I miss the days when my twins were small and took a nightly bath, put on fresh pajamas and watched “Rugrats” on television before going to bed at 8:00 p.m. They were so cute and followed the plan without deviation. I liked that control.
They are talking now–I can hear their man-voices in their room, discussing whatever it is that 15-year old boys find necessary to discuss at 12:30 a.m. They haven’t showered in over twenty-four hours and they haven’t worn pajamas with zippers in many years.
I no longer have a complete inventory of every thought in their heads. I can’t control every thing they see and everything they hear. I do, however, make them sit on the bottom stair from time to time when they make me so angry I could spit nails. They are taller than me, so I’m always a little bit surprised and relieved when they actually obey me.
I miss their soft skin. Their legs are hairy and their chins are sprouting whiskers. I can’t imagine trusting them with razors, but that day is fast approaching.
I don’t have to remind them to wear deodorant on most days.
They can lift heavier loads than I can. I remember toting them both in my arms as I walked down the stairs, so this seems incongruous that they are stronger than me now.
I remember the time they ate ketchup for lunch. Just ketchup in a bowl. Now, they eat vast quantities of everything, including ketchup but only on other food. A gallon of milk disappears in a day.
They once seemed to be mine, but I know they never really were. They are separate and distinct people and I just hope that I’m preparing them to be successful human beings. I can’t imagine setting them loose in the world in three years when they are 18, legally adults. I have friends whose children have gone off to college and I just can’t imagine it.
I still hear their rumbling voices in the next room having a private conversation and just like I thought they would be in footie-pajamas forever, I think their voices will fill that room forever, but of course, one day I’ll look back on this with shock at how quickly it all ended.
And I will have to apologize to their wives for being unable to teach them to lower the toilet seat and take their dishes to the kitchen sink and their balled up socks to the laundry room.