I was cleaning out my closet today and I came across a lone diaper. A single, clean diaper - The Last Diaper. It spoke volumes to me. Had it gotten shoved to the back of my closet as I sometimes shove away important things like laughing, silence, a fresh puff of wind, or the call of a cardinal? Had I clung to that Last Diaper "just in case" there is a sudden relapse in toilet training two? Or had I saved it purposefully, like a time capsule, to be opened and reminded of all that we have accomplished?
My heart laments. I miss all the things that The Last Diaper represents: my cuddly, snuggly babies and the scents that will always be theirs; their chubby little toes as I clipped their nails singing, "Where is Thumbkin?"; dancing in the sunshine in our pajamas. I miss all the things that The Last Diaper represents.
My heart celebrates. My petite "sunflowers" are beginning to blossom in a new way - Mother Nature's way. They have entered the "tween" age, and just yesterday, had a class with the school counselor about how their bodies are going to be changing to prepare for motherhood.
After school, Twin B was anxious to ask about getting deodorant, a bra, and having a period. She had a million questions that were mature and thoughtful, giving me a glimpse of the deep-hearted woman that she is becoming. Was this the little one who insisted on blowing dandelion puff "wishes" until there were no more.
Twin B and I talked for about an hour, and we both found ourselves trying not to let the tears over-flow. Her tears were for the unknown moments and changes she would have. Mine were for the known moments and changes she would have. Perhaps we would have cried if our intense visit hadn't been interrupted by Twin A losing her first molar.
So here I sit, looking at The Last Diaper. I wonder, should I shove the time capsule back into my closet, or toss it into the trash like a sock with a hole in it? Mamas, you know I couldn't toss it, just as I can't throw away any of their school work, art work, school awards, baby teeth, or a few locks of hair every now and then.
A famous author once wrote: "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...This is to have succeeded!" So I must go now and continue succeeding in life - winning, not the lottery or a better job, but the affection of my girls.
Holly Engel-Smothers is coauthor of the book, Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power.