I've been behind on writing to my girls since the blog has been idle... so I wanted to start off with something for them. So if you can't handle a lot of mommy-sap... maybe come back another day. Because I have a few months worth of sappiness to catch up on and I'm cramming it all into one post. :)
They're 18 months old. WHAT?!?!?
No. Not true. They're actually 1 week away from being 19 months.
I think I'll go cry in a corner about that. My babies are no longer babies and that is exciting and heartbreaking and SO MUCH FUN and SO MUCH WORK... all at the same time.
And every week, every month, something is new. Something is changing. and I just want to capture that.
So without further adieu... my 18 mo. letter to my girls.
Girls, I recognize that this phase of our lives, well these are the days that we spend ALL of our time together. From here on out, we start to say a long goodbye. You get a little more of your independence with every day we move away from your birth. Call me dramatic, but it's true. I see it in how you both would rather walk than be carried. In how you need alone time every now and then. I see it when I watch you through a glass window playing with other kids at church or our gym. And this is a beautiful thing, but this mama's heart is really wrestling with you growing big and strong. I'm already missing our early days and nights spent together. But on the other hand, I get so excited when I see you learn new things, and love to watch you play with other people.
And I LOVE seeing your grow as sisters and individuals.
The thing about having two of you is that there is SO MUCH that you do together and there is so much that is the SAME (especially since you're truly identical)... that I fear that if not careful, we will hide your individuality behind your beautiful sisterly bond. I hold tightly to the truth that in my belly, while you were still in my womb, the Lord created you UNIQUE and individually in HIS image. One of my fears is that you won't be secure in who you are as individuals, which is silly because you both are already so strong and independent. I just don't want you to always be "the salmon twins," although I recognize that it will almost be impossible to avoid! Rather I want you to be Fe & NJ, strong individual girls who love each other dearly, but are secure in your similarities AND differences.
So I wanted to document some of these for you... When you both were born, you were the exact same size... which is freakish for twins. Usually there is some discrepancy. But not with you. You came out looking exactly the same, with red hair, and tiny little features. But even then, you were different. And the weird thing is, even in my belly, your personalities shined brightly, and they've continued to do so every day since.
Fe, you are our fighter. You came out swinging. Quite literally. In the NICU you quickly conquered milestone after milestone and wowed our doctors and nurses. This has been true of you throughout your life. You quickly figured out how to go up and down stairs on your belly, but you watch your dad and I walk down the stairs and you've already decided you can walk down like an adult too. So you try, and you fail miserably because well, you're legs are too short. But, the point is, you saw the task at hand, and have already figured out how to conquer it. Now all you're waiting for is your legs to catch up with you. I love that about you. You are so curious and want to figure everything out. You are adventuresome & passionate, but you are also SO FULL OF JOY. I love to watch you laugh. There is a small part of my soul that lights up every time you smile. You love to play dress up, and love jewelry and purses. You are a girly girl already, but you are a strong girly girl. I love that you absolutely adore playing with other kids, especially bigger kids. You know no fear. You are strong, you are brave, yet you still love to snuggle with mama when you first wake up. My lil fireball, you are funny, kind hearted, and you love people. And you bring your mama's heart so much joy. I adore you.
NJ, you on the otherhand, you are my tender hearted child. You go at your own pace and accomplish things when you're ready, not when anyone pushes you. In the NICU, it wasn't that you were behind at all, because both you and your sister were significantly ahead for your gestational age. But you did it on your own time. There was no rushing you! When you and your sister learned to roll over, Fe worked at it for days and weeks. You, however, took one look at your sister doing it and decided you could as well... and you mastered rolling over within seconds. There was no pushing you. I love that about you and hope that characteristic follows you throughout life. You have a big heart; I can see that even now. The way you love your sister, your daddy, & me is precious. You love big, my little one. You love big and you love hard. And I can't wait to see how that plays out. You love to be tickled and you really enjoy your play kitchen. You carry around kitchen plates and cups, and when I'm cooking in the kitchen, you like to "help." You love to laugh, and when music comes on you cock your head to the side and do your dance. It's as if your joy cannot be contained and can only be expressed through movement to music. It's beautiful. I cannot tell you how much your dad and I love to watch you dance. You love to play with other kids too, but you are also content to go and do your own thing if you see something else that catches your eye. Your free spirit is beautiful, tender hearted, and brings so much joy to my heart. You are our happy go lucky baby, and I love being your mom.
You both are starting to jabber a lot. When I put you down for your naps, you toss out all of your blankets and pacifiers, and you jump up and down, yell gibberish at each other, and giggle. I get nothing done the first hour of nap time because i stand near your door and listen to you laugh & watch you on the monitor. My heart explodes from emotion when I see you laughing together. You both have no problem expressing when you're upset... and although you love playing together, you are great at letting each other know when you need some space.
These are some of the details of who you are. But the important thing to remember is that your life has purpose, both of your lives. Although our lives as family members are intertwined, God designed each life with a beautiful & unique purpose. Before you were even born, God knew how many hairs would be on each of your heads. He knew which gifts he would give you in order to bless His kingdom. He knew how much you would both be used to bless me and your father. He knows the pain that awaits you, and he knows the joys. And He has given both of you a different set of tools to get through each season. But He has also given you both each other, parents that love you dearly, His church and Holy Spirit. My daughters, never forget that, and never stray far from those truths.
And with every new stage that comes remember this as well...
Your dad and I, well, we are your biggest fans. We are in your corner. Always. There is nothing you can say or do that will change that. Ever. And we adore you.
That's enough sap for today. You are loved little ones.