o night divine

These two. I can't even express what joy they are. This was definitely the year of gifts that were FOR me. Maggie knitted me a couch blanket for naps. Will, the book I wanted by Matthew McConaughey. Meats and cheeses because "I have arrived". Boots and a coat, all so I can be warm on the playground. All because I am known. All because you get a lot of love when you give a lot of love.

But these two? A gift like none other. It's a feeling impossible to describe to first time or long time parents. We joke that you can always send grandkids home, and that is what's so great about them. And yes, that's a part of it. Surely.

But also.

Also, no one tells you that with your own kids you have to harden your heart a little bit. There is so much to teach and a finite time to learn it. And you do have to teach it--whether you want to or not. To not teach your children well the ways of life is to burden them with a great disservice.

You, as parents, are saddled with a possible task, but it seems impossible should someone have handed you a description of the job of the next 18 years the day they were born.

You--you and whoever you are raising these children with--will have to teach them the world--what it is forgiving of and what it isn't.

You have to teach manners, kindness, expectations, how to handle disappointments, manners (again), social cues, social expectations, life skills, bike riding, scooter riding, first dances, how to brush teeth, how to hold a fork, how to be a friend, how to be a family member.

Manners, manners, manners. Over and over and over. Daily. Hourly. Minute...ly? You are tasked with raising--not children--but raising adults.
And the work of it? Exhausting.

Possible. Beautiful. Wonderful. Exhausting.

There isn't time. There is not enough time for purity. Oh, you'll say there is...but there isn't. Not this kind. And it isn't a judgement of you, of parents, of parenting. No, not at all.

It's a thing impossible to know until you know it. You'll never know it until you feel it. Until there is no better place and nothing else to do than paint toenails with a fake wooden paintbrush. Until you sit on the floor in the middle of a family gift exchange and care nothing for your own gifts--the only and best gift is sitting in front of you wanting her My Little Pony set opened. Until you will open any packet of applesauce, read every book on the shelf, fulfill every single, madcap request. Until you learn you can sit on the floor for an eternity and never count the cost.

Because the work is done. And it was the work of beautiful years. A work I would choose every time, again and again. The pride I have in my own children is infinite. It spreads in every direction and every dimension.

But the joy, pure in form and substance of Kiki and Sunnie. Impossible to explain. Impossible to contain. And the easiest thing in the world to share.

Thank you for sharing them with me.❤


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