"Thank you!" I replied. I then waited for the next foray into twin-driven conversation. Those twins, they are conversation starters. Everyone has something to say. Sometimes it's a flat out denial that they can't be twins (since they don't look alike), or a question: boys? girls? or a confession that they are one of a twin set.
"Enjoy them! Enjoy them! Enjoy them!" she exhorted me and then paused to catch her breath. I smiled and waited for her to continue. "I lost my eldest in an accident a month ago."
Shocked, my brain scrambled to comprehend what she was telling me. I frantically thought of something to say and all I could get out was "I'm so sorry!"
"Enjoy them." She said once more and took a deep breath. I looked up at her from where I sat, holding Emma, and saw the raw pain in her eyes. She touched my shoulder fleetingly as she smiled down at Emma and then turned away. Clearly she needed to share this: that life can be so fragile, so fleeting, that we need to enjoy the moments we have because we never know when they may be over.
So here I am, sharing it with you. These moments fly by. It's not easy to enjoy them during the screaming, crying, whining and late stages of sleep deprivation, but childhood doesn't last. And nothing is forever.
Take a moment to think of this woman, one of many out in the world in the same position, who are waiting for the pain to fade. My thoughts are with her.
Then, squeeze your children, spouses, family or friends close tonight and remember to enjoy them. I will.