To My Little Loves,
Your 5th birthday was two days ago, and it’s only now starting to hit me. You’re 5. FIVE. There’s just something about five — a whole handful of fingers! — that seems so much older than four. And this leap feels so much more than going from 2 to 3, or from 3 to 4. I feel like you’re finally kids. Like full-fledged KIDS. You’re no longer “little”. I mean, technically you’re still only about 34 lbs. wet, each of you, and neither of you are tall enough to ride the big kid rides at the waterpark. But you’re big, in both mind and spirit, and I can’t believe we really made it this far.
I mean, I knew that this day would come, but it always felt so far into the future. The first year with you two was pretty rough, to put it gently. It’s all pretty much a blur. Thank God I took so many pictures and videos. I look back on them now and it helps me piece together the moments that I stumbled through in a sleep-deprived fog. I worried a lot that I wasn’t bonding with you. I spent so much time juggling bottles and pacifiers and didn’t have as much time as my singleton mom friends to hold each of you alone (which turned out to be a pointless worry because now you are both practically stuck to my hip 24/7!) After your first birthday, I felt so accomplished. We did it!!! And it truly got better and better with every passing stage. And that’s really what it all was — and is — a stage. Constant change, constant shifts, always desperately trying whatever I could find to see if that thing would stick and solve whatever was the problem of the day. The only constant is change. The only thing I can rely on is that nothing will stay the same for long.
And now here we are. You’re five. And I feel a tiny bit sad about it. You’re my only kids, and I’ll never experience the little kid moments again. It’s over. It’s done. But now that I think about it, why is this bothering me so much? I didn’t really enjoy a lot of that time. I’m not really a baby/toddler person. I’m a kid person. I love playing fun games and crafts and taking you out to places knowing you won’t run off anymore. I truly loved the fours. You blossomed into childhood in age 4 and I loved watching you grow and discover. You have become two amazing people and I really couldn’t be prouder of who you have become, as individuals and as a unit.
Maybe it’s because I know it’s going to start getting harder. As Nat always says, “Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.” I feel like we’re in this perfect little pocket of time and the scale is about to tip. It’s your last year of preschool, and next fall you’ll start Kindergarten. We’re at the kid tipping point, perhaps? Soon it will all be about homework, after school activities, and friends. You may want to crawl into my lap less. Ask me to come cuddle with you less. Need me to help you zip up your jacket less.
I’ll be needed less.
Until then I’m going to soak up these cuddles, and pull you in a little bit tighter, and take in a deep breath with my face nestled in your freshly-washed hair, and try not to worry too much. At least you’ve got each other. Thank God you’ve got each other, to help each other out of trouble when I can’t be there. What do moms of singletons do? It gives me so much relief knowing that you’ll be looking out for each other, always — your best friend by your side, forever. I will lean into that feeling and embrace it.
Happy birthday, my two little loves. My babies. And you’ll always be my babies.
Julie Burt Nichols is Twiniversity’s “Wizard Behind the Curtain”, serving as Editor-in-Chief of Twiniversity.com, Account Manager, and Instructor for Chicago Twiniversity classes. Julie is a full-time working mother to twin boys, born on Halloween. She loves serving as a resource and support for new parents, soon-to-be parents, and we-want-desperately-to-be parents. Julie is proud to be a certified child passenger safety technician, and the Twiniversity Resident Songstress/Jingle Writer.