Sunday, July 22, 2012

We Brothers {are} Three

"Let's ride, brother!" Gordy says, as he hands Spencer a hat and they grab their stick hoses (both named Bud). In sync, they tug on the rim of their pink Stetsons and saddle up.

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Cowboys in Pink (they adopted the girls' hats)

I pause by the doorway to listen. They use the word brother in every other sentence and I laugh.

"You got your hat, brother?" "Hey brother! This way!" "You okay over there, brother?"

None of our other children used familial titles like this. But when these two call each other "brother" (instead of their name) I have to smile. It feels like a throwback to our Mormon pioneer days, a quirky term of endearment that both cracks and fills me up.

Every time I hear it I think how grateful I am they came barreling into the world together.

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Yesterday I decided to take photos of my favorite time of day. Wake-up time.

I love pulling these sleepy-heads out of bed before dinner. I love the smell in their room. That sweet, sweaty, clean diaper smell. I love the way they flop onto my shoulder as I carry them into the living room. I love looking into their glazed eyes as they melt into the seams of the sofa.

I usually squeeze myself right in between them, pull one blonde head under my arm, and then the other. We sit there together, a threesome. No one moves much as I smell their sun-bleached curls, caress the soft silkiness that is fading from their skin. They're outgrowing that baby skin. Before long their toes and palms will feel differently. And they won't say, "I want to hold you" (translation: "hold me"), like they do now.

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Spence can sport a pretty good nap-afro.

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So I asked Gordon, "What will I do when you get so old I can't hold you?" A prospect all three of us can't quite imagine. His answer was matter-of-fact. "We still little Mommy!"

Yes you are, my darling boy. But not for long.

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You see, getting big is an invisible process. It happens so surreptitiously we suddenly find ourselves there, not really sure how it happened. But I'm glad the change is subtle. Maybe I will mourn it less. Because heaven knows I'm going to miss you little, as much as I know I'll adore you big.

Occasionally, the path ahead opens up to me, wakes me entirely, like a flicker of lightning in the distance. And I see who my children will become. It shakes me into loving them now, feeling content to cuddle long after naps, swoop them into my arms and kiss them crazy, soak up spilled milk, get knocked off balance by spontaneous head butts into my thigh. These are precious days.

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In June we celebrated the boys' 3rd birthday. It was a small gathering of grandparents, two cousins, and my sister-in-law Shirlee, who just moved from Malaysia back to the states. I did a poor job of taking pictures that day. I only have a few of the boys and none of our thoughtful party-goers.

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The boys dutifully closed their eyes in anticipation of a big surprise. (Spencer above, Gordon below.)

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"Blue for me! And red for you, Gordon!" Spencer said.

They've been riding the neighbors' plasma cars for months now. We figured it was time they had their own.

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Grandma Nae and Poppa Jim bought them some new dinosaurs. Now they can both take care of a T-Rex, feed it baby dinosaurs, and snarl over territorial domains.

Mom actually likes T-Rex too. He's been known to make guest appearances at the breakfast table, take people's orders and serve bowls of cereal. (I do a pretty good dinosaur imitation, especially when I don't get enough sleep.)

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They clapped their hands when they saw the baby dinos on their cake,

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glanced once or twice at each other for the sake of coordination...

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then blew!

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"We brothers are three!"

And life with our used-to-be-five-under-five has shifted. Things are getting easier. We're becoming more mobile. We move across the pool parking lot less like a train led by a double stroller engine, and more like an amoeba. My ten small feet are finding paths of independence, doing more and more on their own, and it is good.

Looking back, I wonder how we made it this far. By the grace of God, I tell you. By the grace of God. And the kindness of many wonderful people.

Happy Birthday boys!

Spence, your gentle heart and spontaneous kisses make me melt. I appreciate the way you share, run when I call, and love. Gordy, your bright eyes match your spinning mind. I can't wait to see where your energy takes you. You two are true brothers. Rarely without each other. And I'm delighted you prefer it that way.

xoxo Mom

10 comments:

  1. How beautiful! They are so handsome. What a wonderful day for you. I still remember the day in the hall outside the chapel when you told me that your last attempt took and that you were pregnant. Then, after your departure, I still remember when Scot announced from the pulpit that you were expecting identical twins. I thought, "The Lord definitely wanted those two kids in that family." How wonderful!

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  2. these photographs are beautiful of these beautiful little boys. cath, your life is rich and filled with amazing joy. happy birthday to these little guys...what a difference three years make. xox

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  3. They are SO cute...and love the Plasma cars....we wore ours out literally. Boys are so much fun to raise...busy busy busy (especially those early years-you've made it through some of the busiest). Hope your summer is going well!

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  4. Aw, happy belated birthday! 3 is so very big and yet so very small. Love this age.

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  5. Erin - what a sweet memory to share here. I still remember all our stroller walks in the cultural hall during sunday school. those were good conversations! love you.

    Cristie - yes, three years has made a big difference! thanks for your happy words.

    Sarah - i'm actually having fun riding those plasma cars MYSELF! no doubt you've worn yours out with all those boys. which btw, is making me SO excited to know what you're having! countdown lady, countdown. sending you lots of love.

    Tracy - i do too. sage observation: so big yet so small. your "three" post made me laugh. nothing wrong with being a chicken mama. xo

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  6. What a treasure this blog will be for your kids...

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  7. You will always carry those small kids in your heart no matter how old they have really become, but having spent all your time with them and given them your best you will at least have no regrets. And it is such a pleasure to see them grow into independent persons and having those grown up children being your ecuals, but with that strong love still there. THAT is the pay we get from doing this job every day and it a good one.

    This is the best job on earth (and the hardest) and God will bless us forever for doing. My mother-in-law says that doing this with all our hearts alone will take us to the celestial kingdom and let't hope she's right!

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  8. Darling Cath, this post is so very sweet. Those boys are so very lucky to be in your family and so lucky to have each other. I love the pictures you've taken of them. Their post-nap afros are just adorable.

    I love the words you've written here. You write about the simple moments of life with such eloquence. I can absolutely relate to the "spontaneous head butts". Ha! "It shakes me into loving them now"…such words of wisdom.

    I'll be hopefully getting back to normal soon and will write just as soon as I do.

    Sending you love. I've missed you and your words. xo

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  9. Kristen - if nothing else, right?

    Monica - I love the thought of spending quality time with my grown-up children (as "equals" like you said), while still holding close the memory of them small. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    Anne Marie - you know the spontaneous head butts? ;) well, of course you do with all those boys! thanks for stopping in for a bit. I've missed your thoughts. Definitely. But I'm so happy for the new changes in your life. Hoping all is well and you are feeling happy and content with your life. Please tell me more when you have time. Blessings!

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  10. "Things are getting easier". I love it! I was just talking to a twin mom tonight and she told me that she didn't believe me a year ago (when her twins were teeny tiny) when I told her that things would get easier. But somehow they do and we just have to say it aloud for ourselves and others to hear. I heart their white locks, by the way.

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