Under Siege: Orbit

One of the toughest moments I’ve had as a parent, so far, happened exactly 2 years and 2 days ago. That was the day before my twin daughters, Emma and Maddie, were born. Yeah, Friday was their birthday, and that’s a very exciting thing around here. But in my heart, this day is also the anniversary of the day our oldest daughters world changed too.

There was always, like most parents I suspect, a very elevated spot that we placed our first child on. We didn’t spoil her…well, we tried not to spoil her, but she was the center of our world. We orbited around her. Her happiness, safety and health were the most important thing to her mother and I. We took grief from Grandma at times because we didn’t let her stay overnight at her house. Not because we didn’t trust Grandma, but because we didn’t want to be away from her that long. We wanted her to wake up in her home, in her bed, with her Mommy and Daddy right there if she needed them.

In hindsight, we kind of did her a disservice, in a way, by being so attentive and centering all in our life around her so much. Now, at 5 years old, she can hardly stay the night away from her parents without getting upset and typically having to be picked up early because she wants her Mom and Dad.  Sorry about that, Sydney.

I’m sure it’s not a unique consideration, my reasons for feeling this way. The day that my very pregnant wife and I went to the hospital to bring these twin midgets into our world, we took a few moments and sat on the hearth of my mother’s living room fireplace, knowing all was about to change in our lives. I remember the feeling, and acknowledging so, that these were our last moments as a family of three: Mom, Dad and Sydney. Soon, we’d be bringing the twins home and everything would change.  How would I ever love these two kids as much as I love their big sister? How can we do this to Sydney? How is she going to handle not being the center of our attention…. She was sun which around which we orbit?

Last week, Sydney started Kindergarten. It was a big, emotional event in our family that day too. We were excited for all the reason a parent gets excited about these things. Mostly, we were proud of how Syd was meeting a new challenge head-on and with excitement. Her first day entering this new world just made me think of how things have changed, and how they’ll continue to change as we all grow as a family. Thinking about that change made me reflect back to that day 2 years ago.

Emma and Maddie will never know the impact that they’ve had on our lives in such a wonderful and challenging way. Today, though, that question of  “How am I going to be able to love these two as much as I love their big sister” has been answered: How could I not?

So, we celebrate Emma & Maddie’s birthday, and Sydney’s Big Sister Day…The biggest change though, not that they’re getting older or maturing in new ways, it’s that all 5 of us now move around each other, pushing and pulling in a comfy, noisy, baked-goldfish fueled low orbit.

Happy Birthday Emma & Maddie… and Happy Big Sister Day, Syd.