They say you’re supposed to cherish each moment while your children grow up, because before you know it, it’s over and they’re gone, fully transformed into adults.

Luckily, I have been enjoying those moments; the good and the bad. Luckily, I have seen them at their worst and lowest: whether paralyzed, dealing with the removal of their mother, learning disabilities in school and in home, countless doctors and specialists visits with prescriptions after prescriptions, and being at the mercy of one another (twins forever). Luckily, I have seen them at their best: those happy, giddy smiles, excelling in a school assignment and beaming about it, helping and feeling the reward of joy, and desperately wanting love and seeing them receive it.

The children I refer to are my twin daughters who are turning twelve years old tomorrow. To spend a day with them, whether looking at their stature or understanding their mindsets, you would think they were 7, maybe 8 years old. This is due to possible pregnancy complications, temporary paralysis at the age of 2 and the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

Physically, they are very weak; slow to get down and get up. They have the bone structure of a 7 year old. Their bodies are slow developing and each milestone is postponed, even puberty now.

Cognitively, I know they are highly intelligeht; there is a lot going on up there. But on paper, they are the children who need Aids in school and cannot focus and function like others. Basic math equations are lost on them, while the rest of their peers are knee-deep in division and multiplication. Their reading skills are on par with the class, even higher than some, but there is little to no comprehension. Musically and art wise, they function extremely well. Memory can be top notch, quoting entire movies word for word.

Emotionally, they are scarred yet heal more every day. They still gravitate to children’s cartoons that gave them comfort at one time but are now encouraged to watch things and participate in games more age appropriate.

A lot of these gradual nudges and improvements have been orchestrated and carried out by their new stepmother. They have yearned for a full-time mother for years and are now embracing my wife. It’s been a more than trying almost-year. They push her buttons and though they love her down inside, they often exhibit behaviors that show my wife she isn’t fit to be respected or listened to, and it’s caused her much strain and stress. My daughter’s are disciplined on a multi daily basis, always being corrected on some issue pertaining to not listening and they have this way about them that not a lot resonates or sticks. Barely in one ear and even faster out the other.

They are the loves of my life, and how blessed I am to have 2 new loves…my wife and her daughter (my third!)! I am truly rich, truly blessed.

And so on this eve of their 12th birthday, I celebrate them. My eyes water at the fact that they have lived and seen a lot in a short time. They have been given a rough road; physically, emotionally and pretty much every which way you look at it. They are survivors and they will conquer this world one step at a time together. I can’t imagine being apart from either of them. My heart screams for my wife who is currently without her daughter, residing with her father. How blessed I am to do this walk with them! Thank you God for these 2 little angels.

Happy birthday, Lexis and Lindsey. Daddy loves you more than you will ever know.

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