If you ask me how it's going having two daughters, I'll tell you it's wonderful. I'll tell you how Tegan is thoughtful and kind, that she's imaginative and clever. That Sienna sleeps through the night, that she's happy and wiggly. That they are both lovely and affectionate, so very engaging.
I won't tell you that Tegan threw a tantrum in Walgreens. That she peed on the floor at Target. That Sienna had three diaper blowouts, screamed in my ear for two hours for no apparent reason.
That Tegan hit me and pulled my hair, told me she'd throw me in the trash. That Sienna won't let me put her down, that I can't make dinner, that I haven't used the bathroom for hours.
Because I'm a parent. Because they're kids. Because this comes with the territory. Because life is still wonderful. My girls are still wonderful. And I love them immensely, no matter what.
It's still a great day when Sienna spits up down my shirt, cries while Tegan hangs on my legs, trips up my steps, has a meltdown because her crayon broke, her sock is twisted, her step stool is too bumpy.
It's still a great day when there are rubber ducks (and poop) in the toilet (and outside it), a disaster of toys, burps that can't get patted out.
Because in a moment there will be calm. The girls will settle. Sienna will smile. Tegan will dance. Hands will get washed, the house will get straightened, dinner will somehow get made. The girls will giggle and make me forget the chaos. Micah will come home.
Tegan won't sleep till 10, but we'll dance to daddy's guitar, read books in bed. I'll hug her and listen to her musings -- how she chased Miles on the playground, that the sun is sleeping, that her classroom butterfly flew to Mexico.
Sienna will fuss, but she'll coo at bath time, smile when I sing to her, laugh when I clap her feet together. She'll hold my hand, lock her wide almond eyes on mine.
I'll lay out the outfits, pack the lunches, put the car seat by the door. Micah will load the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, throw in another load of laundry. The house will become quiet. We'll all get some rest. And then we'll start again tomorrow, brushing teeth, changing diapers, giving kisses, piling out the door.
I'll let the ache ease when I look at my girls' pictures in frames, pray they're in loving, capable hands, work hard so I can see them before evening.
I'll think about pancakes on Saturdays, laughter and love filling our home. How no matter how hard it gets, it is always wonderful. Because I've been gifted with these precious lives, these wonders who share my likeness, who make me pause to breathe in all I can from life.
And when they're older, when toys and drawings don't cover the floor, when they don't want snuggles at bedtime, when there's no more playtime, when there's no sound of tiny feet running, of high-pitched laughter in the halls, I will think back on these momentary adventures, of the sights and sounds and sweetness. And I will say, "Man, was that wonderful."