That first Thanksgiving was hard, so hard that when I think about it I still feel the pain that flowed through my weary body. I remember how I felt that first Thanksgiving, achingly aware that my body was empty. Empty of a baby that I wanted so badly. Empty of the hope of a baby any time soon. I was surrounded by pregnancy in every sphere of my life, and I could barely choke out the words “I’m thankful” when we all shared our Thanksgiving joy around the dinner table. It felt like a lie. I didn’t know how to be thankful when living felt like death and tears came too easily for my comfort.
My sister-in-law and her kids just spent ten days with us. While it was quite the circus around here, I got pretty used to our evening dinners together and growing addiction to Call the Midwife. Parenting alongside another mom for ten days gave me a helpful perspective I've been working through since I became a mom two and a half years ago.
When we were at seminary, we regularly sang the hymn "Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed."he hymn, written for the first graduation ceremony of The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary, is moving and these lines have always stuck with me: "We meet to part, but part to meet."
Most of us can recall a time where God gives us something we think will be the end of us, only to find out later that it was the exact thing God used to strengthen our faith—or give us a better portion than we could have hoped for. Maybe it’s the break-up with the person you were certain you would marry. Yet years later you meet another person, one more suited for you and better than you could have hoped for. Maybe it’s the dream job that fell through.
On Saturday we took the twins to an unused baseball field to let them run around in the outfield. Both boys are at a point in their life where running is their top priority. Since our backyard is fairly uneven, rocky, and has a variety of levels, it's not really conducive for toddler activities. So we have been brainstorming about ways to help them burn their restless energy. And that is how our Saturday activity was born.
Marriage is one of those things that you think you know all about and then you get blindsided by the reality that what you thought you knew really was nothing at all. At least it was that way for me. Before we got married I thought a lot of things about marriage. I had high expectations. I expected that we would spend endless amounts of time together.
Mother's Day is right around the corner. With all of the advertising and social media hype, it's easy to think that Mother's Day is a day where everyone is celebrating with smiles on their faces and children in their arms. But maybe that is not you at all. Maybe the talk about Mother's Day makes you want to crawl into a corner and hide there until Sunday passes. I have a feeling you are not the only one.
One of the many comments I get when I'm out and about with the twins is "you must be so busy!" I guess I am. The truth is, since I have only had twins, I don't know any different. I was thrown into this whole parenting thing with two babies instead of one. So I've learned parenting like the rest of my mom friends, just with less arm and lap space. As you can probably imagine, I get other comments, too. Comments like "Better you than me!" "They must be double trouble!" Those are true statements, too, I guess. When one gets into something, the other usually follows.
People prepared me for a lot of things before the birth of my twin boys last year. I received advice on everything from sleep training, my own impending lack of sleep, the difficulty of learning to be a parent, and that in reality you are never really prepared. I was fully prepared to feel completely unprepared when those two little ones burst on the scene. And they did with complete surprise (eight weeks early!). We were as unprepared as we were ever going to be.