These precious two. This tiny band of brothers. These little humans that ushered me into motherhood. We are hurtling towards their birthdays later this month, and my heart is a little swollen from looking at newborn pictures of them both. They are still little... but they were just SO little.
How is it that 7 pounds, 6 ounces contained Oliver's whole being? Or that all of Milo was tucked neatly inside a 20 inch frame?
It seems like now their skin can't even quite contain them. There is just so much Oliver and Milo bursting at the seems at any given moment.
Growing up is just an amazing and alarming process to bear witness to.
They have taken Matt and I places we never would have visited had they not joined the party. It has been beautiful and awkward and difficult and hilarious and disgusting and exhausting. How could we even be Us without them?
But the doors we have walked through with them... I cannot even.
I remember those first set of doors with Oliver. Standing at a set of sinks within the NICU, scrubbing my hands as quickly as possible, aching to get to the tiny bed with our tiny boy inside. Those first doors were hard and ugly and it was a grueling week of waiting. It seemed impossibly hard that week, as so many weeks do when you are walking through them. And now I look back, so grateful that it was only a week. Having known now that so many parents walk through those doors for so many more days and weeks, with situations so much more critical than ours. A week was a gift, that I didn't see at the time.
And the doors we walked through with Milo, two years later. I remember them distinctly, because Matt and I wore the hall out pacing in front of them while we waited for my labor to progress. Dragging a pole with a bag of pitocin hanging from it, up and down the hall of the labor and delivery floor of El Caminio Hospital. And then, in a flash and a flurry he was born. One minute tucked inside me, securely nestled next to my heart, the next minute all pink and fresh, tucked into my arms.
Looking back it still feels like a very brave thing that he and I did together, being born, giving birth. It is a very brave thing.
And gosh, that door on West Riverside Way. That home that held us when we landed in California. How many ins and outs, with diaper bags and grocery bags and trash bags and snack bags. That door saw hugs and kisses and goodbye waves to Daddy every morning. It saw little boys flying through it in diapers and astronaut costumes, in tantrums, and in fits of laugher. We feel so very affectionate toward that door with the chipped paint and the brass knob.
And in January, that dutch door that closed behind him on his first day of preschool. My heart broke a bit as Milo and I walked away. Leaving him with a gaggle of three year olds sitting at pint size tables. And that same dutch door that released him at 2:30 in the afternoon, standing a little taller, with so much energy and bounce pressed into each step. That door he so hesitantly walked through for the first time in January, he raced through the last day in May. That little dutch door.
More recently, I ventured through the doors of the mall arcade with all these tiny men and their dad... for the first time in my life. And watched them run between machines, pushing buttons and firing guns and driving cars. My three year stood at the foot of the Rambo arcade, eyeing the machine gun , and I wondered, "how is this my real life?" and "why aren't we at Build-a-Bear?" But boys and arcades.
And that nursery door, with the little white rocker nestled in the corner with the afghan draped across it. That door that I stumbled though in the middle of the night and in the wee hours of the morning to nurse our tiny baby, to soothe an overtired boy, to gather him in my arms again and again and again. That door saw my tired eyes and exhausted tears and all the way all my loved welled up inside me for the tiny boy with the fuzzy head. It heard the lullabies, and the goodnight prayers and first words.
And now, I glance through this bedroom door. And I think of just how very far we have come from, how very many doors we have walked through with them. How many opens and closes. How we have quietly creeped away from doors with sleeping babies behind them, stepping over the creaking floorboards we have memorized. How we have kissed hurt fingers that have been smashed in those doors, wiping tears and cuddling limp bodies. How we have picked the locks of those same doors with anxious toddlers sticking tiny fingers underneath.
It is just the very best, walking through the doors with these boys and their dad. And I have all the feelings thinking about the doors we will see this coming year with a two and a four year old. I can't believe I get to do this and be this for them and with them.