The babies are coming.
Despite the flurry of the past few weeks, with nesting in full gear and a to-do list that never ended, Chris and I took the kids out for one last dinner as a family of six last night. We went to Club Lago, our favorite neighborhood family restaurant, a place where kids are welcome and the locals sitting belly-up to the bar are super laid back.
When we sat down at the table we gave the kids each a little present: a framed picture of them with us from when they were little, so they know they are loved and treasured and special. They took turns opening the frames, and each kid was so excited to see what memory lay within.
But, once presents were opened, dinner took a turn. Evie and Vivian were blubbering emotional messes, crying into my lap about the loss of their own babyhoods and how they don’t want me to be gone for a few days. Ben wanted nothing to do with sitting in his seat, or any seat for that matter. Mack was about as disagreeable and grumpy as possible. We ate quickly before scurrying out of the restaurant. I felt like such a failure.
I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. I imagined this dinner to be a lovely and cheerful affair, where we all reminisced about births and life and love of one another. But, in reality, the impending arrival of the twins is stressful for all of us for so many different reasons. I’m worried about sleep deprivation. Chris is worried about taking care of so many humans while I recover. The kids are worried about losing space in our hearts and minds.
I often remind the kids – and myself! – that life will be difficult for a few months while we sort out what it means to be a family of eight. But, I also promise them that soon enough we will settle in to a new normal. We will find balance again. We will emerge stronger and more loving towards one another.
Chris tried to settle the bill with the waiter and he was informed that someone mysteriously picked up the check! The waiter refused to tell him who the sneaky and generous patron was. Perhaps it a fellow diner who remembered what it was like to attempt a nice night out with little kids? Maybe the restaurant recognized us as regulars and treated us? Maybe a family member who knew our evening plans? Whoever it was: THANK YOU. It made our night a lot better.
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