My twins turned 28 today. It’s somehow very emotional for me, however, there is nothing really out of the ordinary about this particular birthday.
When they were born, I was newly divorced, had met someone new and had a chance to start over. Except, I was 33 years old and had a 10 year old with an undetermined developmental disability. I wasn’t necessarily starting over, I was adding yet another layer to whom I already was. Piece of cake right? Except 15 months later I am blessed yet again with a bouncing baby girl, precious and beautiful, how did that happen! So, I’m now 35, with a 12 year old with an undetermined developmental disability, a set of twins, walking and demanding much of my attention and a new born. Oh, and a significant other who had his own agenda. Wow! a full dance card and not one adult on there, except me.
So, I’m hustling through each and every day, juggling special education busses, babysitters and employers who just want the job done, and children who want to be fed, played with, occupy all of my attention (individually, of course) and suck whatever life breath I have left to give. That does not account for for meal prep, laundry, housekeeping, bathing (them or me), and/or shopping, appointments, school meetings etc., etc. I have no idea who I am and if I’m ever going to catch a break again. I am on autopilot day in and day out. No break, no time out, no vacation, no nothing.
After the baby stage came the sports era, then the boy meets girl, and vice versa, and bigger problems arise when the oldest is said to have this amazing discovery called autism and all the complex facets that go along with that (at least, now we have a name for that! for now anyway and that’s yet another story) and then drivers training and the expense of that, a bigger place to live, a better job with a bigger paycheck, and so on and so forth.
It’s 28 years later, needless to say, much more has happened between then and now and there were some of those years that I have no memory of what so ever. Well, maybe not years, but certainly periods of time and special events. All just too stressful to bring back into the memory fold. A gap so to speak. A time in space when overload becomes the norm and norm has no idea where her keys are or if she has paid the electric bill or if it’s Saturday or did the alarm just not go off. Even my developmentally challenged son can remember some things that I can’t, even through wishful thinking. Sometimes it’s just too painful to even try. So……. just refresh me!
I’m trying to teach my now adult children the benefits of slowing down. It’s hard to even understand the concept when the world has a pace that is twice what it was 28 years ago. They tell me, they think we had an awesome life with all the cool stuff we did and places we went as a family. The neighborhood kids loved us, they really didn’t get us, but they were drawn to our house, our family. The bond we shared was priceless.
If I were granted just one wish, I would turn back the hands of time, just to see my kids grow up all over again. But this time, I’d take my own advice and slow down just a little. There was some really good stuff going on there and I’d like to do it all over again. Maybe that’s where grandparenting comes in to play only in a scaled down mini version. In so many ways, those kids have made me who I am today, and I never hesitate to tell them just how important they are to me.
Those crazy years were the very best times of my life, memory gaps included (I think)!