Halfway to 18. That is the age my twins are as today is their ninth birthday. And, until I had a little chat with a friend of mine where she referenced their ninth birthday as being the halfway milestone to their eighteenth, I was just prepping to celebrate another year older. But, as it turns out, nine is a bigger deal than I had expected. I am all sorts of emotional as I was not prepared for the reality of how fast this all flies by. Where have the last nine years gone?
It was just yesterday that I was doing double feeds, getting “tore up from the floor up” worshiping the two little beings that grew inside me. The love affair I began with them happened instantly and it is impossible to truly explain until you experience it for yourself. Best time of my life. Aside from the no-sleeping part. But, like everything in life, the sleepless nights faded and we were on to bigger and better things. Will and Mia began to crawl quickly and then walk, and then run, in two different directions, always. God, I was skinny then.
These days, they run even faster, but I can still beat them. I am in awe of their outgoing personalities and their sometimes adult-like senses of humor. They work hard and their moral compasses appear to be functioning as they are empathetic little people who love to have fun and really want to do well in life. But, even with all of these wonderful attributes they both are displaying, it still has me asking one question: Am I doing a good job?
I suppose only time will tell and we can only do so much. Eventually, it will be up to them to go out and make it in the world. But, while I still have them, young and untainted by the realities of the harsh world that we live in, I want to share so many things. I want to offer them the skills, the tools and the the life experiences that will contribute to them becoming thriving adults who will, one day, contribute to society and, perhaps, the world. That sounds big, I know, but my desires for my kids are basic. I want to teach them that hard work and dedication are the key to success. I want them to be independent, innovative, creative humans who find joy in something and experience that joy for a lifetime. I want to help them discover what it is that feeds their souls.
At nine, I am starting to see their passions for things. I want them to know that passion is what makes you feel alive. It’s what makes you human. I want to nurture their desires. I want them to discover the world and see what it looks like in Europe and Iceland and wherever else they want to go. I want my kids to know that food is medicine and that disconnecting from the world, even for just five minutes a day, is vital. It is imperative that they recognize that the biggest doesn’t mean the best and, at the end of the day, you don’t need anything because you already have it all. Lastly, fear nothing. (Yeah, fear the guy that looks creepy–run from him and scream for help.) But don’t fear for one second that you can’t do or be anything you want, because that’s a lie. Fear is the greatest time suck of them all and stepping outside of what feels comfortable and inside the unknown will all be the greatest moments of your life. Get on that stage. Pitch that baseball. Write that story. Help that person when no one else does. Raise your hand. Stand up for what you believe in. Be the change. Be amazing. Just be you.
That’s a lot of stuff. I have my work cut out for me. But I signed up for this and I intend on seeing it through. There are no guarantees in life, however, I do believe we get out what we put in and by golly I am all in on my kids and their life being the greatest lesson of all.
Happiest of birthdays to the two most spirited nine-year-olds around.
I love you both so much it hurts.