Wednesday, September 11, 2013: Present.

Dear Babies,

I was in churches in Italy looking for something.  A sign. Maybe something will speak to me. I’ll look into the eyes of a woman in a very old portrait, and see, eerily, my own reflection. Wouldn’t that be creepy? Certainly make for a good story.

Yesterday when leaving the hair salon you guys were offered prizes. You chose a Hello Kitty watch, Baby Girl, continuing with this odd occurrence of loving the big-headed kitten without knowing anything about her. (You never read a book about her. There is no “Hello Kitty” show. It’s because she likes pink, isn’t it? Oh, am I paying for my days as a 90’s cheeseball tenfold.) You, Baby Boy, chose a Rubik’s cube. I had the thought, wouldn’t it be cool if suddenly I looked down and saw that he’d solved it?? My little boys a genius! I kept looking, but nothing. It’s downstairs now in the toy bin next to Jake and the Neverland Pirates and a matchbox car, perfectly unsolved.

First day of school this morning, and I kept telling myself remember to take a picture! Holding hands with our school bags on the way out the door! Post it on Facebook! Whoo-hoo! But please. Who am I kidding. The bar for success is set at getting us out the door clothed, and now without peeing ourselves–that’s it. Maybe it’s a twin mom thing, that extra splash of hectic making it that much harder to stop for a photo-op. (The other day at your friend’s house, also twins, one of the boys was busy dumping a pitcher of water over his head. I imagined other mothers springing to their feet. But there was the twin mom, calm, a little defeated, “oh, there he goes…”)

Moment! Where was the big watershed moment! After all, this is the first day of school!

I remembered last year, similarly waiting for such a moment. (You, with a healthy dose of sarcasm: Thanks to these letters, Mom, we have a searchable index of all our days!

Meanwhile, it’s September 11th, a day we are told to never forget. Always remember.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen television that wasn’t one of your dvr’d shows, but this morning I caught a glimpse. Home from school and hot and punchy, rest, I said, I’ll put on a movie…In the few seconds I had to pull up “The Lorax,” I heard the cellos. It was the reading of the names. “Look, Mommy, a policeman standing with two ladies!” you announced. And I froze…

At the end of the reading one woman stopped to thank her father for showing her that he’s always watching over her, in ways from sending her her incredible husband, whom her father would’ve loved, and…

I swallowed a lump, for her sadness, for everyone’s loss, for this world that we live where we can do this to one another.

I was brought back to the phone ringing, tearing me away from the atrocity on television at Nanny’s house where my twenty-two-year-old self was living, unemployed. I answered, hello. It was Grumpah, whom I hadn’t spoken to or seen in three months by then. I didn’t even know where he was living. A stand off that lasted for four more years…He asked if we were all okay. I said yes. He hung up first. I can’t remember if I said good-bye…

“Mommy, LORAX!” It wasn’t woman, where’s my movie??, but it was close.

I jumped. I put on the movie. I spun around and did that dance with my arms out, lip-synching to the fish, “Ta-Dah!” like I do every time. And there were laughs all around.

And it’s really really hard but we must remember, never forget, that the moments of life are happening here right in front of us. That the past is gone. That the future is uncertain. That this is it. Now…







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