It's funny -- most of the Drafts are unfinished, some with a few words and some with a few paragraphs. But after reading this one, it feels finished, which makes me wonder what was missing when I wrote it almost 2 years ago. One thing is for sure, it all rings true!
"Three boys! You must be busy. Are they triplets?" asks the young Target cashier.
I smile. I get this question almost weekly. "No, big brother is 22 months older than the twins."
"Wow. Really, you must be so busy!"
Sometimes statements like this bug me, but we aren't exactly a calm bunch in the Target checkout lane (or ever, really), so the comment doesn't bother me.
Then the lady behind me pipes in with an "I remember those days."
She's probably in her 80s. Her smile is warm, but her statement was missing the wistful tone that usually accompanies statements like that from most women over 50.
I smiled and gave my usual reply. "It's a very busy life, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
Her reply? "I had 7 in 6 years."
I stumbled over my words and think I said something to the effect of "Oh wow. You must have had some multiples then?"
"Three sets. A set of twins, then triplets, then twins again. Obviously they run in our family. I have 19 grandkids and 20 great grandkids. There are a few sets of twins and a set of triplets among them."
I still wasn't sure what to say other than "Wow. I guess you know exactly what I'm going through then ... except way more. You know, the risk of having another set of twins is why my husband isn't too keen on the idea of trying for one more."
She laughed and shook her head with wide eyes. "Well, that's what we did. Twice. It was hectic. My biggest piece of advice to my kids and grandkids who had multiples was to just get through it and enjoy it while you can. But don't stress yourself out over enjoying every second. Motherhood is hard and what we have is even harder. Just enjoy the parts you feel like enjoying and get through everything else. And focus on the small victories when you're having a hard time."
I smiled back as slid my Target card, tried to make sure that the Brothers stayed in the cart, and told Brennan for the 463 time to put the mini Nerf blaster back on the shelf.
I thanked her for the kind words and she wished me luck as I headed out the door with my crew.
The interaction left me thinking for a few days. Do I celebrate the small victories enough? Or do I dwell on the stressful parts?
I celebrate the big victories plenty. Took the boys to Chick-Fil-A by myself (with no stroller) and had a relatively stress free meal. Huge win. HUGE.
I goal for the next few weeks is to focus more on the small stuff. Have a smooth bedtime? Sweet. Successfully execute a fun learning activity? Excellent. Get everyone to not only survive, but enjoy a walk around the block? Fan-freakin-tastic. Celebrate it. Because it's the little things that make motherhood what it really is.