I was warned about the Terrible Two's. I was told too unbelievable to be taken seriously, tales about what to expect from two year old toddlers x2. My husband deployed soon after the boys turned two and returned just weeks before they turned three. I like to joke that he lucked out, he maintains how difficult it was to miss it all (so we both lose on that one). Till this day, I have no idea how I survived! But survive I did....and then came the Terrifying Three's! x2. My boys discovered opinions of their own, wants and needs. They discovered favorite colors and preferences. They redefined tantrums and fits. They refused their car seat seat belts and the potty. They were invited to leave daycare (twice) and they fought, each other. All of the time and over every thing.
So here I am on their last day of being three years old and I feel terrified. I feel scared and sad and a little bit of regret. I should have taken more photos. I should have yelled less and played more. I should have been sure to not take a single day for granted. It's all so bittersweet. I am excited, thrilled even, to be done with these two's and three's. But I'm also sad to see them go.
This year my boys 'took' their independence, by force. They dressed themselves, wore cowboy boots with khaki shorts and long sleeved shirts in the middle of Winter and insisted on wearing raincoats in the blazing sun. They learned the value of putting each other first, until they found best friends of their own. They learned pride in accomplishments. They even learned shame. They 'helped' with everything. Even painting the walls with magic markers and putting random objects in the washing machine. They learned irritation. Like, really, they learned to sigh in frustration when redirected. I'll thank my teenager for that one. They also learned patience and how to say I'm sorry and mean it. They learned to play fair and to be honest. They learned the value of friendship and family and what it means to have cousins as friends. They learned to help cook and do chores. They learned to laugh at appropriate and inappropriate times.
They also taught. They taught me that time flies. That things can always get worse! That things can always get better! They taught me patience and that one must share everything! Food, bathroom time, showers, even my bed must be shared with these little monsters. They showed me what it means to be a Mama Bear and what it means to say I made a mistake. They taught me that both are quite capable of answering to each other's names and correcting me when I get it wrong. They taught me that even though they were born together, and are probably the best of friends, that they really are different and deserve their own individuality. They have taught me that even when I am at my end, the edge of sanity and at the point of where I most certainly can't go on, I can. I can, will, and do go on. They make me stronger.
Here on the eve of their fourth birthday, I am amazed at the love I have for them. The love they have for me. I am stunned at how much they know, their vocabulary, their ability to work an iPad better than me, their creative flair. I am amused at the way they create and laugh at inside jokes. The way they reason with me and their ability to cure any ailment with a slew of kisses and band-aids.
The struggle of infertility is cruel. I will never forget how hard I fought for these boys. Every moment with them, the good, the bad, and the very terrifying ugly, is part of legacy that I will cherish forever. And I thank the Gods for every moment I have with them. Thank you for the lessons, the memories, for their existence. I am so privilege to share my life with them.