I have struggled to write this post, because it’s almost unbelievable that we have come to this point so soon. But time marches on and our boys are at such a wonderful stage – happily playing and learning new things everyday.
Jon and I sat a few nights ago looking through the million photos we have taken of the boys over the last year. Remembering the time their head fit into the palm of Jon’s hand. We laughed when we couldn’t remember whether there were heart monitors, or other machines in the delivery room.
I remembered sitting impatiently outside the ICU for the nurses to let me in after doctors’ rounds – and the many lemon pies I ate (which probably accounted for my lack of weightloss) when the nurses kicked me out.
We smiled at the memory of the day we brought our bundles home for the first time, to a tiny flat. Luckily they fit into a single camp cot at the time, and we made do with the space we have available for them.
As I lay in bed last night, just after the boys woke for some unknown reason, I thought about how my nephew brought his puppy toy to share with the boys for the day when he first came to see them. First smiles, first laughs, first crawls, first food, first birthday!
And I thought: “How did we get here so soon?”
It has been a year – one whole year. It has been tough, but wonderful all at the same time and I marvel that we made it. I think about the nights when the boys refused to sleep, and the days that followed where they learned something new. Such bitter sweet memories.
My little Dylan – so like me, so like my dad. We chose perfectly when we named him Dylan Peter. His little toe crosses over the next one, just like my dads did. He is careful and thoughtful about the things that he does, taking his time to accomplish things. But like me, in that he gets frustrated easily and cannot contain it.
My little Alex – the adventurer. He waits for nothing and does everything. He climbed the stairs before he could even stand on his own. He dives headfirst into everything (and I mean that literally).
They are now learning to walk, my little champions. And I think: “How did it get so late so soon.”
The second reason the quote works so well, is because we had the most incredible birthday party for the boys, with Dr Seuss stories as the theme. Friends and family from far and wide joined us on the day – it turned out better than I could ever have hoped.
I spent weeks preparing for the day, I made invitations, I planned the food, I made signs and posters, I searched for red striped straws, I hunted for Thing One and Thing Two outfits for the boys. I went all out to make sure the day was special.
I had everything planned perfectly – except I completely forgot to serve my specially made fish jellies and the fruit salad. I spent the late hours the night before specially making red jellied fish that I put into blue jellied bowls to look like fish in bowls – some worked and some didn’t. But they weren’t really missed and in the end the day was about the boys and they had fun.
On the morning of the party, as I was piping the green devilled eggs, my friend arrived with the cake – which really made the day. We had talked about her flying a cake down from Cape Town, but settled on a bakery in Joburg called Luvies – what a good decision. The cake, smash cakes and cupcakes were beautiful – and tasted amazing.
That morning, as I changed them into their outfits for the day, they played with the balloons I had bought. None of the toys in the world could have created that expression on their faces – they pulled on the strings and let them float up again. It was wonderful.
We had several generations of family love to share: my gran, my mom, Jon’s stepdad and his brother and wife. The list goes on.
It was without doubt the celebration I was hoping for, something that Jon and I could remember forever.
Looking back over the year at what we have done, and what our boys have learned, I can almost understand how it got so late, so soon.