2 more bodies will nearly double our laundry loads and the time it takes to fold and put them all away), and dreaming of the day when I’ll need to be reminded that I was once longing for more laundry to do. I’m sure it’s coming. But for now, I wait and hope for more. This is my grown-up Christmas wish.