This weekend, the grandtwins turned 5 with a family party on Saturday, though their actual birthday was Sunday, as they liked to remind me throughout the party.
I’m not stupid. I know they are angling for double the presents, but no. I already bought them bikes a few weeks ago, and ball gloves this weekend because I didn’t want to show up empty-handed.
The babies were born early, and when they were just a few days old, I wrote this for Mother Courant. I remember the smell of that brown soap, and I remember refusing to think anything but that things were going to be great. The machines beeped, the babies mewed, and I sat there taking turns holding one or both of them.
As it turns out, I was right. Things are great. The babies are funny and exhausting and bright and articulate and they’re heading to kindergarten come the fall. I was also right in that I really haven’t set the babies down yet, though the girl sometimes insists on it (“I can do it, Granny,” she says, firmly).
They have many fine qualities but one of my favorites is that more than any one I know, these children insist on the truth. If they believe they have caught someone in an untruth, they will say so. On a long car ride once, my grandson asked for a blanket. So that we could get on the road, my son assured him he’d have one, but he needed to get buckled in. Once we were on the road, my grandson asked again, his father told him the blanket was all the way in the back, and this little voice came from the backseat: “Why are you lying?” I laughed so hard I hurt myself. So the pattern is already set. They will demand the truth. I admire that.
I do not know what my life would be like without them, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it as much.