Bare chested, my three-year-old twins ride, stacked, in the low-rider bike. Isaiah can’t pedal and Levi’s legs are too
short to reach, so they tag-team. Isaiah sits in the back – a place-holder, and Levi
in front – the engine pulling them forward.
Flesh pressed against flesh, they zip around the driveway, giddy with
speed, shouting their little-boy slogans, planning to take over the world.
I pulled out the double jogging stroller this morning,
preparing to sell it. They climbed in
and begged me to push them around. I
walked them up and down the driveway, flat tire and all, remembering the feel
of the handle on my hand and the presence of my older son as we walked all over
town in the early days and years of their lives. Day after day they sat facing the world
together in that stroller, side-by-side, a binky-toting, onesie wearing,
This is back when the two of them were small enough to share one single shoulder. They often slept tangled together in a cozy knot.
Pretty quickly they graduated into the double stroller. Look at those sweet little bundles!
There they are – a “binky-toting, onesie-wearing, unified front.”
Yesterday, rolling through the grocery store, side-by-side
again in a giant cart, they made a joint decision to move their birthday to Spring. “You can’t do that,” I said, “your birthday
is what it is. It’s the day you were
Passing customers grinned as they often do – these boys talk
with their volume set on LOUD all. the. time.
I remember sitting at a lunch table once, discussing twins with friends. A kind-hearted
soul bemoaned how difficult it would be to never have a birthday of your very
own – to always have to share that day with someone else.
This is how we see it in our culture, isn’t it, a loss to
have to share something? But I wonder if
we aren’t the ones missing out. Maybe
these boys are the lucky ones, always having someone to share with, someone to
pedal when you can’t.
Yesterday was the last day of their first year of preschool and they arrived home, oblivious of the brief evaluation tucked into each of their little backpacks. They don’t know their letters or numbers, cannot identify common colors or shapes – apparently, they’re behind.
But I am learning from them still – the way they know instinctively, two is greater than one.
Earlier this week I purchased a fifty pound bag of chicken
feed. After trying, unsuccessfully, to
hoist it over my shoulder, I walked to the car with it wrapped precariously in
front of me, a bulging sack cradled in my spindly arms. I remembered then, as I often do, how I
gained about sixty pounds when I was carrying the twins and the mere thought,
the mere memory, of walking under all of that weight was enough to cause my
pelvic floor to groan.
I carried those boys, tangled together, Isaiah holding his
place at the bottom and Levi riding on top. For nine months, they led me, bulging out in
front, their flesh pressed together, growing in their knowing. And they lead me still.