He keeps looking up from the mat, anytime he can pause for even a millisecond, he searches for me. He’s my little ninja, my Owen. He’s finally found something that belongs to him and he wants to be sure I see him. Oh my boy, I’m definitely watching. I’m watching every chop, punch, kick and step. Normally I have to drop him off for his 30 minute class and run somewhere else in that time.
Not this evening though, I’m able to sit and watch his class because my husband got home from work in time and I could leave the rowdy two year old with him. Not having to chase the toddler around and keep him off the mat gives me the ability to give this middle boy my undivided attention. I don’t have to run his oldest brother to drum lessons or his bible study. I don’t even have to go to the grocery because I got that done earlier. This half hour is solely his. I’m sitting here and thinking about how he has come so far since he started less than a year ago. Even though he had to miss two months because of the chaos of us moving. He works hard at this and is passionate. His face when he gets a new piece of tape on his belt, which gets him that much closer to the next belt is my favorite. His brown eyes twinkle, the freckles that go across his nose get wrinkled when he smiles like that. I love that smile. I love the look on his face when he has pride in his accomplishments. Tonight is his, another night will belong to his twin brother.
They seldom get me to themselves. When I say that, I mean we may have had 2-3 solar eclipses since the last time either of the twins had me to themselves. I bet it’s a tough life being one of four brothers, it’s probably that much tougher being one part of a duo. “The twins” they’re called.
The other half of this combo, the other middle child is my swimmer and basketball player, my Evan. That’s right they have to share everything, even being the middle child! Ha!
Just a week ago we were at Evan’s final swim meet of the year until nearly midnight. He swam his heart out, he went home with 4 trophies. In the 8 and Under boy’s division, I am the proud mother of one of the top 6 backstrokers and butterflies in the Northern Kentucky Swim League. Yeah, it may not seem like much, but it’s Evan’s accomplishment. It’s something he has sole property of. Just like that late night at the pool was his alone time with his Mom. Owen has ownership of his belts. Those belts I have tried teaching him to tie over and over, but he still doesn’t get it right. I usually tie it for him. It’s just a brief moment, but I’m sure years down the road, I’ll remember stooping down to his level and helping him tie that belt in the many colors it comes in.
They don’t understand how special being their Mom is. They don’t get how cool their bond is. They don’t look at their brotherhood the way I do. They fight like it’s going out of style, but they love each other in a special way. They feel each other’s pain, and not just emotional, but physical. It’s a strange twin thing and I don’t understand it, but it’s a true joy to get to witness it. They are one in the same and also complete opposites. Yes, that is possible. They both love the spotlight, but if I had to choose a shyer one, it would be Evan. They both love to sing and dance and aren’t half bad, but Owen is more apt to share both talents. They both love Dinosaurs, but Evan is much more into the prehistoric creatures. Star Wars is also a hit, but Evan favors Luke Skywalker, while Owen has an almost alarming appreciation for Darth Vader. They are their own person, but as much as they may hate it, they are also a pair.
Today, they had a spat over a shirt. They have the same shirt in different colors, but Evan insisted they wear them on different days on our trip this weekend, whereas Owen was hoping they could wear them the same day. Someday, I hope they realize how lucky they are. I hope they see the unique bond they share that majority of the world can’t begin to understand. I hope they always stand on their own two feet, but remember they have another set of feet they can depend on because they have a twin. They aren’t just brothers. No, they shared a womb. They were bonding even before I knew they were a “they”. For twenty weeks they were just one. I only knew about one baby. Then, I was told there was two. From that moment on, my life was never the same.
It’s strange though because they always had the other there. I just hope that I can continue to let them be their own person, while being sure their brotherhood stays a friendship. I fear I lump them together too much. I too say, “the twins” and they aren’t “the twins”. He is Owen. He is Evan. My ninja, my swimmer, my stubborn boys, my dancers, my singers, my prayers, my video gamers, my mess makers. They are MY DUO. They are so many things and will become so many more things, but with all the hats they wear or will wear, they are mine.