In just a few weeks my twins will turn one, and I will be 44. I am an older mom who thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but I am finally realizing that despite all the advice given to me and research I did on my own, I was truly not prepared. What I can say is that at this moment in time we are all happy and healthy, which I know is the most important thing.
I am finally settling into motherhood and feel more confident now than when I brought them home from the NICU. Although we had a rough start, my instincts as a mother quickly kicked in, much to my relief. I have relied on every ounce of wisdom and intellect that my 44 years have provided me to get through some of the toughest and worrisome times. It turns out that being an older mom definitely has its perks, and I have taken advantage of every single one of them.
With the first-year milestone approaching us, I have been thinking about the big picture. It is very important to me that I teach them some of the things I feel will make them better people and help navigate them through life. This has required some serious self-reflection on what I think are my good qualities and what I want them to learn from me as their mother. I am far from perfect, but I know I have the ability to pass on some very important life lessons.
Sydney and Remy, this is what I want you to know...
Because I am a doctor, most people assume that I am pretty smart. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. I’m really not. I am hardworking. I studied A LOT. Things didn’t come easy to me, so I had to study twice as long as most of my peers. What I didn’t have in natural abilities, I made up for in passion, drive and the willingness to put in the hours. I will teach you to work hard at everything you do whether it’s working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant (I was REALLY good at it) or studying for medical school. I can’t wait to see you burning the midnight oil preparing for a test, beating down doors to get your dream job, or trying hard to take those first baby steps to land into my outstretched arms.
Being able to show love has been hard for me, because I started building walls when I was very young. I think being an overachiever has allowed me to hide behind these walls, which have proven very difficult to take down even as an adult. I know I have lost out on some beautiful moments, because I have been too stubborn and too scared to see what was on the other side. I will teach you to never be afraid to show anyone love and always be willing to be the one to take that first step. I will teach you that being able to love without regret or fear doesn’t make you weak; it makes you stronger. I will always believe that being your mom finally made those walls crumble around me.
I will love you short or tall, punk or preppy, athletic or awkward, gay, straight or undecided. I will love you. I have always found differences in people, places and beliefs so intriguing. I think traveling and education helped open my mind to all of the possibilities we can experience in life. I will teach you to relish in every inch of beauty and heartache this world has to offer. I will teach you that acceptance and understanding will only make you a better human being and give you more opportunity to grow and learn. Opening my mind to other possibilities when doors were closing right in front of me led me to you.
The struggle and pain of infertility resulted in one perfect possibility: you. That journey was not easy for me, but I vividly remember the day when I saw your little heartbeats. My heart was so full. I was so hopeful. “It only takes one!”, everyone said — but I was blessed with two. After years of disappointments, I could have retreated. I could have let it defeat me. I didn’t, though. I quickly began to think of what options were still left for me. I didn’t give up. I bounced back like I always have when something didn’t go as planned for me. I am a fighter, and I know you will be, too, because I am your mother.
You are a part of me. You will be a better version of me. You have given me new life and new purpose. Somewhere deep inside I know there is something better in my future because I have you in it. I promise to always teach you, love you and protect you... my perfect possibilities.