I love it when they are like this, hands engaged in play, voices happy and full of smiles, Lily jumping up to retrieve Anya’s crayon when her chubby little hands fumble it and a soft “uh oh” escapes her lips. I love these moments of togetherness when I know the choice to have another child was the absolute right one, when I see that it can be a bond of peace and not a frustrated kick that sends a tiny person headlong into the hearth. These moments of quiet creation make my heart breath a sigh of relief and somehow restore my belief in myself as a mother. “If they can do this” my heart whispers, “if they can be like this, then maybe they can always have a place of quiet for the other. Maybe, even if I totally screw them up, they can still find peace in each other.”
And then they disappear into Lily’s room. Moments later we hear a scream and Anya comes tearing out of there, a huge smile on her face and Lily’s favorite doll clutched in her hands. Lily is chasing after her, screaming and crying, arms reaching for the stolen treasure and Anya is giggling madly in the theft. Mark and I laugh so hard tears streak our cheeks and for the next hour we break into laughter, telling each other the story from all angles and giggling anew. This is the push and pull, the furious passion, the dramatic comedy that has become our life.