Considering the holiday decorations were up in some retail outlets before Halloween what I am going to write next will seem impossible, but it is absolutely true. Christmas took us by surprise. We put so much energy into just getting through each day that planning ahead seems pointless. One morning we woke up and it was Christmas Eve. It’s 11:20 PM right now and there’s a foot-high pile of kids’ clothes that I have yet to de-tag and launder. Lynnette’s sitting on the couch with Avery. I just put Cole in the crib. This is life in 2015.
The Higa side of our family has always gotten together on the night of Christmas Eve. My own personal excitement for the night stemmed from the fact that over half my family had never met Cole and Avery. The ones who had did so in those first few days at the hospital. I couldn’t want for all of them to see how Cole and Avery had grown into the Ball ‘o Higa and Sassy Pants Higa, respectively. Instead, the twins betray us and their true selves by remaining peaceful angels for much of the early evening. The amazing thing is, no one was attempting to mitigate the noise at all. People were talking and laughing. Food was cooking. The twins barely stirred. At home, they are awoken by the sound of a freaking soda can opening two rooms away through a closed door with the air conditioning on. But during the hustle and bustle of a party? With another infant crying nearby? Nope. Nothing.
Eventually, though, Cole and Avery did wake up and my family members took turns carrying them, feeding them, and asking them rhetorical questions in absurdly high-pitched tones. My cousin Alana is a high school senior. I graduated from high school the year she was born and at the time cavalierly said something like “Hmm. I’ll be 36 when she graduates.” My math was right, but I didn’t really know what that meant, you know? What 36 would look like. When I reminded her of this numerical fact, she pointed out that it would be the same for her and the twins – she’d be 36 when they graduate from high school. My mind was blown. Math is the worst.
I know that I’ve gone on about how Madison is an elite older sister, but it’s true. If there existed such as thing as a Fantasy Older Sibling League, she’d be a no-brainer first round pick. Lynnette and I decided to spoil her a little this year because she’s spent the last six weeks playing third fiddle to her brother and sister.
Her aunt Gina and uncle Derek bought her a cotton candy maker, which- just thanks, guys. Your boy will be receiving a drum set and a 50-pack of pixy stix next year. She received two identical portable soccer goals from her aunts and uncles, and many other toys. She was happy about that because for a while there she was concerned that perhaps she might receive just clothing this year.
The Little Mermaid Lego set in the first picture was from “Santa” and I wish you could have seen this go down. Madison picked up the box and looked at the labels. “Oh, I guess Santa just used the P-Touch label-maker and our wrapping paper,” she said. I was stunned. Lynnette and I just looked at each other and tried to maintain. “It looks like he did,” Lynnette said. I almost broke. A while later I confessed to Lynnette “I can’t tell if she’s trolling us or if she’s sincere!” “Nah, she’s sincere, just very… observant,” Lynnette said. Guys, I don’t know how much longer this charade is going to last.
Finally, we all walked downstairs for the biggest and last gift. We bought her a training wheel-less bike and had hidden it at Lynnette’s parents’ home. I picked it up this morning. We were all set to have Mad put on all her pads and try it out for a few feet at a time. But, in what was a perfect metaphor for the last six months, all of that came to a crashing halt. Just as I was about to open the Highlander to reveal the bike, Avery threw up all over herself and me. Lynnette ran both kids back upstairs as I unlocked the car and opened it while covered in the unmistakable white of baby formula vomit. “Well?” I said. “Do you like it?” I continued. “I do!” Mad said. “Can I ride it now?” she asked. “No,” I said. I could hear the twins screaming inside the house. “I’m sorry,” I said. “It’s OK,” Mad said. She looked at me. “And anyway, that’s gross,” she said, nodding at my shirt. “Thanks,” I said.