Lets Go down to the Fig Tree

“Momma, momma, lets go look at the fig tree” Jack says. I’m following him out to the backyard as he tells me this. “O.K. Jack I’ll be right back, wait for me”. I run into the house to tell my dinner guests, Alan, and Fiona I’m going with Jack to look at the fig tree. “O.K. Jack, here I am”. We walk out the gate and Jack says “sit here”, so we sit down on the first step that leads to the fig tree. He looks at me, “Shhh, hear that?” with a twinkle in his eye. It’s the crickets, “we can’t see them, but now we can imagine what they look like, remember we saw one on our picnic blanket when we went hiking?” I say. I’ve been using that terminology a lot lately, imagination. I appreciate this break with Jack, this moment when I can follow him, I am not telling him “no, it’s dangerous”. It’s been a particularly hard week, exhausting, a few days I wasn’t sure I could make it till the end. I was intensely fatigued, yesterday at naptime I even fell asleep with Jack and Fiona.  I haven’t been in my studio since Monday, or written. The first naptime this week I watched a movie, the next day the babies fell asleep in the car and I just drove. It was surreal, I’m usually being bombarded with questions from the back seat, but I found myself just driving in quiet, it was suddenly easy to drive. I drove until they woke up and we went to a second park! That night I fell asleep in their room putting them to bed. “Come on, lets keep moving” Jack says. We get up and he leads me the opposite way of the fig tree, we walk over the little bridge, along the path at the very top of the yard. My feet walking on the steps after his little feet, both of us barefoot. I realize this doesn’t have to do with the fig tree, Jack just wanted to spend time with me alone, I am grateful. It feels good, I am relaxed, I am following. We climb down the rope I strung between two trees on the steep hillside. Jack loves this. Alan comes out and I ask where are guests are, he tells me they left, “did you expect them to wait around?” I run out front to say goodbye and luckily catch them before they leave.

This week everyday felt intense, everyone needed my attention all at once. When I didn’t have enough to give, the baby who felt they weren’t getting enough attention from me would “act out”. I didn’t have a chance, or the energy to study for my CSET. I started questioning if I could even do it, take the test, have the energy, have the energy for a “real job”. It’s hard raising twins. That doesn’t mean it’s not wonderful and filled with the gift of self-knowledge and discovery. Jack and Fiona fill my life with love that is so big, so pure, so solid, but it’s grueling work, it’s not just physical or mundane, it’s extremely intellectual, brain fatigue, especially now, now that they can talk and ask questions, their quest for knowledge in insatiable. Their quest to push the limits physically keeps me on my toes, keeps me in fight or flight mode with my heart racing, worried they will crack their heads open. Woven into the intense moments are the quiet, sweet, moments like walking in the yard with Jack or reading a book with them snuggled up beside me, or hearing their breathing change as they go from awake to sleeping at bedtimes. The thought of Jack and Fiona going to school, being apart from them for any extended period of time scares me. I will miss them so much. The thought of them growing up and not being little kids anymore makes me so sad, even with this being the hardest, most challenging job I’ve ever had.

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins