Two Firsts

             Oh you two.
            You terrifically crazy little two.
            What can I say? I can’t believe I’m dropping you off to college . . .
            Oh, wait. No. You’re just starting preschool.
            I’m not emotional. Mommy happens to be. I tried to not make such a big deal about how good you little ladies were at bedtime tonight while she was gone. We all know you tend to be a bit—well, passionate. Sometimes I want to get in my car and drive to North Dakota during your bedtime. Why North Dakota? I don’t know except I know it’s far, far away. That’s how, uh, passionate you two can be.
            So tomorrow is a first.
            Just an hour at your preschool class. Mommy and Daddy will both be there. So yeah, we’re not cutting the cord tomorrow.            
            But soon. Very soon.
            You’re both ready. I know that.
            And maybe, possibly, I’ll blink and then find you both grown up and moving on. But I’m not ready for that.
            I am, however, ready for you to begin to find yourselves.
            Brianna, I want you to take that feisty strong will of yours and learn to control it without Mommy. Oh, I know how much you love her and need her. How much you’re like her. But once you realize you can do well on your own, the sky is the limit, little lady. You might truly fly to the moon. Or maybe Mars. Or win an Olympic medal. Or an Oscar. Hopes are not high enough for you because I know you have it in you. But you just have to learn—it’s okay to do all those things without Mommy holding your hand.
            And Mackenzie. Oh, my sweet little soul shadow. My kindred spirit in human form. You will mother your slightly smaller sister. You’ll also find your own space like you always do. You’ll find new ways to exploring on your own and doing your own things. You’ll dream and learn and listen and go ballistic and then calm down and keep doing it all over again. I hope your sense of wonder only grows. And if one day they know you as Mother Mackenzie like they know Mother Teresa, I’ll believe it.
            Yeah. You two. Who knows what’s in store for you.
            I see the best and the worst of me inside you. But tonight I’m thinking only of the best. The best parts of your mother as well. Better than my best, but let’s not compare.
            Somewhere out there, your sweet laughing loving big sister will protect and look out for you.
            It’s a first. So remember the John Barry song called “Smile” (and one day, you both WILL know John Barry).
            Smile. ‘Cause you’ll only have a very first day once. More first days will come but this is your absolute first. And firsts are special. You can never have them back.
            Smile. ‘Cause you’re in good hands. You’re in a special class with a special teacher at a special school. And look—God willing, you’re not going anywhere. One day I’ll tell you about changing schools. Over and over and over and over and over and over again (I could keep going).
            Smile. ‘Cause you have each other. I can’t imagine a twin Travis because—well, the world just isn’t ready for that. But you two—well, the world is ready. So it better watch out.
            Smile ‘cause life is a gift and you both are very, very loved. And love—there’s nothing better than it.
            God loves you. And so does Kylie, Mommy and Daddy.
            You’ll be okay. I promise.
            Just don’t freak out too many times.
            And one last thing.
            Beware of boys. They’re scary.
            Unless, of course, they’re Daddy. 

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