It was about this time last year that Caleb, Mia, Merrick, and I were driving back from THE ultrasound appointment, the kids singing exuberantly along to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” because they were getting both a new brother and a new sister–and me, snarfing French fries in the front seat because, twins.
That moment has cemented in my brain as one of the happiest memories of my life.
Twins! I knew with all my heart they were my Duncan and Endellion (Bye forever, Ben and Ollie!) and I’m aware that I talk about it a lot but two babies at a time is MA LYFE. This past year has been an actual Cat 5 whirlwind, but like on fire. TWINS. I have four kids under four. Plus 3. Who let this happen, who?
I remember thinking–back in 2012 before all this madness, when Merrick was getting ready to start school–that life was about to get so much easier. No more little babies screaming. No more breastfeeding or baby food; no more canine acquisitions, no more car seats. I was going to work and make money. I was going to wear cute clothes and lipstick. was going to run and lose weight. We were going to travel, and oh! The pictures I was going to take and upload to social media!
I was going to be a calmer mom then, with perfectly vacuumed floors, and this was going to make me a cooler person in general and my husband would love me more and I’d have more friends if only I could just get all the kids in school during the day so I could concentrate on bettering myself and cleaning my house.
I don’t know what changed. I remember having Arbor and being very much extremely done; but then God booped us with a crazy wand because we effectively doubled our kid count within the last two years alone.
It’s absolutely insane here. Someone is always hungry (me, half the time), someone is always crying (also me), and someone is always, always naked (honestly this could be anyone).
We got another dog, rounding us out to an even 4. Dog hair is the new furniture and flooring.
And let me not bring up the dirty little secret our family has that everyone knows about but nobody talks about OKAY I’M TOTALLY GOING TO BRING IT UP: Babies spit up, like, so much. And dogs? Well…they follow me around when I’m carrying a baby for a reason, and it bothered me for a while but now I ain’t even mad, I’m just like “whatever, thanks for cleaning.”
IT HAS COME TO THIS Y’ALL. This is my life now and I admit, it’s a new low for me, but…
I’m happier than I have ever, ever been. I’m busier. I shower less. I wear makeup less often. I do my hair maybe once a week. I have worn more human fluids on my person in the past yet then I have in the past decade. The general clutteriness of a six-kid family would work 2013’s Pinterest Toni smooth into a panic attack. (But seriously, THE CLUTTER.)
I wasted so much time striving and straining to attain the golden suburban standard: so much time wasted. I drove myself nuts. I limited my own happiness. (I’d say I stifled God’s creativity but we all know God is not stifled. But He is very creative.)
I have zero minutes for a lot of busyness that takes away from my family, but I do try and make time for the most important stuff: Reading “The Foot Book” to Lucy all day every day. Letting her pray 15 times over lunch. Teaching Arbor how to train a puppy. Letting her comb my hair. Making peanut butter and honey sandwiches for all the children in the world. Giggling on my bed and playing my dulcimer with Mia. Building with Legos and watching Marvel movies with Merrick. Cuddling chunky babies.
Begging Cheyenne with my eyes to move back to Oklahoma and open up a bakery:
Painting a picture. Running (horrendously). Texting hilarious memes to my friends.
Going on hikes with my husband.
My point is, nothing is how I planned it or dreamed it or hoped it a decade ago, and nothing at all is perfect, but it is the most best incredible life I never even knew I needed.
Book the hotel. Eat the cake. Grab your friend’s hand and pray for her even though it’s awkward. Go to church. Sing the songs; sing them loud. Love the people. Have the baby. Have another one. Adopt, because why not. Get the dog. Stand back out of the way and let God do absolutely senseless ridiculous things with your life, and then praise the crap out of Him for all of it.