A lot of people who have met me within the last year or two don't realize I have twins.
They know I have children (or adults,or whatever). They know I have a son and a daughter. They know that they attend the local community college. They know that they have jobs. They know they are politically active, love to read, are smart and funny and all manner of things. Believe me when I tell you that I rarely shut up about how proud I am of those two, so people know they exist. They just usually don't realize they are twins and are often surprised when they discover that, oh! They are the same age!
They don't know because it doesn't matter. Not really.
People don't know that they were premature. That they were born far too soon and far too small and I sat for so many hours in little rocking chairs in the NICU with silent tears running down my cheeks, willing them to just hang on. They don't know all of the conversation that I had with other moms and dads who were sitting in those same chairs, or pacing back and forth, praying the same prayers.
They don't know that I was the mom there who was twenty-two years old and alone. They don't know all the terrible things that my ex-husband said to me while I was pregnant, and after. They don't know that the sunny, funny man I'm married to isn't the biological father of the two kids he hugs good night every night.
They don't know because it doesn't matter.
I haven't forgotten them, mind you. I will never forget these things and there are a million more that I will also never forget. They are burned into my heart like a scar and they aren't going to go away. Not ever.
I don't talk about them. I don't dwell on them. Hell, I'm probably my therapists worst nightmare because I just don't even deal with some of them (I'M WORKING ON IT OKAY). I have to deal with what is in front of me, right now, today.
We all do.
It's comforting if you really think about it. We can't live in the past. We shouldn't WANT to live in the past. It should stay where it is. We should think about it and try to do better. We can't get stuck there though because the things that happened? We got through them. We lived. We survived. We got stronger. We got braver.
Do we still have the scars? Of course. Forever. But it doesn't define who we are. It doesn't define who we can be in the future.
If twenty years ago you told me that I would have the life I have today, I would have never believed you. Ever. I had no idea that this would be my life.
There is no "good old days" for me. There never will be. Sure, I miss certain times and places. Not long ago I drove past the daycare my children used to attend and I could not stop crying for thirty minutes. That's okay. It's okay to miss those times when they were little and sweet and listened to everything I had to say. It's not okay to never move past those times.
Today is great too, if you'll let it be. The world might be crappy around you (and it is, I know) but you can do better. YOU can be better.
And you should...because today is what we have.