Lynnette’s parents are still on their European cruise. Last week we enlisted my mother to watch Cole and Avery during the work week. This week Lynnette’s at home with the twins and I am so jealous! I don’t want to work either!
Lynnette sends me pictures of the twins throughout the day and they are the undisputed highlights of my work day. Sometimes I am mid-sentence and I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. I’m excited to see what kinds of photos of Cole and Avery are awaiting me, but I have to wait for the period to end before I can check my phone. The absolute worst is when it’s not even a text message from Lynnette, but from someone else – or just a random notification.
Lynnette’s come through during the last two days, though. She caught Avery dressed as George Washington on the day after Halloween. She got these great before-and-after pictures of Cole playing with/eating the fake cell phone, then Avery stealing it from him because she’s a troll. Look how upset Cole is about having lost his phone! Look at how nonchalant Avery’s facial expression is despite the fact that she’s ruined Cole’s entire day! Still, I suppose Cole’s whining is minor compared to Madison’s complaints about not having a real smart phone. “I will buy you one when you’re 13,” I’ve said repeatedly. “That’s too far, dad!” Madison’s said repeatedly. “Who are you even going to call?” Lynnette and I have asked repeatedly. “I want to play games, like have my own Pokemon Go account!” she’s said repeatedly. “That’s what you iPad is for!” Lynnette and I have said repeatedly. “But only has wi-fi!” Madison has said repeatedly. Mad’s teenage years are going to be so awesome!
The pictures generally come without captions so I have the added bonus of constructing the context in my mind. Whenever I do this, I imagine something super-fun going on, even though it’s far more likely that Cole and Avery were simply engaged in some kind of trivial nonsense.
This morning Lynnette filled me in on the new happenings. For reasons I’ll never know, both Cole and Avery are drawn to the corner of the living room created by the long wall and the entertainment unit. We store fold-out tables there. You can see Madison’s numerous inflatable toys piled high. Well, Cole and (especially) Avery seem to really enjoy spending time there. Avery props herself up against the wall and dances if moved by music from the television. She also loves wedging herself between the tables and the entertainment unit. Just last night she got about halfway into the small void created by the objects. Then turned her head and began shouting at Lynnette and me. They weren’t angry or scared shouts; it was as if she was showing off. “Look at what I have done, parents!” These final three pictures really make me smile. Cole can stand on her own but Avery can’t, and yet they both look like they’re just chilling out because Avery has the wall for support.
I remember when we brought them home and I would look into their emotionless faces. Cole in particular had a stoic appearance. “There better be something going on in there, boy,” I would whisper to him. Fast-forward to today and I can see the gears moving in his mind all the time. He responds to calls of “Cole Boy” and his head whips around at the sound of Mickey Mouse’s voice. Avery anticipates my questions about her day as soon as I place her on my tummy. When I do get around to asking her, she waves her hands wildly or claps. Then she tries to steal my tongue.
It’s been a year of struggle. But when I scan these pictures and I look at them when I get home from work, I see hope. Maybe things are finally about to get really, really fun.