The other day, we arrived at a friend’s house and I heard one of my Mommy Friends tell her daughter, “Look, here’s Zack and Addie!”
I love that. I love that two children are announced when our family arrives somewhere. I love that when I leave a room for a minute, I ask Scott to “please look after Zack and Addie” or when I RSVP to an event or sign a card, it’s got four names on it now.
As much as I worried about keeping my eye on two children at one time, it’s now one of the things I love most. Whether in the privacy of our home when I tell Zack about having to feed his sister Addie or sing to Addie that it’s Zack’s time for a nap or out and about when I’m smiling to myself, even with arms feeling incredibly empty, watching friends love up and hug up both of my children.
Zack and Addie.
My new friend Lindsay is the proud Mommy of Aubrey, born just one day before Addie in the same hospital. Our husbands have known each other off and on for years and Lindsay and I have just clicked. I think about how amazing it’s been to have Zack grow up with so very many friends nearly the same age as him and now I’m so excited that Addie will have at least one very close girlfriend her age who lives just 10 minutes away for us to enjoy many, many playdates and memories.
Lindsay was my guinea pig for my first solo trip out of the house (and my first time driving in nearly a month!) with both kids. She was patient with me as I freaked out with nerves the night before and made us change plans and times a million times.
And you know, it wasn’t that bad. And it was so worth it. Sharing stories and comparing notes with another new Mom, passing kids back and forth and watching her make Zack so comfortable and so happy. And did I mention the absolutely adorable baby girls?
I’m still not perfect when it comes to the solo mom stuff — I just about panicked trying to figure out how to make a quick trip to a fruit market possible with two kids today. My friend Krystal, who is herself Super Mom in so many ways, made it happen and took charge, mumbling to Addie about my having to practice multi-tasking. I loved it. One deep breath and a few moments watching her peruse the aisles of strawberries and melons so easily and I got my confidence back. I am so ready to tackle the fruit market again soon.
Our daughter and this beautiful summer “vacation” are adding to my already long list of blessings.
Watching grown men melt over a tiny baby girl.
Walks and talks with dear friends, our babies babbling as we share deep, scary thoughts and wonderful, wonderful dreams.
Zack and Scott enoying a first dip in our inflatable pool (known as Scott’s Redneck Hot Tub) while I held Addie on my chest on a chair next to them. Occasional splashes hitting us, a blonde boy’s laughter ringing through the air only moments after his first shrieks of anxiety when his toes hit the water. Smiling to myself as the sun hit my legs, taking it all in and realizing that while those weeds over there may not get pulled this week or next nor the tennis court swept or the bird feeders refilled, I am enjoying the most important moments of my life. Splashes and giggles and a little girl’s deep-sleep breathing in and out in rhythm to my own.
Zack and Addie.
They’re both changing every day. They’re changing me every day.
Zack is developing a HUGE personality, bigger than I ever could have imagined for him. He’s getting braver and stronger. From six first steps three weeks ago to climbing up on a footstool, a rocker, a chair to facing his fears, literally, and dipping his face under the pool water and coming back up quickly with a grin. I spend so much of my time with him giving him space to spread his wings while holding my breath in preparation for my own fears.
And Addie may be the only other one in this house to rival Zack’s personality. She’s alert so much of the time and raises her head up constantly for several moments at once to watch a ceiling fan, the window light, a shadow of someone walking across the room. She has slept through the night three nights and gives us at least a four or five hour reprieve most nights. She’s still a great eater and makes it very clear when the attention needs to be on her. She’s been wearing more pink and more hair bows than I ever thought I’d put on my daughter, but I love doing new things with her that I never did with Zack.
It’s Zack and Addie.
Two babies, two kids, two siblings.
And what a good big brother Zack is turning out to be — usually only at home and only a couple of times a day, but he most definitely crawls over to his sister when she’s crying and has signed “baby” to me at least three times this week already, after us only putting it out there to him last week during a therapy session. He’s a great big brother, but we knew he would be, no surprises there. We give him room to touch his sister’s toes (or smack her head if that’s the case) because I don’t even want to entertain the notion of the word “no” around his sister. I want him to always be close to her — physically and in every other way possible.
Because it’s Zack and Addie now.
And it’s my favorite part of this whole new segment of my life journey.
Even when I can’t figure out how to carry two kids in a fruit market.