Monday, May 11, 2009
Last Sunday marked the first birthday for our boys, and we celebrated big! We had a barbeque, birthday cake, a bouncy castle, and an estimated 85 attendees at the affair. Most of the attendees were friends from our neighborhood, but also a few relatives. It was a lot of work, and by the time I had a moment to sit down, all the food and cake was gone, but well worth it.
We were worried a bit about the weather, so we set up tables in the garage for people to eat, but as it turned out, the weather was near perfect. The boys seemed a bit confused by all the people packed into the house singing “Happy Birthday” to them, but they enjoyed making messes with their cakes. We waited until after the party to open their presents, which took well over an hour. They now have plenty of summer clothes and the boys are enjoying all the new toys. I had to buy a “toy box” for them all – a nice trunk that fits in well with the living room. But they quickly learned how to open it and pull everything out.
My parents came to visit and meet the boys for the first time. I still get the feeling they aren’t so thrilled with me personally, but they enjoyed spending time with their grandsons and the visit was cordial. My aunt and uncle, who recently moved to our state, came as well. They seemed very happy for us and completely accepting, so I was glad they came. I think it also “completed the puzzle” for the family because no one ever knew that I’m gay, as my parents wanted it kept secret. So over the years, my life was just a mystery to them. They were shocked to find out that Nick and I have been together for 14 years and they’d never known.
One of the twins is walking while the other will only take a couple steps here and there. It seems so strange to have one walking around now, and funny how he staggers around. His walking skills seem to improve daily. Neither of them is talking yet, but as much as they babble, I’m sure we’re getting close. The latest development is that they’ve reversed roles – meaning one twin is more challenging (I’ll try not to say “difficult”!) than the other, but now the easy going twin has become somewhat of a bully toward the other, and the one who caused all the problems a few months ago is now easy going. I’ve heard this role reversal will go on for years from experienced twin parents.
Looking back over the past year, it was all completely worth it. I won’t sugar-coat the first six months. It was in no way easy, and probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. We had no outside help, full time jobs, and the sleep depravation was horrible. But what an experience! Seeing them grow from newborns into the little people they are today, complete with personalities and quirks – words can’t describe it. It’s still a lot of work, but a lot more fun than in the first few months. Plus they usually sleep through the night, so we get more rest.
For the most part, I think this year went as I had expected. I suppose the love I’ve developed for the boys was unexpected only in the sense that I’ve never experienced parental love before. And then there are our different parenting styles and roles. In response to Nick’s more fatherly approach, I’ve consciously taken a more “mothering” role, being more the gentle care giver. Not that I let them run all over me, but making sure they experience a gentle touch every day – hugs, kisses, a little back rub, or time just sitting on my lap with one-on-one attention. Expenses have definitely had a big impact on our lives, which we expected, but we didn’t expect such a horrible economy that we’d have to endure pay cuts. The bulk of the expense goes to our nanny. Then there’s the diapers, formula, (now they’re on milk, which is cheaper), new clothes as they grow out of the old ones, etc. – I’ve estimated their cost to be over $3,000 per month! Once they’re in school, expenses will drop dramatically.
When people talk about taking things one day at a time, I can truly relate. Some days are just like that, with so much work. Some days are still very tiring, and I’ll admit to occasionally looking forward to 8 p.m. when they go to sleep, when I can take a half hour to an hour for myself. But one of my favorite things is their last half hour before bed when I get down on the floor with them and we watch a nursery rhyme DVD that they love. They lean on me while watching the show, their little faces light up with smiles, and they clap at their favorite parts. Then I read a book to them, which signals time for sleep. I wonder what life will bring for them – who they’ll become, what they’ll accomplish. But for now I’ll just enjoy when they want hugs, kisses, and attention, and try to keep up with their amazing pace of growing and learning!
Posted by GayDad at 1:43 PM