Monday, February 26, 2007

Hi. My name is Leslie and I have a secret.

Sunday my daughter had her first birthday party to attend. It wasn't the first birthday party she has attended, but for once she was invited, not the family. We were at the party of a little girl in her preschool class and the little girl's twin sister. It was crazy on a Sunday at noon. There were 300 people there and at least 5 different parties. Amid all the buzzing, squealing, and laughter I was choking back tears. They stung my eyes and I had a lump in my throat.

I followed my daughter from arcade game to arcade game, walking with a jingle of the tokens in her cup. Keeping an eye out to make sure she didn't get lost and hoping to find a familiar face, for me or for her. We don't know the preschool families very well. The moms just nod and smile at pick-up time and quite frankly all that I remember of her preschool class is that they are all short.

I caught a glimspe of the birthday girl, which one was it? They were dressed identical that day. And since I don't know the girls I have difficulty telling them apart. I found my daughter had the same difficulty. So I thought to myself, 'would I have dressed my twins the same?' Then I remembered. Then my eyes burned and the lump came back. Not so long ago I would have had to make that decision. I had twin boys. I could have been this mother.

I sat at the table surounded by greasy pizza enjoying witty banter with a few strange moms. We talked about the minutia of life; husbands, households, and kids. It was an easy conversation, nothing deep, nothing personal. "Which child is yours?" "How many kids do you have?" "I can't believe how sick they have been this winter." The usual stuff.

I answered. "I have three kids. The boys are at home with their dad." Watching the two cakes come out and the two girls with matching clothes and birthday girl party hats. I wanted to scream "ME TOO! I'm a twin mommy too!" I wanted to sneak into a corner and call my husband crying "I hate twins. I want to come home." But I dutifully followed my daughter around. Waiting for her to come out of the plastic tubing.

This is going to continue. I know its not over. I know I will be confronted by twins for the rest of my life. I will never get to be a twin mommy again. And the lump comes back and my eyes are stinging. I am so envious of that mom. Why can't it be me? But I smile and say "Thanks for inviting us. I hope you can come to my daughter's party next week." . . . . . where I will cry again.

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