Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Behold Their Creativity

On the afternoon of July 3, I was selling fireworks in the Jaycee Fireworks Booth in Vancouver, Washington when I went into labor. On the way to the hospital, I held a 32-ounce Big Gulp between my legs. When a labor pain struck, I spilled the drink. The hospital thought my water had broken and rushed me in. After checking my cervix they sent me home. I had a week or so left, they said.

Within hours, I was back for the full meal deal. Eight hours later, twin A was born: 4 pounds, 13 ounces. Twin B weighed in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces. That extra pound meant it took him an hour and forty minutes more to blaze the trail.

Happy Fourth of July!

Once I was settled in my room, the thick-bodied nurse with the German accent expelled the contents of my bladder into a bedpan, gave me a spit shine from a washbasin, and wrapped me in hot blankets. It felt like the nicest thing anyone had ever done. Then she brought the babies swaddled tight in cotton receiving blankets. Three inch cotton tubing tied at one end served as little caps. I stared at their tiny faces with a mix of wonder and curiosity.

Nobody told me I was allowed to unwrap them, so I didn’t. It didn’t occur to me to check all their fingers and toes. I held them and stared with wonder. Were these really my own two sons?

Who knew what joys and challenges they would bring? 

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant (and in the eighth month, pregnant with twins) my priorities began to change. It took time to grow into motherhood, and fortunately, they were the kind of kids who allowed me those years. 

They were sensitive, intelligent, and funny boys who would later grow into amazing men. Along the way, we had our share of verbal and emotional tussles which were no fun, and I'm certain they could attest to days wishing they'd had a different mom, or at least, that I'd have behaved differently. It's also safe to say that I learned as much from them as they did from me. 

One of the things I've always appreciated most is their resourcefulness and creativity. It started early with Duplos and Legos, and progressed to scissors, paper and tape. They knew I trusted them with tools, so by second grade they'd lobbied hard for pocket knives although I'd never permitted toy weapons outside of squirt guns or Nerf.

What did they do?

They used their tools.

And lest you underestimate what seven-year-old boys can create with a hammer, handsaw, pocket knife and electrical tape...

Behold the sword--

And the spear.

And the mother who acquiesced. 

Homemade weapons were fine, I decided, so long as they weren't directed at animals or people.

Twenty-some years later, they've both earned their Master's degrees. One is an aerospace engineer at Boeing. The other creates and produces events for top marketing execs of Fortune 500 companies. 

And me?

I'm so grateful I get to be their mom.


  1. Dan & Dave always amazed me with their resourcefulness, intuitiveness & kindness. You should be proud. Darla

  2. How awesome is that? You trusted them and they were able to grow and follow their own direction even if it was a little tricky for you. Fabulous. I feel proud of them AND you!

    1. It's an ever-growing thing, parenthood.

  3. What a lovely post about trust and creativity (and how cool is it that those concepts are so closely connected to gratitude). You seem like a very similar mother to mine -- big on love, big on fun, accepting of chaos.

    1. Yes, trust is necessary for creativity, I think. Don't give me too much credit though, I was big on bossiness and yelling too.

  4. This made me smile. The love permeates throughout. The photos are great!

  5. I remember that warmed flannel sheet - soooo nice. And the same little caps on my twins' heads. But when I took the caps off, turned out one twin was blond and one dark brunette!
    Yes, parenthood is a fine example of the theme gratitude. What a crazy, wonderful ride it's been.

    1. "What a crazy, wonderful rid it's been." Yes, indeed, Jane!


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