Born 6.5 weeks early, after 17 hours of labor, around 8:30 and 8:38 a.m., and weighing 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces and 5 pounds, 1 ounce, they now stand around 6 feet tall.
I don’t think I’ve ever been as frightened when the hospital forced us all to move into a “family room” the night after the boys were released from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and left Mark and I to the care of two very miniature humans. They slept in bassinets while Mark cowered in bed, watching them, worried, whispering. How anyone could trust us with one baby, let alone two? Were we really going to take these things home with us in the morning?
Somehow, it all worked out really, really well.
At church last Sunday, the boys were honored as graduating seniors. Pastor Eric brought them up, and asked them to say a few words. Ethan did his dad proud, took stage, and made ’em laugh. Caleb did his dad proud, took stage, and spoke from the heart. There was hardly a beat before the applause erupted. The congregation jumped to their feet, giving the guys an extended, enthusiastic ovation. Ethan and Caleb held up well, grinning and saying “thank you,” while their mama wept buckets in the balcony. A little girl tapped me on the shoulder, smiled sweetly, and handed me the Kleenex that her mother had sent over. There were quite a few folks digging out the tissues. Nary a dry eye in the house.
So many layers, so many facets to this existence! Infinity itself revealed. These moments when joy and sorrow suddenly bloom together, and life is suddenly rendered so full, so completed, so magnificent – the heart can’t begin to hold it all.
Which, I suppose, is why the Divine Whatever gifted us with two hearts to carry it forward.