They bring us up. They teach us. About freedom and simplicity, about magic sans a prefect illusion, about fantasy, about forgiveness and boundless love. I'm learning about unicorns and horses and dinosaurs. That mature miniature Stallions exist, and of Skewbalds and Golden Palomino's. I learnt that horses are measured in Hands. I learnt that the Apatosaurus kept rocks in its stomach to 'chew' vegetation that was swallowed whole. My living space is shared with a 3 feet high black plastic T-Rex skeleton, now an integral part of our family. It was T-Rex skeleton's birthday yesterday, all sorts of stuffed and glittery animals were invited. It was a special day for T-Rex, whose bony frame seemed plump with happiness.
They will grow up with or without me, my children. The will be adults and they will make their own mistakes. They may learn (or not) from them. I am dispensable, no illusions there. Only incidentally am I the parent. In return, I am enriched by the experience of observing minds and bodies develop. I get another go at childhood. I am honoured with the power of influencing it. It is a brief, intense experience and I'm trying to keep my eyes open, deflect distraction and pay attention. It will be my loss if I don't, not theirs. I would miss out on a precious, essential detail.
I overly dramatised their starting of school, crying my eyes out as the school musician strummed his guitar and sang Abba's 'Slipping through my fingers' at the welcoming ceremony thereby successfully, cunningly nailing every melting mother out there. Me, he got twice over, in succession, for each twin! My son's searching eyes were just a little annoyed when they looked and found me, among the collection of teary parents with trumpeting noses. 'Sometimes when people are really really happy, they start to cry', was my lame explanation later. Telling him only half the truth, the other half being that I was also sad. Sad that the beginning of the end of their innocence had commenced. The official training in preparation of the big, bad world was now underway. Over dramatising, admittedly. That and frustrated at my memory at not keeping up with all that should be documented, not being able to freeze dinosaur birthday parties for posterity.
'Don't worry mummy' she said then, 'even when I go to school, I'll never forget you. You will always be in my heart'.