Almost a year ago, little Juliet was born. Moms of other irish twins told me repeatedly, "This will be the hardest year of your life." I half-way listened, but didn't really know what to expect. I thought they were being generous with the time frame - would it really be hard for the entire year? And would it really be harder than anything else I had experienced? Harder than serving a mission? Harder than carrying 18 credits in college, while working 3 jobs? It turns out that the answer is YES - it is harder than anything else I have ever done. And when they said it was hard for an entire year, they meant the ENTIRE year.
I've been looking forward to Juliet's birthday as the magical day, the day when life becomes easier. Scott noticed I was using this date as the light at the end of the tunnel, and cautioned me that perhaps everything wouldn't change in just one day. I think there is a part in all of us that needs to hold onto hope; hope of things becoming easier - whether that date is a month, a year, or even years away. I needed it in college - looking forward to the end of the semester; I needed it when teaching - sometimes just looking forward to the end of 3rd period, my most difficult class; I definitely need it now - most days I have changed 6 diapers by 9 in the morning. And yet, there is also light in the tunnel if I just turn on the switch. And that's what I've started noticing.
Little glimpses of light that happen each day - within this tunnel of having Irish Twins. It's turning on the light when the girls don't need me within 3 feet to stay happy. The girls can't play together for an hour at a time, but they can play for 5 minutes without my presence in the same room. I can even go to the bathroom without Noel pounding on the door, pleading, "Mommy? Mommy?" Noel doesn't clobber Juliet like she used to, and Juliet doesn't respond to Noel's teasing anymore. And yesterday, when Noel took a toy away from her kid sister, I asked her to give it back. The miracle? No tantrum. No screaming. She just gave it back, and went on playing. I could literally hear the hallelujah chorus!
So my two little ones - munchkin and sugarplum - are now playmates. I know that when Juliet's birthday comes in a month, it won't be easier every moment of everyday, but it will have some easy moments when I can sit down and breathe. Not because the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter, or that I've arrived at the land of having two completely independent toddlers (does such a thing exist?), but because I've found that there is light in the tunnel. I just needed to turn on the switch and see it.