Like the Winchester Mansion in California, sometimes to go up in life, you have to go down first (or did we have to go upstairs to get downstairs, I can’t remember?). Either way, 2013 was a challenging year for our family physically and financially. It is no secret, if you have ever read a couple of my blog posts or my Beijing Baba columns, that parenting twins in their first year is exhausting.
I’m sure there is a couple out there in the world that gave birth to twins that have always slept, like little angels, for 14 hours a night without waking once. Sometimes, it pays to be the exception. Unfortunately, our children did not deviate from the mean and we were privileged to enjoy endless nights of what the ancient Romans called sleepus interuptus. The only good sleep I had this past year was on nights I spent traveling without the kids; a guilty pleasure that I truly enjoyed. Fortunately, at 16 months old, the boys are finally starting to settle into the night without stirring much and better nights are fast approaching (please God, let it be true).
Naturally, sleep deprivation brings with it the twin evil of infectious regularus. Essentially, I spent the past two and half months fighting one cold after another as our daughter brought them home from school, the ayis brought them from wherever an ayi contracts a cold (probably our house), and every store clerk or taxi driver who I encountered that even looked like they might have a cold. I was basically a walking petri dish for any illness within a two-block radius of my location. Ironically, and quite annoyingly, my beloved wife remained impervious to the effects of sleepus interuptus and infectious regularus. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair.
Financially, 2013 was a drag for us too. The cost of adding two kids to the household was trying enough already, but over the summer we had to move into a more expensive apartment and then our daughter entered a private international school. Ouch! Cost cutting aside, tuition in this town is painful. Though we have no grand plan for achieving greater financial success this year, we can foresee cutting back on our domestic workforce as the twins become more and more self sufficient and we get our daughter enrolled into a useful child-labor program. She has very nibble fingers and enjoys making things, so I’m sure she won’t mind. Then again, maybe I had better increase my work hours again.
All in all, life threw us a curve ball at the end of 2012 when the twins were born and that curve had a long arc into 2013 that tested our family’s determination, love, and resolve. Thankfully, as a family, we smacked that ball with a collective mighty bat and sent it sailing into 2014 where, if nothing else, we will be able to make a run home for a nice visit this summer. How’s that for a terrible analogy?
Here’s wishing you all the very best that 2014 has to offer. May you be healthy, wealthy, and well rested.
Photo courtesy of Sally M (Flickr)