Nursing a pretty massive late-night-fireworks hangover today so bear with me.
These summer days are great. Arbor hangs out in her underwear from sun up to…sun up. Her hair is permanently tangled and when I try to brush it, she states indignantly “This is ME!” (Same as when I ask her to put on clothes.) She’s a wild spirit, strong-willed and ferocious and I’m fast losing the ability to manage her in general. Summer is made for kids like this; she has a sprinkler, sidewalk chalk, popsicles, and a living room full of toys. She roams freely between the house and the porch and the front yard and her favorite climbing tree–no cold weather to stop her, no coats or shoes to worry about. It’s good to be Arbor Joy.
Lucy is the perfect child. I cannot describe her any other way. She’s cool and calm and smiley and cuddly; she takes naps and sleeps 12 hours straight at night. She eats everything I make for her. She gives slobbery kisses whenever the mood strikes her. She babbles and shrieks. She is a bit adventurous and climb-y, but this is nothing we can’t handle and the big kids are a humongous help when it comes to keeping an eye on the little ones.
Merrick is an antsy little ten-year-old. He’s forever designing/inventing/constructing/DE-constructing, and I can’t keep him out of the tools (that he’s probably not supposed to use). As much as I hate the inevitable messes that come with these projects, I admire his energy and I marvel at his creativity. He’s the kindest, most gentle and patient little boy I’ve ever known, and that’s not just mom-bragging; I’m in actual awe of his superior big-brothering skills.
Mia stays fairly busy with softball, and workouts, and church camps and get-togethers with friends, and texting her friends, and being lost in her music. She’s so tall and strong and beautiful that I can hardly believe she belongs to me–that she is the same sparkly-eyed little preschooler climbing trees in her Mary Janes and camo shorts just last week.
I’m nothing except utterly exhausted these days. There is no Toni anymore, only a factory running on fumes to turn food into babies. I’ve become completely anti-social: too tired to leave the couch, too much in a brain fog to carry on a conversation lasting longer than five minutes. I experience a number of incredibly uncomfortable twin pregnancy symptoms, and I’m happy to deal with all of them and more as long as the babies are alive and growing–which they are.
Pregnancy this time around, though, to be clear: it’s physically hard. Having a baby at 24 is infinitely different than having one (or two) at 38. My body is already working double time on producing those wonderful hormones that loosen your hips and wreck your back, according to my doctor. Five full-term pregnancies under my belt and all my parts are like “oh, this again? I’m on it.” So here I am just barely entering the second trimester yet feeling (and looking–yes, looking) at least six months along.
We should find out the answer to the big question at our next ultrasound within the month. On daughters vs sons, I have zero preference–losing babies will do that to you. We have names chosen in any case, and plans for their nursery, and a switch on the horizon for Lucy (upstairs she goes–an official big-girl move).
I want to burn these days into my memory. Part of me wishes these kids would stay this way forever; the other part of me knows there are exciting things to come for each of them as they grow older, and I look forward to that. Our family has changed so much over the past fourteen years, and it continues to do so. I love it, I’m thankful for it, and I’m ready to embrace the next chapter.