First off, let me say that the twins’ first days of school have gone fabulously. They love their school, their teacher, and being “big kids.” Mommy, on the other hand, cried like a baby at leaving them that first day. I ached to pick them up again, counting down the minutes until we could leave the house to go wait for them outside their classroom. They won’t let the kids out of class until they make eye contact with the responsible party for picking up the kids, so we patiently (or not so patiently) waited our turn and out came J – flying into my arms with a giant smile on her face. N followed right behind with the same joy. They were lit up and couldn’t wait to tell us all about school. It made me so happy that they’d enjoyed it so much.
We discovered that snack time required a bit more planning than we’d anticipated for a 3.5 hour stint in class, so off to Tar.get we went for lunchboxes and water bottles (no drinking fountains on the playground). I had left them notes in their backpacks with their snack on the first day and have continued leaving them notes in their lunchboxes and it’s become something they expect and look forward to already. The night of the second day of school, N declared “I hope we have another note tomorrow!” A tradition is born.
I love coming home every day and hearing how school went. Who did what and all the new things they saw. J is adjusting to the idea that I don’t pick them up from school, and when she asks me it breaks my heart to say that I can’t. I’ve decided that at least one day a month I’ll leave work early to be there to pick them up. Sometimes being a working mom with a “regular” schedule really sucks. It’s hard not to feel like I’m letting them down by not being the one to come get them, especially when they so clearly want me to be. I’m doing everything I can to be present for them, with the notes, and I intend to volunteer in for their class and participate in the PTO. But some days, not being a SAHM can be painful.
I do have some concerns that have yet to be founded. But I’m on guard. J has made fast friends with a little girl (K) who I saw the day of orientation with her father. While this will sound awful, it’s been our experience locally that the particular cultural group K’s family belongs to is less than friendly towards families like ours (generally very active in anti-gay rights rallies and extremely vocal). And I worry that once K’s family finds out that J has two mommies, that K won’t be allowed to play with J anymore. I know that I’m basing this solely on experience with other people like K’s family, so I am well aware that I may be “borrowing trouble” so to speak. We’ve armed our kids with the requisite arguments, “Some families have a mommy and a daddy, some have just a mommy or just a daddy, some have two mommies or two daddies, etc…” “Families are all different.” And on and on. I’m watching closely to see how this plays out. For now, I’m enjoying the fact that they both have made friends, and thankful that they haven’t stuck together to the exclusion of other kids in class.
I haven’t mentioned that we got a new kitten a few weeks back. She’s a doll. I love her so much. Having her has really shown me that I truly am a “cat person”. H, not so much, but she loves her (although she’d prefer not to be woken up by her at 6:30 in the morning!). We’ve had some adjustments in teaching the kids how to deal with her (that’s a whole other blog post, and includes some of my least stellar parenting moments). She’s a little black tuxedo kitty that was part of a litter of four kittens borne by a momma kitty that lives with a family around the corner from us. The two sisters from the family wandered the neighborhood with this box of kittens trying to find homes for them. By the time they got to us, there were just two, and as I wasn’t home yet, our nanny could only quell the twins’ pleading to have one of them by telling the girls to come back after I got home. By the time they came back, only the tuxedo one was left. Now, I’ve said for years I’ve wanted a tuxedo kitty, and here she was, on my doorstep. How was I to say no?
Rewind six or so years to the middle of my IVF cycle with the twins. I’d been on lupron for a bit and was coming home from work to pick up our friend to head out to a basketball game. As I jumped out to grab the mail I heard a squawking that sounded like a bird. Once I located the source of the sound, I realized it was a tiny black kitten, alone, in the heat. I scooped up the flea-ridden baby and hurried him off to the vet. He was old enough not to be bottle fed, but really too young to be away from momma just yet. Not knowing what to do, we kept him, and he took to our german shepherd like she was a giant cat. He became the coolest, most loving cat I’d ever known. I always took him for a sign – that my cycle would work out. On the twins’ third birthday party, the evil neighbors we lived next to poisoned him, then denied us the opportunity to say goodbye to him. I was devastated.
When little missy showed up in the midst of this IUI cycle, I’ll admit there was a huge part of me that believed she might be my omen. And I was afraid that if the cycle didn’t work I’d somehow unconsciously hold it against her. But I haven’t. I adore that sweet little face and love when she comes running across the room to jump in my lap or climbs up to put her face next to mine. She reminds us so much of our old cat that we’ve had a few times where we’ve called her by his name. Maybe it’s a black cat thing, but they share a lot of personality traits. She’s added work and expense to our household, sure, but she’s added a lot of joy. The morning of the news of my second beta I crawled back in bed with J and we played chase the feet under the covers with the kitten. We laughed and laughed. Even when all I wanted to do was cry, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Two kindergartners and a baby kitten. It’s a full house with lots going on. I’m so proud of my big kids, and can’t wait to see what this year holds for them.