Two years ago this week, I was making final preparations for a 400+ mile trek across Iowa on a bike. An Iowa native, RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) was calling me back to my roots. I had put in countless hours and miles in preparation to join my brother Bruce and son Corey on the journey. It was to be the highlight of my summer - until something more important came along. With a scant few days notice, I bowed out of RAGBRAI, leaving my teammates to traverse the state without me. In my place, Flat Lory hitched a ride on Bruce's back, something he has not let me forget in the intervening years.
So what would possibly make me throw aside 6+ months of training at the last minute? Grandloves, of course - which is always the answer to all questions in this blog. Specifically, it was the premature births of Faith Anne and Naomi Hope. Rather than pedaling among the corn, I was grandboy deep in the newborns' brothers while their Mom and Dad were at the hospital. At the time, Aidan (3), Josiah (2), and Elijah (not yet 1) were in my care for a week. My brother might try to convince you that he had the harder job carrying Flat Lory across the state of our birth. I only know that I had the better job, and I wouldn't trade all the rhubarb pie he ate even with all the PB&J and mac & cheese I indulged in with those boys. (I've never claimed to be a culinary master.)
Last year and this one as well, I will spend a week in the Iowa sun, sleeping in a tent and rising early to pedal across my home state. But before and during my journey, I marvel at those two little girlies who turned the Harris world upside-down.
They turn two on Friday. How is that possible! And yet, the have gone from tiny little loves, well under two pounds each unable to breathe on their own, to strapping (through still skinny) two year olds exercising their lungs when they feel overshadowed or slighted. In other words, they are typical two year olds!
Recently, I received the blessing of watching the two of them (and just the two of them) for the day. What a day it was! At times, they expressed their opinions showing they are still babies and wanting undivided attention. Other times, they wanted freedom to explore their world independently. As I said, typical two year olds...
Faith and Naomi, you have blessed us with your presence - your love, your demands, your personalities. Thank you for keeping us on our toes. Thank you for giving us double the joy, even when you are being double-trouble. Thank you for letting me be Granma! Happy, happy birthday to two very special two year olds! With twice the love - twice over!