the big ones
they are the best of friends, they are the worst of friends. every other minute this is true with our two big ones. they are either totally obsessed with each other; following each other around, giggling to the point that you want to smack them both, or sitting so closely together their legs are intertwined. Or they're screaming at each other, "I don't like that!" mocking each other, tattle-telling, or threatening to never play with each other again.
And the noise these two create. Sweet baby Jesus, the noise. There is no phrase I say more often during the day then, "please try to be more quiet." Their regular voice noise level is set at an eight -so any kind of excitement knocks it up to about a fifteen and puts me at risk of sending me over the edge. I know, someday it will be quiet, I know. but seriously....it.is.so.very.loud.
They are polar opposites in almost all ways which brings out the lacking part in each other. Grey gives Gemma the toughness of both body and mind that she could use. With him, she competes and doesn't back down, and tries things that she'd never choose to do on her own. And Gem gives Grey a steady baseline, a more normalized heart rate for both his body and mind. With her, Grey slows down, plays longer, and practices following rather than leading.
the little ones
My squishy ones; Violet with those cheeks and thighs and Rusty with that baby neck that has so many folds it sends me into near sobs at the thought of it disappearing in the future. Our two little ones are ever so slowly building their own relationship. They are together often because of their age, as the big ones are off doing some game of strength and endurance , while they're left behind for less intimidating play.
Right now, in this moment, they are both very needy. Rusty by default needing me for literally everything, and Violet because she's currently stuck in between baby and toddler at 2 months shy of her second birthday. She wants to do everything by herself, but can't quite just yet - so it's a neediness that requires endless patience for tasks that take two times as long and messes that are twice as big. I feel lucky though, in some small way, to still be in this stage of being needed so much. My arms are still full, always full, with our two little ones that require almost everything from me. At the end of the day, I am drained of energy and patience and nutrients - but it's been replaced with love and snuggles - and that's plenty payment enough.
we have brothers! sometimes I find myself in daydreams of seeing the two of them together as they grow up. Grey often questions us with how old he'll be when Rusty is so and so age. Today I told him that he will be eleven when Rusty is six and he smiled when I reminded him that it will be just like him and his cousin right now - and how when she plays with him it is so much fun!
Their relationship right now is mostly comprised of Grey getting right up in Rusty's face and making incredibly annoying sounds and laughing maniacally while Rustin furrows his eyebrows...which probably will be some part of their relationship for the rest of time (hah). Grey is very helpful though with trying to find solutions when Rusty is crying and asks daily for some time to hold him. I am so excited, and dare I say a little afraid, to see how these two grow together in all their rough, wild, loud, and wrestling boy ways.
our girls. I am so grateful that our girls have a sister. Of all the things from my childhood that I am thankful for, my sisters are the greatest. The girls, as it seems in this present moment, are just the right amounts alike and different from each other for a mostly peaceful friendship. They are already sharing make-up, and shoes, and clothes and whispering to each other between their bed slats before bed. Hours will pass as they play baby dolls or hair/make-up salon together. They hold hands and snuggle and read books together. Granted, they also get into high pitched screaming battles over who gets to have a particular baby doll or purse first - but for the most part, it is a relationship full of twirls and giggles and squeals.
I imagine them through the only lens I have of my relationship with my own sisters and it brings so much happiness and gratitude to my heart. A lifetime of support and a shoulder to lean into and a person who will catch all their secrets, and wishes, and fears. I look forward to a motherhood of seeing them exchange a full conversation in a glance - and even though I'm not privy to what that conversation might be unless they decide to include me - I'm content knowing that they have each other.
Brandon and I have started calling Gemma&Rustin and Greyson&Violet The Skips, because they're the pairings with skipping a kid between them in birth order. The Skips configuration comes up time and time again because it appears that it's both convenient (one big kid and one little kid) but also The Skips have similar personalities too.
Gemma and Rusty are our current snugglers and slow and steady kids. Gemma is my little momma and she would be blissfully happy to take over for me when it comes to Rustin. She daydreams and talks about someday in the future when she'll be a momma and have to feed, change, and carry babies all day. She snuggles up and reads, sings, and talks sweetly to Rustin any chance she gets. She's my right hand man all day long and Rusty seems to trust her more than any of the other kids when it comes to holding him. He relaxes with her and listens to her voice intently. Gemma needs someone to love and cherish and as the baby of the family, Rusty will need someone to turn to when it feels like everyone is leaving him out and teasing him. They are just what the other one needed in our family dynamics and I am so glad for that. These two are our sweet skips.
While Greyson and Violet are our wild skips. Violet brings something out in Greyson that makes me feel utterly grateful. He loosens up a little bit and belly laughs at almost everything she does. But she's tough enough to play rough with him and stares at him with eyes full of admiration that his ego appreciates and craves. She knows, already at 22 months, that her Booboo will do just about anything she asks - even calling out to him when Brandon and I tell her no. They play chase, catch, and kick together. They are similarly athletic, competitive and independent. Greyson loves to 'baby' Violet and Violet loves to accept his attention and then in the next moment they're pretend fighting or chasing each other; fluctuating between the two extremes of big brother/baby sister - and equals like it's no big deal. Their little minds seems to buzz on the same frequency and I can't wait to marvel and laugh at their friendship as they grow up together.
I recently read Mary Louise Parker's Dear Mr. You and one of the lines from one of my favorite letters inside (Dear Future Man Who Loves my Daughter), she wrote about her kids,
"I want them to take comfort in the fact that they share a mother that is only theirs, and a childhood as wild and special as they are. I need them to have each other. It's almost all I need."
Yes, it is almost all I need.
A lifetime of finding selfies of all four them on my camera roll will bring joy to my mother's heart
that they know
they always have each other.