Captains log May 3, 2020 Corona Day #54

An ode to my firstborn (s), on their 23rd year.
Silas has been spending a ton of time in the kitchen. Last week he said, “Mom get out of here and let me do my thing.” I smirked and walked away.
This made me think of my older boys. I would give my left arm for a chance to re-do a few bits of their youth. 23 years ago I was not the same Amber. They would not have been so bold to ask me to leave the kitchen, to ask for a completely natural taste of independence. I had not yet learned that failure is essential or that smoke alarms and burnt cookies were valuable life lessons.
Motherhood is a most brilliant refiners fire. My twins were witness to the first burn off, in fact, they were the reason for it. Pride, control, and perfection HURT when removed. As well as the belief that I was actually in control of their lives, a weird sort of wrestling match with God for their very souls.
I have a memory of the boys in first grade. I was homeschooling and was worried about their reading skills. At the time I took heavy stock in what intellectuals and people with PhD behind their name had to say, they said it would be best to have them tested.
Here is a sample of the test question I remember most:
It’s reading time, where should you go to read?
(Momma Strehle paraphrased)
A-The Floor
B-A desk
C-A tree
Both answered “C”.
This, of course, is the wrong answer for people with PhD behind their name.
The results were bad and I was devastated. Upon arrival at home and I’m not exaggerating here, I literally threw myself at Zach’s feet on the floor, sobbing. Surely CPS would be hot on my heels to collect them at any moment.
I think about all this now and I feel very tired. I wish I had a mulligan for that moment… well that and many others.
I remember when I told my Grandma I was marrying Zach, in her deep southern accent she responded, “Well honey, you’re going to have to raise him.”
The truth is, we all raised each other, I grew up alongside my firstborns. Me in the fire trying to teach two busy boys how to navigate life without training wheels. In hindsight, I see many test days and many decisions based on all the wrong opinions. It makes my stomach flip-flop if I dwell there too long.
If I could go back to that day, there would be no feet throwing, in fact, we would have stopped for ice cream. I would beam at those two brilliant 1st graders that did not fear heights or wrong answers. We would promptly go home, grab a book, and go find the nearest and most coziest of trees. I would let you burn cookies, make more messes, and even play Pokemon.
Today you are 23. You honestly changed every single fiber of my being in the most wonderful of ways and despite my most valiant efforts, you both are a marvel. Dad and I count ourselves blessed to have grown up with you.
Happy Birthday Shad and Dill, we love you.


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