Sixteen years ago today Hot Mama and I became parents, we had been married 9 months and 1 day. Our twin girls were born 2 1/2 months early and weighted only 3 pounds. I was 21 and Mama had just turned 23. We had not exactly developed an extensive resume when in came to parenting. We were excited but ignorant, somewhat oblivious to the challenges ahead...oblivious but committed - that could be our motto
We love them dearly but in many ways these two have been our "practice kids", each sibling that follows benefits from the experience we gain parenting them through each stage of life. For example Hot Mama learned with them when a child gets hurt you don't gasp and say oh my gosh, oh my gosh, that looks really bad if you want them to stay calm. Thanks Hay and Kenz.
We have now entered the stage of driving, dating and planning for adulthood. I know that we will mess things up and learn as we go, that the younger kids will benefit from the mistakes we make with the practice kids. We will try to find the balance between being over protective and letting them find their place in the world. I'll try not to call them every hour to make sure that they are safe.....seriously that is a challenge for me, and I'll try not to embarrass them too much when I interrogate their dates. Well, we'll see.
I'm trying to appear capable and confident as this happens, like its no big deal they are growing up. But I have to say it tears me up a little inside. At their birthday party Hayley gave me a hug and said thanks dad, I had to hang out in the bathroom so I wouldn't do the ugly cry, all I could see was that helpless baby with all the tubes and wires in the hospital 16 years ago.
Babies grow up and then move away, this is a new reality for me..
But for today I still got an a hug, a kiss and "love you dad goodnight" so I am going to keep practicing and maybe cherish the next few years a little more.