My daughters are ten months apart. No, it wasn’t planned that way. Who in their right mind would plan it that way? I mean, most of us wouldn’t think that it’s even physically possible for that to happen. But I’m here to tell you that it is entirely possible. Eggs and sperm pay no attention to what is reasonable. They have their own agenda.
When Leela was born, Shannon was not even walking yet. Matter of fact, due to complications with Shannon’s birth, she didn’t walk until she was two years of age. So, for the longest time I had a baby on either hip. It was quite the workout.
And if it wasn’t for the fact that they were the sweetest most happy natured babies on the planet, I might have not kept it together mentally. To say it was hard would be putting it mildly. But the girls were such love bugs and I was so happy to finally have daughters, I saw the joy more than the work.
Those two babies were entirely precious. Little bundles of tulle, ribbons and more pink than was reasonable. And oh how they got along. Where one went, the other followed. They might not have been twins, but they might as well have been.
Both girls were born hair twirlers. And when they got tired at the end of the day, they would lay side by side, one finger on the other’s scalp and they would twirl each other’s hair. I used to marvel at how connected they were.
And then something changed.
I can’t even tell you when it happened. There was no major fall out. No cataclysmic event. Nothing. They just decided to not get along anymore. And my heart cracked in half.
They don’t hate each other, mind you. It’s the little things. The nit picky things. She took my Elmo. She’s breathing too hard. Her leg is touching mine. Don’t look at me. I can hear what you’re thinking and I don’t like it. I want to sit next to Daddy at dinner. She made the mess.
Little things that chip away at my sanity. My two babies that loved each other so fiercely when they were small now seem to repel each other every minute of the day.
And the things they fight over are so petty that it makes me want to cry sometimes. I wish I could get them to not only hear what they are saying to each other, but also understand the damaging effects their words can have on each other.
But empathy is not easily taught and I find myself preaching the same sermon over and over again. Hoping that one day it will all kick in and that they will adore each other again. Or at least tolerate each other. I’ll take that too.
Today is rainbow day at school. Each grade wears a different color. Shan’s class is orange and Leela’s is yellow. And even though it’s raining today, both girls were excited to get up and get dressed this morning. Luckily, the girls have a very colorful wardrobe. Finding their class colors wasn’t an issue.
As they got ready for their day, I watched them because something was different this morning. It was eerily peaceful. No bickering. No “it’s mine, not yours”. They even helped each other find the other’s shoes.
And as I was reveling in this bit of peace today, I couldn’t help but think that while this is rainbow day at school, maybe this is rainbow day at home too.