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by The Next Family May 16, 2013

By Brandy Black


Our 16-month-old twins are walking. Penn with a fast trot and Bella, a waddle and a shake. They are both proud with every step they take and are beginning to understand things, particularly orders from their older sister. “Don’t touch my castle.” They wouldn’t dare upset her, they live for her entrance every morning, laugh at everything she does. She rules with an iron fist, getting on their level and in their face when they upset her. We stand back and debate when is best to intervene. The twins are fighting now too. They shove and hit when they don’t get their way and fight for our attention. We are officially out of the baby stages and into toddlerdom. Having been through this before I’m excited for what’s around the corner. This is one of the worst stages, impossible to go out to eat or go anywhere for that matter because Penn and Bella don’t listen. It’s not that they don’t want to, they just don’t understand the rules yet. When does that happen again? At night when all the children are tucked in their beds, Susan and I began to calculate the tough months ahead and it is daunting. Yet their little brains are emerging and it such an exciting thing to watch.

I have been waiting for the day that our oldest can actually play with her siblings and it’s been unfolding before our eyes.  Sophia made a fort underneath Penn’s crib and all three of them squeeze under with toys.  They giggle and peak-a-boo out at me.  They throw food at each other at the dinner table and I can’t resist smiling before I scold them.  We have dance parties before bed and all three of them spin around and stomp their feet.  My life is full, it’s complete with these children and I could not have known the joy that there laughter would bring me.  I have never known what it’s like to be part of a big family until now and I wouldn’t change the smell of pancakes and the screeches of joy for anything.

Although I turned in my Audi and bought a large American car, one that I never would have imagined ever owning, I proudly tote my children around and thank the universe daily that I am so lucky to be blessed with these souls.  It is a constant struggle keeping ahold of what I envision Brandy Black to be.  I get lost sometimes.  Being a parent can consume me and I fear that I’ve lost touch with who I am but I remind myself that change is inevitable and I will always be who I am, who I always have been and who I want to be in the end.

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