It’s 12pm. We are six hours into our week at home with HSJ and Mom, and several days into winter vacation. We just got back from two rounds of Christmas (first at Nana’s, then at Grammie’s), and now we have only partially unpacked. Add to the usual mountain of toys and clothes this year’s Christmas haul, and to say our two-bedroom apartment is a bit overwhelmed would be a bit of an understatement.
I have a thousand things to do: load the dishwasher, finish unpacking, wipe the paint of the floor (and the bathroom sink, and the walls, and my childrens’ hands), put away the ingredients from lunch, tackle the pile of mail in the entryway…my to do list is literally three pages long (SIDE NOTE: Sophie asked, “Why is it only three pages?” when she found it. Answer? Because I have surely forgotten at least three dozen things I need to do). So as the kids sat and ate their lunch, I thought to myself, “What should I tackle? What’s the priority here?” as I surveyed the mess in the kitchen (and the dining room, and the hallway). “I should take advantage of the fact that they are entertaining themselves,” I thought. And then, I peeked around the corner to see just how lunch was going, and it hit me like a ton of bricks: HOW LUCKY ARE WE?
How lucky are we, that we have three kids who ADORE each other? Who make each other laugh? Who WANT to spend time together? How lucky are we that the thing that keeps them occupied and entertained is their sibling bond? How lucky are we that they have built in best friends and that they look out for each other EVERYWHERE? How lucky are we to have two boys and a girl who fit so seamlessly together, they are, more often than not, a singular unit rather than brothers and sister, but who, at the same time, have had their own, wonderful personalities from the minute they were born (twelve weeks early, no less)?
I am not so naive that I can be certain these bonds will last forever (though I am optimistic enough that I hope they will). And believe me, we have our fair share of sibling rivalries and fights. By 9AM this morning, we were discussing the pros (built in friends and playmates!) and cons (hard to find alone time) of being a triplet, and shortly before I wrote this post, one Strumolo scratched another, because she told him not to eat his grilled cheese, and then he did anyway. We are constantly worried that they depend too much on each other, or that they don’t get enough individual attention, or that we are unwittingly comparing them to one another.
But at the end of the day (or, in this case, I suppose in the middle of it), I am struck by their closeness. I am amazed by how well they get along, and I am delighted by how much fun they have together. I am grateful, yes, but it is more than that. I am truly in awe of their special relationship, and even though I know we all had very little influence on how they came to be in this world–two identical boys and their triplet sister–and even though there are plenty of moments when the fact that we have triplets thoroughly exhausts me, I am so incredibly glad (and sort of in disbelief) that this is the family we landed.
I am sitting on the kitchen floor as I write this. Dishes still undone, mess (and paint) EVERYWHERE. And the kids have moved on from their grilled cheese to an episode of “Paw Patrol.” Because they DO adore each other, and they DO entertain each other, but then they remember that Mom is home, and they’re pretty interested in what she is doing too. So, the pups from “Paw Patrol” are babysitting for twenty minutes so I can sit and write. Hoping that as the rest of the day, the week, the month, our lives, unfold, I might remember this moment, or at least this idea of how very lucky we are.