Often people stop me and tell me how cute the girls are. Whenever it happens, I can feel myself start to tense up. Because soon the question or assumption will come about their age and it will be far less than they are. Part of it is their hair, they still look so babyish with their short cuts (Desmonda's out of necessity) and round faces. But most of it is their behavior. They just stare when people ask how old they are and what their names are. They burrow their head in my shoulder or put their hands over their eyes.
It feels like we are like a Monet painting, from far away everything looks picture perfect but as you get close it all starts to disintegrate. We are just skirting the edge of normal. The behaviors that seemed explainable when they were younger start seem weird now. As I watch Desmonda "jump" in Kindermusik without ever leaving her feet and feel Jane's head burrow further into my shoulder while the other kids run around and sing, my heart breaks. For them and for me.
I feel like I am putting on an act, pasting a happy indulgent smile on my face as I look at them. A face that says "This is all okay, they are just being two!". After class today the teacher spent some time talking to me and in a unguarded moment I told her how hard it is. How much I miss the enveloping warmth of my moms group in Minnesota. That they knew the girls and me and loved us both. That here I am just the struggling mom with the freaky twins. I feel like we have "SPECIAL NEEDS" tattooed across our foreheads.
And though I try to remind myself that it could be so much more and how lucky I am that there is nothing physically wrong with them, no childhood cancers, no disabilities, on afternoons after a tough day or after a long therapy session my spirit starts to fade. And I think, why them? Why me?
Writing this post is gut wrenching in its own way. So much of me wants to pretend that it is not happening, that they are just delayed and it will all work out on its own. I do not want to let go of that picture perfect family that I dreamed of. Saying it out loud or writing it here makes it real. But I have to do it because I have to let go of the unreal image I had of what I thought my kids would be. Because I don't want those kids, I want mine. Eccentricities and all.