Dear Giovanni & Jacob,
I have a lot of favorite quotes but the one that sits at eye level while I plug away at my desk is one I found on a plague inside a magazine before you were ever born.
“Impossible is not a definite…It’s a dare.”
I have always believed you were the result of a dare. A bet I made with God, the universe and my own body that resulted in a conception, pregnancy and your existence in the world that I still stutter over and find hard to believe.
For the years before you came into my life I had grown used to bargaining with the fates for a variety of things. I was an open hearted optimist but I was also unlucky. It seemed that things always worked out but never in the way I had ever expected.
So when infertility took hold of my life and threatened my sanity and tenacity I dug deep for the hope I had held in reserve.
Optimism, I learned, is nothing without resistance.
For there is always something that will push back as you push forward.
My body resisted unassisted pregnancies, my ovaries resisted Clomid, my skin resisted needles and my own mind resisted as I sat staring at the picture of two small embryos, perfect in every way that would be deposited in my uterus.
The image offered no guarantees, only the universe and finally the doctors that asked about transferring both.
“I dare you.” They seemed to say.
My whole pregnancy dared me.
Defied me to simply stay that way from the moment we realized you were twins, onto the everlasting nausea followed up by the unexpected (and terrifying) bed rest to your arrival at 35 weeks happy, healthy and whole.
And through it all I knew I was playing a game of chance; rolling the dice, betting on the house, taunting my luck.
Tomorrow you are going to graduate from Kindergarten.
There are a lot of parents around me that are lamenting their babies growing up too fast, begging the universe to let their children stay little a while longer.
I am not one of those parents.
While I love you with my whole heart, I have never asked life to slow down a little for me when it came to you. Sure, I am genuinely surprised when I realize how tall or articulate you’ve become and it scares the pants off me to know that you are smart and capable of things, it even confuses me to come to terms with you being old enough to move from Kindergarten to First Grade.
But I, in no way, wish for anything but what we have.
I told a fellow mommy yesterday, “Well if I was wishing for that it means I’m not grateful for what I have. What is the alternative? Children who stay six forever? There are other people who are going to be parenting children that will stay six either mentally or physically or both for a lifetime. There are others who never got to be called “mommy or daddy” or lost their children well before six. Nope, I said, I’m happy right here and now, with the boys I was so lucky to be given.”
Throughout this year we met new people, we participated in new activities and we established a new routine. And with each new transition we adjusted and learned more than we could have if we had stood still, afraid to move forward or allow change into our lives.
And the world dared us anyway.
We suffered a crushing loss; we have been tested in ways that could have broken us a family and yet we are here. Maybe it’s pure laziness or even the act of merely letting life take us where it will without a lot of push back, but I’ve found that it’s in those moments that I feel fully present because I am not fighting the dare.
I have seen you grow, change, accept and test the boundaries so much this year that I know my eyes will tear and well and spill over tomorrow night as I sit in church and realize that you’ve finished another milestone and are ready for the next one. I am not ashamed of those tears for they are born of gratitude and pride instead of lament or denial.
I know that tomorrow is just another first step toward another first step on your way to your dreams.
Remember nothing is impossible (and that you come from a powerful place of defying the odds)
Now go get them, my beautiful boys.
I dare ya.