I feel badly for people who can’t find their cars when it’s cold outside. Tonight as I was waiting to turn into a parking spot at Target, I noticed a woman looking incredibly lost. She continued stopping and going and looking in circles. Then she spotted it: her car! Her body language shifted from confused and shoulders hunched to happy and peppy! I was so happy for her! Know why? Because it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside! That’s freezing! She was walking around looking for her car in the freezing cold. I sympathized, nay, empathized with her. Not because I have lost my car in the cold – as a matter of fact I walked right back to my prime parking spot with all the speed and fervor in which I had left it – but because I’ve been a mother of twins for one year.
It’s not exactly the same as walking around in the freezing cold looking for a car, but it’s surprisingly similar. The first couple nights I was so happy! I had babies! Two of them! Who wouldn’t be elated? I had the babies and they were healthy and going home with me! I hadn’t slept in months, but that’s irrelevant. Just like the lady leaving Target, presumably pleased with her purchases and heading out into the parking lot to get into her predictable car and turn on the heat. Only there was something she wasn’t expecting…
And that’s the rest of the year. Me – unexpectedly taking on every detail of two tiny humans. It didn’t always feel like hypothermia slowly taking over my body, but it had it’s moments. I remember once standing in their nursery. I was holding one and the other was in the crib. It was about 2am (or 3, or 4, is there really a difference?) and both of them were crying. When I say crying, I don’t mean that in the cute baby way. Not a single tear poetically rolling down each of their gorgeous faces. I mean ugly crying. Screaming and wailing and completely inconsolable. Sure, they sounded like baby dolls (and that was cute) but I was sleep deprived. So what’s a new mama with two crying babies to do? Join them!
I cried along with my babies that night. We all cried until we were too tired to cry anymore. Then we all went to sleep. It’s like we found our cars that cold night, turned on the heat, and enjoyed some relaxing music. Here’s where the analogy breaks down, I didn’t drive home. Nothing was back to how it was before. I keep getting out of the car, going into Target, and roaming around the parking lot in the cold over and over again. Every time I think that I’ve figured it out – we have our routine down, everything is going smoothly – BAM! New phase. They’re growing and learning and advancing. It’s absolutely amazing.
Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The last year has been nothing like I could have imagined, more than I ever expected, and every other wonderful cliche about loving the unexpected. I’m glad that woman found her car. Not only because she was standing in the parking spot that I wanted while she looked for it, but also because it’s warm in there. That’s where the ride happens for most people. But this last year for me was all about the parking lot.
Wish my twins a happy first birthday!