Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can I Get A Volunteer?

J's birthday (his 34th) was earlier this month and his parents sent a package last week with a gift for him and "a little something for the twins."* My in-laws, God love 'em, are self-employed organic farmers and my mother-in-law also makes a fair living with her organic baking. My ILs are wonderful, but they are incorrigibly uncomfortable with and skeptical of anything new, and are particularly wary of technology (imagine the conversations between J, who makes his living as a principal software engineer, and his parents who don't even own a microwave...).

J opened his package and his mother had included a lovely "Life is good" sweatshirt, a card and two squash for the kids. Squash? We're used to getting food packages from his parents; usually it's several loaves of my mother-in-law's bread, some cookies and random organic foods that she picks up at one of the Co-ops she bakes for and thinks we might enjoy. But squash? Included with the squash was this note:


Something for #2 and #1 underneath your gift. It's some variety we've never grown before. Thought they'd be great for the two of them.

Much love,


J and I both kind of took it to mean that this particular variety of squash was new to their crop this season. In essence, they were, except, as far as my ILs knew, they hadn't planted these squash. These two little guys just grew alongside the squash that my ILs were sure of planting. Because only two grew, my mother-in-law was struck with the genius idea that the twins would just love them.

Apparently, we have some volunteers on our hands and I've yet to be able to identify what kind of squash they are. While the sentiment is very sweet, I can't help but wonder if my mother-in-law was more weirded out by the fact that something they hadn't planted grew in their garden and she felt the need to get rid of it (and what better way to do so than by deciding that two squash = twin grandchildren, and then shipping the pretty hefty vegetation over 200 miles away).

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with them.

* It rather irks me when people blithely call the Muffins "the twins." I suppose it might be more frustrating if they were identical, but it bothers me that people so easily lump them together as a means of identifying them. As a cicumstance of conception my children are twins, but they are very much individuals and I don't think it's that difficult to refer to them by name or, if you feel the need to identify them as a group, just call them "the Muffins," "the babies," or "the kids." My niece and nephew who are twins share a deep bond and very much feel the "twin connection," but my sister was always very careful to make sure they had a strong sense of self-identity while they were growing up and I'm trying to model the same attitude and behavior for #1 and #2. They absolutely share a special bond because they are twins, but that is not their only defining quality.

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