11 Months + 1 Year

Twins 11 months

I took this picture on May 19th last year, the boys’ 11 month birthday (back when a turn of the calendar constituted a new milestone). As I recall, they were just beginning to take first steps and I spent my days watching them step and fall, get up and repeat.

Step, fall, get up, repeat.

They slipped, bumped heads, hits corners, and collided when momentum took on speed without brakes, but still they would get up and do it all again. Perhaps knowing that if they just kept trying, kept putting one foot in front of the other, something miraculous would happen.

Now they charge ahead without caution or boundaries, unaware of danger or perpetrators or objects moving at a speed capable of ripping apart our world in seconds.

I both love and fear this stage.

twin boys

I feel like I’ve spent the last 11 months + one year in survival mode, and on what is metaphorically the eve of their second birthday, I’m wondering when exactly my babies became little boys.

I’ve been wandering into their room late at night to watch them sleep. I put my hand close to their noses or gently rest it on their bellies to be sure of their breathing, just as I did when they were infants. Once upon a time, one crib held them both with room to spare but now they look like giants stretched across separate beds.

The thing about raising twins is that rituals and routines become more like assembly lines, which causes everything to happen lightning fast, and this has maybe been the most difficult part for me — the surrendering of a sense of authenticity, of an organic flow to our days, always having to choose who needs me more in that moment. There’s a kind of freedom, a sense of luxury, that comes with a singleton that I didn’t even notice until I had twins.

But then there’s something else too.

These boys speak their own language, something secret and exclusive (or maybe it’s Turkish). They converse mostly in gestures and laughs but every now and then I catch them chitchatting in their native Turkish and it catches my breath, knowing the moment is rare and fleeting. The other day our new neighbors came over with their two year old boy. As we were talking grown up talk, I turned around to see Wyatt and this little boy engaged in a back-and-forth conversation (turns out he speaks Turkish too). Pretty soon Luke wandered over and joined their conversation. And it really was a conversation. The little boy would say something and my boys would wait until he was finished before responding. And the more I watched, the more it became clear to me what my boys were saying: “Look, we like you and we’ll hang out with you, but mess with my brother and it’s over.”

I’ve always said that I might not be able to give them all of me but I gave them each other. To finally witness this bond take shape makes me realize that assembly lines or not, we’ve always had our own little luxuries.

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21 thoughts on “11 Months + 1 Year

    • Lara says:

      I try but they chitchat most when they think I’m not around, like when they wake up from naps. As soon as I enter their room (there’s no way to enter without them seeing me), they stop and become more interested in getting out of their cribs. They’ll talk sometimes when they’re playing but it’s so short that by the time I grab my camera/phone/iPod they’re over it. I just need to be sneakier.

  1. Anna Spanos says:

    I’ve been asking the same question of myself lately – when did my little baby girl suddenly become my Little Girl? How is it possible for her to seem so grown and so independent when she’s still so very young?
    I too find that I’m responding to this shift by regressing a bit – lately all I want is to carry her around like an infant and coo at her and cuddle. She has her own ideas of course, and I know that I need to support her growth into independence, but it’s all I can do to not try stuffing her back into a baby carrier for our walks, or swaddling her like a burrito and putting her to sleep in bed next to me instead of the crib.it took us so long to get her to sleep in. I want to think that it’ll get easier watching her grow older (and away from me), but I’ve got a feeling it’ll be just as hard a decade or two from now.
    Happy birthday to your boys!

    • Lara says:

      Unfortunately, if watching my 6 year old daughter get older and more independent is any indication, it will always be bittersweet. I love the person she’s becoming and the relationship we have now, but it happens so fast. One day she was swaddled in her bassinet, the next she was skipping into Kindergarten. Tomorrow she’ll be driving and then off to college come fall. Sigh.

  2. Lindsey Mead (@lemead) says:

    This is so, so lovely. I’m jealous of the reddish tint I see in that blond neck… 🙂 My husband and father are both twins and I definitely think it’s an enormous gift you’ve given them. Lucky them, lucky you. xox

    • Lara says:

      Ah, yes, they do sport a reddish tint, though it shows up more in pictures for some reason. Your husband and father are BOTH twins? What are the chances? 🙂

    • Lara says:

      My boys will be 2 next month as well (this post started as a reflection on the picture I took of them at 11 months, one month before their first birthday). Cheers to the wonderful world of terrible twos!

  3. now at home mom says:

    wow! almost 2 years old! they look adorable in that first picture 🙂 one of my best friend is a twin and she says that her and her sister used to have their own language, their own words and loved playing together but I’m sure it must be exhausting having 2 little boys running around!

    • Lara says:

      It’s just so different than it was with Mia, and sometimes I yearn for the calmer, more peaceful days I had when she was little. Life just seemed to move slower, I could shower all my attention on her. However, there’s definitely never a dull moment with these boys around. They bring the party. 🙂

  4. Mary Ann Fritz says:

    Love your blog! Little boys ARE a challenge, but their mamas (like you and Missy) wouldn’t trade the world for them! Energetic, healthy little testosterone-charged beings are, certainly, a world of difference than their sisters!!

  5. runningafterale says:

    Just beautiful ! Happy birthday to your boys! I love that you say they speak Turkish. I think my boy does also! It amazes me how they can communicate so much with themselves and speak this “Turkish “. It’s like they can read each other’s minds.

  6. twinmama27 says:

    Thank you for putting into words some of the things I feel. My boys are two and a half and the chit chat is amazing. Their words are gaining clarity and I hope I can get them on tape before their “Turkish” goes away.

    • Lara says:

      Thanks so much for reading! I love hearing from fellow twin moms. It truly is such a unique bond and it’s nice to connect with those who ‘get it’. xx

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