Archive for January, 2008

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First firsts

With Jordan walking and Sarah not quite, I’ve been thinking a lot about first firsts. Any parent of more than one child must have this experience. You can only experience something for the first time once. You experience great excitement that first time. But with a second child, they also reach that milestone, and it is the first time for them, but not for the parent.

With twins, most of the firsts happen within weeks, sometimes even days of each other. I confess, at times it is hard to be as excited about something a couple of weeks later when the second child does it. Actually, perhaps a bigger confession, sometimes I may fail to notice. As much as Jordan and Sarah are individuals to me, they are almost always there, together. So if Sarah does something for two weeks, and then suddenly Jordan is doing it too, do I always realize, wow, Jordan started it now, too? Not every single time.

Sarah started sitting up unsupported first. It was a huge step for her. We encouraged her and expressed a lot of excitement. Jordan still needed a boppy or pillow to help him sit up for a couple more weeks. One day, he no longer needed that help. But it is likely we did not cheer him on quite as much. Similarly, Jordan started crawling first. We definitely expressed tons of enthusiasm, lots of, come to Mama! cheers, etc. When Sarah began a couple of weeks later, we did cheer her, and I even managed to capture it on video, but we probably did not get quite as excited. Sarah blew kisses first. I cannot tell you when Jordan started, though he clearly can now. I love receiving his wonderful blown kisses, and I love how he does it spontaneously. My heart swells when he does it. But did I cheer him on, jump up and down with joy the first time he did it, as I did for Sarah? Unlikely.

I was struck by this difference recently. When Jordan became interested in walking, we spent a lot of time helping him go from the couch to us and back. We rarely do this with Sarah. Truthfully, I think she is less interested. Often if I stop holding her hand she chooses to sit down. She much prefers walking holding one or two hands over propelling herself forward the way Jordan used to. But a couple of weeks ago at daycare, she finished washing her hands at the low sinks, and made her way along the wall pulled her own paper towel out of the dispenser. It looked so normal to me. It was only a minute later that I realized I had never seen her do it before, only Jordan. Then I gave her a delayed congratulations. I am sure that once she begins walking independently, I will capture it on video, and post it here. But I cannot guarantee that I will experience the same immediate joy and awe I felt watching Jordan walk across a room for the first time. Yes, I will be extremely proud of her, but will I also feel instantly delighted? I just don’t know. I do hope I can also convey to her the same kind of excitement that Jordan received when he started.

So, when people wonder why I spend so much time writing Sarah and Jordan’s monthly letters, documenting their every word, etc., I think it is rooted in these twin issues. I may not notice/process all of the firsts in the exact moment, especially when it’s a second first. But if I write it down, I at least keep a record of what they have achieved. I at least give every accomplishment it’s proper due, in html and lovely multi-colored spreadsheets.

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Protected: Knee walking, on, on, on, and my ugly feet

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