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The Triplets' Birthday: The Gifts That Come From Parenting Multiples

The triplets celebrated their birthday on September 29th. “I can’t believe they’re already four,” my friends all said. “Time’s gone by like that,” they’d conclude with a snap of their fingers. Yet to Caroline and me, each challenging day has gone by like molasses. Even so, we’d both admit this: our friends are right — it is hard to believe that it’s already been four years since their birth. For though the days are slow, the years have passed like mile markers on the interstate.

We didn’t do much for their birthday — just family and a few friends celebrating together with a cookie cake and some presents. And as the triplets opened the gifts we gave them, I couldn’t help but reflect upon all the gifts they’ve given us — often in the form of lessons they’ve taught us along the way.

Here are but a few of them:

  • Gift #1 1 of 16
    Gift #1
    The triplets, especially Kirby, taught us that not only is life miraculous, it's incredibly fragile, too.
  • Gift #2 2 of 16
    Gift #2
    The boys left the hospital without their baby sister. And when they did, they taught us that although you can't always be together physically, you can always be together in spirit.
  • Gift #3 3 of 16
    Gift #3
    The triplets were kind enough to sleep in shifts to assure that at least one of them was awake at all times. At least in those first months!
  • Gift #3 4 of 16
    Gift #3
    They showed us the way Christmas should really feel.
  • Gift #4 5 of 16
    Gift #4
    They made me finally understand why Lee Ann Womack hopes I still feel small when I stand beside the ocean.
  • Gift #5 6 of 16
    Gift #5
    The triplets gave our family the gift of happiness.
  • Gift #6 7 of 16
    Gift #6
    They made us realize that it's okay if every now and then your entire family looks like they're on meth. (You know, assuming they actually aren't on meth...)
  • Gift #8 8 of 16
    Gift #8
    The triplets gave us the gift of growth, and virtually overnight, we realized they weren't babies anymore.
  • Gift #7 9 of 16
    Gift #7
    They proved that the best snowmen are the ones that are almost as tall as their makers.
  • Gift #8 10 of 16
    Gift #8
    The triplets taught us that love is like the sea. It goes on forever.
  • Gift #9 11 of 16
    Gift #9
    The triplets gave us the gift of bravery by proving that the first day of school isn't so scary, after all. Especially if you've got a hand to hold onto. (Jack's got Kirby's and Sam's up ahead holding Mama's.)
  • Gift #10 12 of 16
    Gift #10
    They taught us that the very best rides are usually the ones that don't go exactly as planned.
  • Gift #11 13 of 16
    Gift #11
    The triplets reminded us that it's fun to dress up.
  • Gift #12 14 of 16
    Gift #12
    And that it's possible to be safe and still have fun.
  • Gift #13 15 of 16
    Gift #13
    The triplets showed us that nothing that brings families together like a newborn.
  • Gift #14 16 of 16
    Gift #14
    And finally, the triplets have shown us that while it's important to celebrate life's accomplishments by blowing out the candles, it's even more important to lick the icing from the bottom of them. Because life is sweet, y'all. You just gotta remember to taste it.

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