Birthday Boys

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Birthday Boys

It’s been 12 years, to the day today that the boys up there were born.

People who have twins get all kinds of lines from the other parents and non-parents out there.  I never paid them much attention until my late wife became pregnant with the boys.  It was then we all started to notice things.

First, a ton of family came out of the woodwork – on both sides, mine and my wife’s – to say “Oh! Did you know (insert family member’s name here) had twins?!”  Or we also got “such and such had twins and . . . did you know twins run in the family?!”

Um…no.  We didn’t know that twins ran in both our families.  Had we known that at the time I’m not sure it would have made a difference but we might have had it in the back of our minds that twins were a distinct possibility.

Let me just say, too, there were others that seemed jealous of the whole thing.

“Oh! I wish I had twins” was one. “I always thought it would be great to have twins as my first kid” was the other.

We were naive. We had two girls and figured . . . since we were parenting two how hard could two be at once? The reality was far different from the thought. Twins, you see, aren’t double the work. I’d put it at 5 to 10 times the work. There are schedules you need to keep. If you feed them separately you end up never sleeping.

I’ll be honest, I cannot say that I remember a lot from the first 6 months of the boys’ lives.  I remember my brother coming to visit the week they were born, along with my folks.  I remember that I had no sleep . . . none . . . for what seemed like an eternity.  This wasn’t the “oh we miss sleep” that a parent gets when they’re baby’s first born.  This was the “I feel like I stayed up cramming for finals after drinking a fifth of Scotch 5 days in a row” kind of exhaustion.

Yet there was just something about these two as well.  My sons, from the moment they came out of the womb, had different personalities.  All the people who debate if you are born with a personality trait at all need only look at my boys. Noah and Sam could not be more different.  The introvert and the extrovert.  They’re amazing little guys.

It’s been a spectacular 12 years, too.  The boys have adjusted to life with just their dad far better than I would ever have expected.  When she passed away they had their birthday just a couple weeks later. I hadn’t even thought about presents or a party or what to do. Their grandparents – at the time both sets were here in town – were there. We had cake and ice-cream and we had what may have been the least memorable of their celebrations. They didn’t care. We were together, what was now a new, insane and goofy family was together. They told me if they’d each gotten one present and it was a can of soup they didn’t care. We were all there. That was when they turned 8. Imagine where they are now?

But it should come as no surprise. They thirst for knowledge. They read incessantly. They are like Felix and Oscar in The Odd Couple.  One is obsessive, clean to a fault.  The other…well…he’s got clothes still in my laundry baskets and the rest on the floor.  They broke their beds and now have bunk beds, one meticulously made and organized the other with the covers haphazardly tossed willy-nilly across the mattress.

That said, they are the celebratory boys today. Twelve years to the day these little amazing creatures crawled into my life.

I couldn’t be happier for them.

Happy birthday to my twin wonders.

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