Friday, October 7, 2011

Redfern twins and the bother of parenting

Today, my oldest niece gave birth to twin baby boys. The text came in around 6 am telling us that Albus and Jimmer were here. My husband's reaction: "Jimmer? Really?"

The next text came several minutes later. "Just kidding. We couldn't resist." They really named the boys Christian and Connor. 6 lb. 4 oz and 5 lb 14 oz, respectively, mother and babies all doing well.

This took me back nearly 17 1/2 years when my own baby twins were born. They weighed almost the same, 6 lb 4 oz and 5 lb 11 1/2 oz. I just can't help thinking about all we have been through and gained over the past 17 plus years.

Yesterday, Rich ate lunch with an older man who never had children. He told Rich as they were discussing his plans for retirement, "We don't have kids, so we don't have to bother with all that."

Bother. Maybe that is a good word to describe some of the headaches of parenting. It is a bother, when you look back on it, to give up sleep and hot meals and all capacity to think through a complete thought, when children are little. It's a bother not to be able to do things when you want to do them. It's a bother to have to change your schedule based on other people. It's a bother to try to figure out how to pay for college and missions, and basketball camp, and to wonder how on earth you are going to help this busy teenager find time to complete his Eagle project. And to stay up til midnight (or later) helping with big school projects. It is definitely a bother when they are sad or disappointed, and when they are sick. Yes, there is a lot of bother in being a parent.

The problem is, if you give up all the 'bother', you give up all the wonder and amazement and fun too. Like just this week. Rich had to leave for work before 5 am, and I was up with a sick child during the night. So when 6 am rolled around, Katie and Jacob were on their own. They got themselves up, got themselves breakfast, made lunches, and got themselves to seminary and then to school. I was amazed by these fabulous teenagers we have. Wow.

What would life be without laughing with them this morning before seminary about the crazy Jimmer and Albus text? Or without hearing about how it went when Jacob asked Ashley to homecoming? Or figuring out Katie's busy practice schedule for the musical at the high school, looking forward to watching her perform next month?

Life is so much more fun and sweet and full because, 17 years ago, two babies entered our lives. There have absolutely been times full of 'bother'. But there have also been times full of hugs and kisses and learning and teaching and happiness. And in the end, we have these great people to love and to be a part of our lives.

Besides, I think all the bother is a part of the plan. How can we ever become selfless like the Savior if we don't have something that makes us forget ourselves?

Here's a quote by Erika Jong from the Mary Engelbrite book Motherhood that I love:

You give up yourself, and finally you don't even mind. I wouldn't have missed this for anything. It humbled my ego and stretched my soul. It gave me whatever crumbs of wisdom I possess today.

Brandon and Whitney, you are starting on a wonderful road. You will love it. (And there will be times when you will wonder what on earth you've gotten yourselves into!) The babies will grow, and so will you. What a happy day! Enjoy!!