Today we did something extraordinary: Seth and I loaded J and the triplets into the car along with a metric ton of baby gear: diaper bag, stroller, portable high chair, etc. Plus, picnic supplies. Okay, so none of THAT is extraodinary, but the reason we were doing all of that was because I've been planning a Picnic In the Park for Triplet Families since May. This takes a lot of planning, you know, since getting ONE triplet family committed to doing anything is incredibly difficult... but twenty of them? Well, we were pretty darned sure it couldn't be done.
But the proof is in the picture, isn't it? In the end, we had 14 triplet families who were able to join us in the park, with triplets ranging from ages 3 months to 5 1/2 years old and siblings ranging from (I think?) 2 years to 14 years old. We had 14 sets of triplets (including one partial whose siblings couldn't make it due to illness), 1 set of twins, 5 singletons and not nearly enough adults! Quite an accomplishment!
I wasn't sure what to expect - I had met a few of these parents before - I've spoken of Jessica (who has triplets AND twins) often. There was also a friend who had identical triplet girls back in May who delivered at the hospital Seth works at - Seth had met them, but I have only spoken on the phone with them and emailed back and forth, so it was nice to finally meet them in person and see their beautiful girls. She whispered to me on her way out at the end of the day, "Is this ever going to get easier?" Yes, yes it is. But I feel unfair saying that, because I've honestly never thought it was all that difficult. I've had my days, my moments, but it was never as difficult as I expected it would be. I expected it to be impossible, and we've had such easy babies that I've been pleasantly surprised each step of the way. Obviously, some days are better than others, but for the most part, it's always been far easier than we ever thought it would be. Maybe we just had very low expectations. :) We got some toys from a triplet mom whose boys have outgrown them, but which are perfect for our little monsters. We got to meet some new moms and greet some parents who have been cheering me on since the early days of my pregnancy. It was really unbelievable. At the risk of singing my own praises, I heard from three separate women, "Karen, you're amazing, I don't know how you do it all. I mean, we've all got triplets, but still, I don't know how you do it." That makes me feel great. I mean, I'm not doing anything more extraordinary than any of those other women, but it still feels good to hear. :)
It was a lot of work to make it happen, and not without some snafus - this morning when I went to pick up the sandwich platters I'd ordered I was greeted with "What sandwich platters?" (they found the order slip that they'd misplaced and made the order up for me with a 10% discount) and then when we arrived at the picnic site, we found another family setting up a birthday party in the pavilion that I'd reserved. When I presented my permit, we discovered that we both had legitimate permits and the park ranger discovered that they had accidentally double-booked the pavilion. Ironically, the other party was a twins first birthday party. Hah. The only thing we could do was split the pavilion down the center and share the tables between us. We were really over capacity, which is unfortunate, but we made do and I think everyone had a good time despite the crowded quarters.
All in all, it was a truly amazing experience and I'm excited at the prospect of doing this again sometime ... just not too soon!