Last night we had one of those wonderful twin parent moments.
The girls had been asleep for about two hours. Erin and I were downstairs watching The West Wing (what else is new?) after having our dinner. We were relaxed after a wonderful Sunday spent as a family.
Then the crying started.
Ana started it off by wailing and screaming. She wouldn't calm down.
Then Grace woke up and joined her in the scream party.
Moments like this are when I'm most thankful that I'm not a single parent. Singleton parents just don't know that joy of trying to calm down one baby while the other one screams away. It's nearly impossible to calm one down when the other one is crying at the top of her lungs. Luckily we're evenly matched. Erin took care of Ana, and I pick up Grace and took her into the other room.
I swayed back and forth until she calmed down and rested her head back on my shoulder and fell back asleep.
And all I could think was "There will be a time when I won't be able to hold her in my arms and rock her to sleep." It's a realization that every parent comes to at one time or another. It's so obviously when you think about it, but I think a part of me refused to accept it as reality. I think because it's a thought that absolutely crushes you.
Your purpose as a parent is to protect and provide for your child. That becomes more and more difficult as they gain independence. You have to give up on the idea of always being there for them. That they'll always want you there for them. It's a hard pill to swallow, but it's a pill that must be swallowed all the same.
So I held her in my arms a little bit longer. I refused to put her down for an extra minute or two. I cherished the moment, and I'll cherish every one of these moments until I can't anymore. I don't mind that it started with tears and screams as long as it finished with me holding my daughters.