Truth be told, on our 2nd official date – a day we played hooky from work and ended up walking on a deserted beach in April – we actually picked out the names of our children.
Today there is a small scrap of paper found in the glove compartment tucked into our “things” that has this written on it:
And underneath it,
The names we chose while we dated and daydreamed about holding a child in our arms.
We never knew back then, in our innocence, how long and hard our journey to that day would be.
How much we would be on our knees, desperate for a chance to be called by the other names we dreamt of: Mommy & Daddy.
Our trying-to-conceive journey was a long and desperate one, filled with very dark days and times where we almost gave up, but we always tried to keep the hope of parenthood in our hearts.
When we were sure our bodies couldn’t take another round of tests or prodding, when we were certain that our home would echo only our own footsteps and not the joyous pounding of small feet running, we hung onto one another like a life raft and clung to the notion that sometimes prayers do get answered, dreams do come true and things you want are worth waiting for.
So, we waited.
That doesn’t always mean we are the best parents. You would think that the four years it took to hold Jacob and Giovanni in our arms would afford us more patience, unlimited understanding, and a tiny bit more clarity than other parents might have.
But the birth changes you, even if you’ve waited and prayed for it.
It’s funny, but your children come into your life and don’t act differently than any other infants, babies, toddlers or teenagers. Some days I am sure we look at each other and the unspoken question is there: “What were we thinking?” “Where is the manual?”
So instead we learned that our nerves would be shot; we would be grumpy, sleep-deprived people who bickered and quipped at one another.
We would be parents of twins and all that entailed.
It is at times disheartening and at others hopeful, painfully normal and equalizing.
We are no longer an isolated couple no one can relate to; instead we are just as harried and confused, overwhelmed and overjoyed as everyone else.
We are, for better or worse, PARENTS now.
And it would seem that being told we might never be parents is exactly what pushes us to remember what we have been given and to work hard at thanking the universe, each and every day, for the gift of a moniker that is priceless in every way.