Today I drove Michael to Carter's to pick an outfit for each of his little brothers. Right now the plan is that they will come home from the hospital in these outfits (plus a mama-made sweater and blankie), but you never know ... something else might catch my fancy before they're born. :) I also got the matching stuffed animals, because I had coupons and was standing in line for the register for too long. And because I'm a sucker for Carter's. And because it was a turtle and a fox.
At the checkout counter, Carter's has this neat little bead maze for kids to play with while their parents pay. Michael was pretty upset when I pulled him away from it, so to avoid a tantrum I gave him the fox. Then I felt really guilty, because 1) Michael really loved this fox and he wasn't going to be able to keep it, and 2) because he kept hugging it and giving it open-mouthed kisses, it was getting all drooled on before its intended recipient was even born. But I was able to slip it quietly back into the bag when we got home and he hasn't missed it.
I admit I looked a bit wistfully at some of the sweet dresses in the girl section, disappointed that I couldn't buy any because they were so cute. Not disappointed that I am having my boys, though--just to be clear. On the drive over there was a big, light-up billboard welcoming the new little prince, and I teared up a little. Not because I'm a royal groupie, but because it moved me to see that welcome. And because that's what all baby boys are, truly: little princes. They are so amazing. And baby boy clothes are pretty darn cute, too. ;)
As I prepare for these two little lives to enter the outside world, I have also been thinking a lot about death. Recently an acquaintance of mine discovered that their own little boy likely has a genetic disease that will cause them to die by age four. This little guy is the same age as my Michael. It breaks my heart in a way I know it couldn't have before becoming a mother. Please pray for them, and also for Dwija, who lost her baby last week. She was due a week after me; her boy Nicholas was the same age as my own twins.
I am not sure that I have a conclusion to these thoughts, and I don't mean to be morbid. I am not walking around in fear of loss, but rather in humility before things so much bigger than I am. It is easy to forget how big these little lives are, so easy to take them for granted. On a simply practical level, I cannot comprehend that there are two lives inside of me, even when as they grow and I am able to feel them interacting with each other. There is not much I can do to truly prepare for their arrival except live and be humble.
Which isn't to say I don't have a list of things that need to get done before the babies arrive. I know you're dying to see it, so here it is.
-Move. This has a list of to-do's all its own, obviously, not the least of which is "buy a house to move into." But one list at a time.
-Buy: two bouncy seats, newborn diapers, a double stroller plus toddler seat, a twin nursing pillow. (These strike me as the immediate essentials. Am I missing anything? Things like cribs can wait a month or two since they'll be in our room.)
-Wash and lay out infant clothes, and figure out what more is needed since these babies are being born in a different season.
-Measure the back seat of the car(s) and buy new carseat(s) as necessary.
-Register at the hospital and take a tour.
-Make plans for Michael during labor.
-Pack bags for everyone. (I feel like this is far away, but everyone tells me to be prepared way earlier than I think I need to be.)
-Stock up on freezer meals.
-Knit. Blankies, sweaters, hats.
Am I missing anything important?