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My son was strapped into the car seat with a startled
expression on his face. I kissed him goodbye and then stood on the sidewalk,
staring at the disappearing taillights of my mother's car. Looking down at his
twin sister, whose hand I was holding, I had a crazy thought: For the first
time ever, I was going to experience what it was like to be a parent to a
In fact, with her twin brother on "vacation" at
grandma and grandpa's, I had a whole bunch of activities planned: a concert in Prospect Park, a swim at the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-Up
Pool and the zoo. Apart from the swimming, these were things that I could
theoretically do with the twins by myself, but handling two kids on these type
of field trips always feels more like managing than enjoying to me.
"Being a parent of one is so easy," I crowed to my
friends, most of whom only have one child. "So much easier," I corrected myself.
it was easy!
Just the simple fact that, while my husband read the girl stories, I
could be doing something totally not parenting related blew my mind. Suddenly, life was so much simpler as man, woman and (one) child.
... [I]t became apparent that this was the way most people got to parent, at least for a few years.
Any guilty feelings I had about sending my son away for
the weekend were assuaged when my mom reassured me that he was having fun. While
we were home in Brooklyn, he was enjoying the fresh mountain air, eating five-course, made-to-order breakfasts and being gifted all the superhero books the local Barnes & Noble had in stock.
Back in Brooklyn, my daughter and I showered off after
our trip to the pool, put on sundresses and got ready to meet my husband at our
favorite Italian restaurant for an al fresco dinner. As I took extra time to
brush her hair, I suddenly realized just how automatic I had become in my
parenting. My focus was always on getting things done, not on enjoying the
moment. It was a shame that in our day-to-day life, I never really got the
chance to fawn over them as individuals. Or perform basic hygenic tasks like
Q-tipping their ears. One, two, three cotton swabs later, we were ready for our
night out on the town.
Walking down the street, my husband and I each holding
one of our daughter's hands and "jumping" her every few feet, it became
apparent that this was the way most people got to parent, at least for a few
And even though we enjoyed our alone time with the
girl, come Sunday morning we were all bursting to see our little guy again.
That night, with the twins reunited and lying, just-showered, on our bed in towels, the
sound of their simultaneous giggles filled the apartment. For us, two is better than one— even though I'm pretty sure no one's ears got cleaned that night.