Five years ago today, I was having turtles. Shell and neck, times two. Twin boys. At 34 weeks. And 48 years old.
Five years ago, we were zooming up the interstate toward Chattanooga, anxious and uncomfortable. I was flat on my back on a stretcher in an ambulance, twins riding my bladder, magnesium surfing my bloodstream. NOT a pleasant combination.
My husband was following behind me in our newly-purchased Town&Country minivan.
I’d never ridden in an ambulance. I’d definitely never wanted to. My husband had never driven a minivan. He’d definitely never wanted to. But here we were.
I’d also never been a boy mom. Nor had I ever had a c-section. The whole Boy Mom thing, I wanted. The emergency c-section, not so much.
But five years ago today, the ambulance, the Boy Mom thing, and the c-section would soon be under my belt — right along with a six-inch serated scar.
Our little heroes on a half-shell were coming early. Born on the spring equinox. To a mother old enough to be their grandmother.
Five years ago today.
And it’s been a tough five years, I’ll grant you that. And I don’t rightly know if it’s because there’s two of them. Or because they’re boys. Or, again, because I’m old enough to be their grandmother.
I’m thinking it’s a combo of all three.
But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Unless you catch me at a weak moment — like 6:15 AM on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Because one of our turtles, he thinks sleeping-in is overrated.
So I might be willing to trade one of them for sleep.
But then, he climbs into bed between Mike and me, and he rubs my face and crinkles his nose and tells me he loves me.
And dad-gum-it, I have to forgive him.
After all, he forgives me every day. They both do. Every. Single. Day.
They forgive me for losing my temper over petty things like dropping gummy vitamins the same color as our throw rug onto the rug… EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.
They forgive me for not knowing the convoluted family trees of the humans and animals on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
They forgive me for feeding them grilled cheese sandwiches and Cheeto balls on weeknights far more often than the food pyramid or our pediatrician would recommend.
And they forgive me for not having the patience, energy, or pop culture knowledge of a mother half my age.
Turtles, I have discovered, are full of forgiveness.
And the snuggles make all of it… every sticky, gummy-pressed-into-carpet morning, every stale sandwich-crust-slipped-under-coffee-table weeknight, every PBS-DisneyJr-rerun-filled weekend, every Saturday-morning-sunrise wake up… all completely worth it.
Yes, today is our boys’ fifth birthday. It’s the spring equinox. And it’s a full moon — a super moon.
Maybe that’s why I forgot the youngest turtle’s shoes this morning, not realizing it until the preK director pointed it out as he was unloading in the school drop-off line.
But he forgives me for that, too.
Yes, turtles are snuggly, forgiving little creatures. Happy 5th Birthday, fellas! Mama and Daddy love you SO MUCH!