a game-changer.

do you ever think about all the moments in your life that are truly life-changing moments?  i’m watching baseball, and over and over i hear statements about certain plays, hits, etc. being “game-changers.”  i’m convinced that, in my own life, it’s only in looking back that i can really see those life-changing moments.

two years ago, in august of 2010, my life changed forever. only, i didn’t know it. i met a pregnant lady for coffee at a starbucks in mountain brook village.  she was looking for someone to nanny her twins. i was looking for a second job as i began seeking where i would work with my internship.  i had no idea that everything would be different.

i doubt that i knew, the first time i drove up lancaster road, that this house would become like a second home for me.  in fact, i’m sure i was unaware of all the good and wonderful things that would happen there.

when loren had the twins in october, and i came to visit when they were six weeks old, and watched them sleep in their crib for the first time…i didn’t know i would fall in love with these bundles of joy.

but the truth of the matter is that august, my life changed.  the first time i stepped into that yellow house on lancaster road, that was a game-changer.  i didn’t know it, and i definitely didn’t realize it at that moment, but everything would be different after that day.

i watched anna and ben grow out of their newborn clothes.  i saw them turn over on their stomachs.  i forced them to have tummy time, even though they hated it.  i pretended to change anna’s diaper at numerous times to wake her up, because she needed to eat so badly.  at one point, i could hold them both and feed them.  i made bottle after bottle after bottle, washed dishes, folded blankets, restocked diapers, and held and rocked and swang and delighted in these two children who stole my heart.

i took anna and ben for strolls around the neighborhood. eventually, they were old enough to go to strolls in the park, and to swing.  i heard them speak, and helped feed them real food, and spent their first birthdays with them.  real sippy cups, and big-boy and big-girl shoes, and walking, and talking, and pointing, and running, and climbing, and jumping, and sliding, and occasionally having an escapade with maggie the cat.

i cried the entire last week i was with them. big, gushing sobs, and sad, slow tears, as we walked back from the park for the last time. i took the familiar path around the curve that turns into roxbury, and i thought about how the leaves had changed–from autumn to dead to green with life, and how the twins had changed. how i had changed, because of my time on lancaster road. how i had fallen in love with these kids, and this family, and my life. and how all of that would be changing.

i’m crying now as i write this. not big, gushing, ugly tears, but tearing up, and sad.  i’m not sad because the twins are moving–although i am sad about that. mostly, i’m excited for them–for jon, and loren, and what’s ahead.  i’m sad as i think about life in birmingham without them. i can’t imagine walking through homewood without pushing a stroller and hearing ben ask “bah?!” over and over. i can’t imagine going to get desserts at edgar’s without trying to wrangle the double-stroller inside, to get the boos a cookie.  i definitely can’t imagine swinging at that park with any other children, playing, “i’ve got your feet!” and seeing ben clap and swing for the first time. it’s hard to imagine life without some people, and some things. it’s hard to imagine life without anna and ben.

my friend mary loves Psalm 103.  she is a constant reminder to me, to always bless and praise the Lord. to remember that he is the one who heals my diseases, my sin, and my infirmities.  he is the one who gives, and who blesses, and who provides such beautiful things like the two years i spent with the twins. he’s the one who provided such a life-changing encounter.  all i can do is thank him, bless him, praise him, and rejoice in his goodness.

even in the midst of the sadness, i have no other choice but to remain grateful. grateful for the beautiful moments of the last two years. grateful for the experience. grateful that my life was changed forever by the boos. what a game-changer.  what a moment of grace.

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