On what planet did I ever think I would be a stay at home mom with twins – one boy, one girl to boot. Not this one.
The earth that I always knew prior to this was filled with hardship, pain, loss, then redemption and re-building: building a life and career in the recovery field and perfecting my role as mother to by aging Labrador and cat that wouldn’t seem to quit even after the nine lives. As I’ve said, I had lived a hundred lives, or so it seemed, before this chapter began. Before I met my husband, the man of my dreams (for real) and got engaged a year later, then married a year after that, then pregnant a month or so later and then a year later with 2 and ½ month old twins moving across the country for my husband’s work from Wisconsin to Tennessee. No – there was no reality where I would leave everything I had ever known to follow a dream that I never knew would be fulfilled for me.
You see, this life I am living is the perfect life that God has destined for me. He knew it in the beginning when I would offer up my heavy tears, when I was drinking and using away the pain I felt in just existing. He knew that the longing, that deep aching that existed in my heart would one day be fulfilled. Was he smiling when he heard me praying for all of those years?
So we moved to Knoxville and on day seven after arriving, I decided to venture out with the twins to the local market. This was only about a mile from the rental home where we were living. We arrived and there were maybe two or three other shoppers; perhaps people like me who wanted to try to support local, at least when I only had to run out for a few things or when I had to shop with twins and the only things I could buy are what can fit under the stroller. Thanks, Joovy Roo!
We were only in the store for about a minute when a man approached us.
“I’m a twin,” he said and smiled and looked at Henri and Violet. “I have a twin sister.”
I smiled and nodded, in a good mood and not in the kind of mood where I was trying not to make eye contact with anyone who smiled that smile (twin and multiple parents know the one) like they are about ready to pounce. Don’t make eye contact, I would often think to myself until that line began: “TWINS?…” and I had to smile.
“My mother had four other children and then twins and didn’t know they were having them either.”
Suddenly my wow-I-am-a-rock-star-mom-shopping-with-twins mood evaporated like smoke and I felt guilty for hoping my husband would hurry up and get that vasectomy. Some women do this and have more than two children. Three, four, five, six… God bless them.
You see, being a twin mom for me has been such a humbling experience. Being a mother after praying for years but truthfully never believing that God was big enough to answer this prayer; something I wanted, but couldn’t have. Don’t get your hopes up – this was a running theme in my life that God destroyed with a crash of lightening first after I met my husband and then the day I found out my sweet children were coming to this earth. I remember shrieking with joy as the ultrasound tech announced: “I am glad you are laying down…”
In reality, get your hopes up – this is the story of my life, the story God has for me. The story that has always been written.
“I don’t think I can have children” was replaced by:
HERE IS MY GIFT TO YOU. See, I am bigger than your doubt. Bigger than your fears. Bigger than your faith or lack thereof.
When you are a twin parent, suddenly everyone you meet and even strangers in passing have a twin story. They either know a twin, have a twin, know someone who is having twins or… the list goes on and on. My sweet children connect me everyday with others who have their own twin story. And on this day at this particular market, we had the opportunity to talk to this man who had a twin sister. I was not prepared for what he asked next.
“So, do you have a church yet?”
You see, I had explained how my husband and I had just moved here about a week ago and were getting to know the area. A friend of mine told me later that you know you are in the South when a stranger at a super market asks if you’ve found a church.
“No,” I replied, “but we are looking.”
This brought all sorts of thoughts and feelings to my mind, more for another day.
I picked up the couple things at the market and got back to the car, looked into the rear-view mirror at the two mirrors I had hanging above two car seats and two smiling babies. Bigger than my faith, yes he is.