Last week I took our trio of identical tots for their three year old physical. It's stunning to me that three years have flown by so fast and that my babies are no longer babies. When they ask with sincere hope and anticipation "is me big yet?!", I have to admit that yes, much to my dismay, they are.
My little guys are no longer the little peanuts they once were -- not that they were ever unusually small; they were born at quite a healthy weight for triplets... which resulted in a not so healthy weight for me! In any case, when I reflect on the past three years, it's truly a blur. I remember bits here and there -- moments and memories that have collected in a vivid slideshow in my mind...
It begins with a surreal appearance on The Early Show followed by paparazzi snapping our pictures when we left the hospital. After that it's a whirlwind that includes...
- Neighbors and friends welcoming us home with outstretched arms and months of meals
- The feeling of despair the first time I had to change three tiny diapers, got peed on three times and wondered how we'd ever survive the first few years
- The feeling of defeat when I got bronchitis, pumped green breast milk and ultimately had to retire the pump... and the breasts
- The awesome sight of three tiny rumps up in the air as they sweetly snoozed in their cribs
- The feeling I could conquer the world the first time I slept for six hours straight
- The feeling that the world would conquer me after months of sleep deprivation (I still sometimes feel this way!)
- The amazement of finding three little fellas sitting/standing/singing/bouncing in their cribs
- The fear of the day they leave those cribs behind -- as our six year old put it: "that will be a total disaster Mom"
- The joy of having one, two, three little boys jump with joy and into my arms when I get home from work
- The angst of having one, two, three little boys throwing up in the middle of the night
- The sense of accomplishment the first time we left the house in the stroller, the minivan, the wagon, and then finally, on foot
- The mental checklist of diaper bag requirements - bottles, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, snacks and so on!
- The written checklist for weekends away, when we carted pack and plays, high chairs and strollers without batting an eye
- The black eye that they got one by one while learning to walk
- The perils of the tub, the pool and the beach when water was our worst enemy as we juggled three slippery tots
- The struggle of wrestling three wiggly tykes into snowsuits and snow boots;
- The wonder of hearing them talk to each other in a secret language only they can understand
- The wonder that they are here at all. Happy, healthy and truly against the odds.
People talk about how hard it is to have a newborn, and indeed it is. They also talk about the terrible twos, which in my experience have been closer to terrific. They talk about time flying by too fast and while it's a cliche, it's true. I wouldn't want to go all the way back to the days of leaky boobs and sleepless nights but I sure wouldn't mind the nuzzle of a newborn snuggled up against me. Since that won't be happening, I will instead snuggle in with my three year olds while treasuring the time we have together and the days ahead... days that I'm sure will still be a bit of a busy blur but, like the past three years, will include moments and memories that will never fade.