This morning I wrote about Mothers' Day from the perspective I've had until now: that of someone on the outside. Today I was inside. And I like it.
I did the 6:00 a.m. feeding, but James took the babies from there, and I got to sleep until 11:23! I slept so much that my eyes were puffy. That hasn't happened in a long time. I awoke to the sound of Amanda howling in the living room and James begging her, from the kitchen, to just hang on. As I came down the stairs, James told me to go back upstairs. Then he reconsidered. Okay, you can come down here, but you have to stay in the living room.
After a very sweet few minutes talking to my little babies, both of whom were smiling back at me and doing some very preliminary cooing sounds, James walked in with a masterpiece. The girls and he had made French toast with strawberries on top, and fresh squeezed orange juice. I can't remember which girl they said it had been who squeezed the oranges, but either way I'm impressed. I wouldn't have thought they had the strength.
James also brought me out a card from the girls, which he was kind enough to take dictation onto. He even drew a heart on it, because the girls told him to. They know, at this early age, that girls draw hearts on things. It's true. I told him about the year of 5th grade, when I dotted every single "i", for one year, with a heart.
Next, James brought me out a baby bottle with some flowers in it. It was going to go on the tray that would have brought me my breakfast in bed, if I'd stayed there to receive it. Oh, so cute.
I love my husband, and I love my little daughters. And according to what they wrote on the card, they love me, too. It turns out, Mothers' Day isn't just about elevating the mothers around us. It's not even spelled Mothers' Day. It's Mother's Day. It's not about being celebrated: it's about celebrating your own mom for the wonderful, wonderful things she's done for you and meant to you. When you hear somebody thanking you for what you do for them, and they tell you they love you as much as you love them... well, wow. James's card made me really understand that the girls love me. It may seem funny, but I wasn't sure they did. I wasn't even sure they recognized me when I picked them up. But yeah, I guess they would.
I have heard people say that when you have children, you appreciate your own parents much more. You have a much greater understanding of what they went through with you. That's true. And having twins myself, I realize with shock and awe what their lives were like in 1972. And so I say,
WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?
It's true that Dad tried to comfort me in the infertile years by saying that children were a lot of trouble, and maybe I didn't want them anyway. But it wasn't a very specific warning.
I do feel my mother could have been a lot clearer about what I was really in for. She did say year ago, apropos of nothing, that she hadn't minded the work of taking care of two little children at the same time, since David and I were so cute. She just liked being around us. At the time, I thought that was obvious. Now, I see it's not something you can take for granted.
So why didn't Mom tell me how exhausting it is to do everything you have to do to take care of one baby, and right after you have won every struggle with the one, to turn around and do the same thing with the other? You finally rock one to sleep. Okay, good. Now change the other's diaper, feed her, and rock her to sleep now. Whew. Finally got one through a bath, screaming the whole time? She's warm and toasty, finally calm, and smelling sweet? Okay, go get the other one and peel her clothes off her. Start the cycle all over again.
I'm not complaining. I'm just saying. Damn.
Mom should have complained. So why didn't she? I suppose it's because she loved us as much as we loved her. And that's a whole, whole lot.
Now I get it.