Monday, October 4, 2010

A re-do wish?

I don't have a lot of regrets in my life.  Only a couple.  One of the biggest is that I don't remember the first six months to one year of the twins' life.

 I really don't.

There are a lot of reasons--severe sleep deprivation, a bit of untreated postpartum depression (see previous reason...), work, and denial.  I didn't realize at the time that my life with tiny twins was unique and would be gone in a second. I didn't keep a journal so I can't really trust my memories.  I started writing a blog a few years ago so that forgetting would never happen again.

But, every once in a while it feels like there just isn't much to remember.  There's nothing exciting to write about--I still feel nauseated (pregnant).  the boys love football.  we had another trip to the ER. homework still gets ignored sometimes and the socks STILL aren't matched.  Hmmm.

This line of thinking led me to a specific memory...

I do not like flying.  I never have.   I have a few stand out memories in my life that reinforce my dislike of airplane travel:  A tiny, toddling Benson grabbing a strange man's water and dumping it all over the lap of his nice suit pants;  running out of my stash of "desperation only treats" before the plane even left the runway;  trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to keep two pairs of three-year-old legs from kicking the seat of the glaring woman in front of me.  Most of the time those things were just unavoidable and unchangeable side effects of flying with tiny children.

There is, however one particular flight that I really wish I could re-do.

 I sat next to a businessman who was eager to show me pictures of his bikini-clad identical twin toddler daughters.  He went on to talk (for most of the flight) about how he took his girls and the nanny ("who had her own separate room of course") on a business trip to Hawaii so his wife could have time to pursue her career.

"And sometimes", he bragged, "I have the housekeeper just take the girls outside to play so my wife can have time to cook whatever she wants".

And--he was quick to mention--his wife was busy writing a book about how to raise twins.  *excuse me while I chuckle for a minute...*

He talked about interviewing preschools for his girls so they could start on "the right path-because you can't get into the right schools if you don't start in preschool."  He talked about tennis lessons and music lessons.  He went on and on.  I felt like I was being lectured in a very subtle manner.  Like he was trying to graciously show a poor woman what real life is like.  For one of the only times in my life, I really didn't know what to say.

For the first time in my life I felt like a dowdy, uneducated woman who had a million (four at the time...) kids.

What I know now and wish I had said then is that I would never, ever trade my life for his.  Not even for a trip to Hawaii with a nanny. I am sorry for all the things those kids will miss.

I love to see my kids ride bikes down the street and run barefoot to the neighbors to see if they can play.
I love having sweaty, dirt-covered faces show up for lunch every single day.
I love that I don't have to have a number and identification to pick my kids up from school.  They see my car and come running.
I love sitting on the grass at football games while my kids play under the bleachers with all the other kids.
I love that I can go to the park packed with  moms and kids eating lunch and leave to see that not one person (I'm not kidding here) has left their garbage on the lawn.  Every other mom is saying "if you don't pick it up then who will?"

I love it. Love it.  LOVE it.

I come from a long, long line of happy moms who are married to happy dads who have raised happy kids who have made great contributions in life.  Who can argue with that?

Tennis lessons, fancy preschools and exclusive nannies are just poor substitutions.  It's the regular old life that I want to remember.  If I ever sat next to that man again I would tell him how sorry I am that he can't have my life.  And I would completely mean it.

And I'm going to write about it so I don't ever forget one minute.


beck said...

Best post you've ever written.

Thank you again for being my sister. You inspire me.

It's the hard parts about raising the kids that makes it so refining and meaningful. Just like everything else.

Camisetta said...

Love the blog! I can't believe his wife is writing a book on how to raise twins... Keep rocking it, Kim!

sariah said...

Love your post Kim!