I wrote this article for Reader’s Digest in August 2006. Here it is in PDF format:
The Globe and Mail, April 4, 2006
Reprinted with permission
It was May in 1981. I had just given birth to the largest identical twins ever born at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital the previous month.
I already had a two-year-old at home. Well, home was a stretch. We lived above a store three doors south of Honest Ed’s on Bathurst Street. My husband and I were students at the time. In order to pay the rent, he had gone to Inuvik to earn isolation pay.
The twins cried all night every night for the first month of their life and my two-year-old son was unhappy with the new additions to the family. Finally one night, no longer able to take the crying any more, I put the two babies in a carriage and balanced the third on the handle, (this was obviously before safety had been invented) and headed to the park at 5:30 in the morning.
When I arrived, no one was there except for one woman reading a book. She was in her 50s or 60s. The babies were screaming, both wanting to be fed, but I could feed only one at a time. The lady didn’t say anything — she never asked if I needed help. She could probably tell I was the type who would have said no. She just took one of the babies and walked around with him until he stopped crying. This gave me the chance to feed the other in the first experience of peace I’d had in days. I remember the velvet sound of that silence.