By JENNIFER STEUER
My house is full of people who I love with all my heart. Harlan, the trio, my mom and I have some fabulous adventures, crazy conversations and we support each other. Sometimes explaining what is going on in our lives can be a long, meandering conversation. Each of the adults is independent. Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca are not as independent as they would like to think. I’m a part of this amazing group, and they even let me think that I am in charge sometimes!
As the mom of triplets, my life can get a bit hectic. So many of the milestones have or will happen around the same time because … well, triplets. They started school at the same time, finished elementary school at the same time, started middle school at the same time, and I bet they finish middle school at the same time. At this point the differences are becoming more and more important. I love the spirit they have. Sometimes there’s a little too much spirit! Academically and socially the kids are similar but not the same. The skills each possess can be used to light a fuse or light up a sibling or two in a beautiful glow.
My job as mom is not easy now that I have three 12-year-olds full of hormones. Luckily for Olivia and Rebecca, I do remember being a 12-year-old girl. Harlan remembers being a 12-year-old boy. No matter which way the kids jump, we have them covered. Olivia and Rebecca have the tearful incomprehensible exclamations as they slam out of a room. Benjamin has that sullen sulk that he thinks he alone perfected. Times have certainly changed in the last 30-three plus years, but some pieces of growing up are the same no matter what generation you’re from.
As often as possible, Harlan and I spend time with one child at a time. These dates are special. Harlan loves to take one of them out to lunch wherever they want to go and just spend time together. Not only do I get to learn more about each of my children, but they get to learn a little about their dad and me.
Olivia is more expressive and less frustrated because conversations are not interrupted by phone calls, texts, television or chores. This young lady has so many fantastic ideas on how to make the world a better place, and she sees beauty in the everyday. Olivia gets so excited about each sunrise and sunset. The moon and stars enchant her. She is also an outstanding organizer. I love watching the way she thinks and expresses her love for her family.
Rebecca is all about trying new things, fighting for others, and pushing the envelope of conformity. She has many dreams, and if she achieves just one of them the status quo will be rocked to the core. We get to hear about the music she loves. She tells us about the clubs she belongs to and the kids she hangs out with. I watch that infectious optimism, and she inspires me. This isn’t a typo: I want to be like her when I grow up.
Benjamin shows us that kids on the Autism spectrum can get in trouble for socializing too much in school. Ben has a very quiet side and a side that is quite wild too. When he gets us all to himself he doesn’t stop talking, almost like he has to use all the words he can because his sisters talk a bit more than he does.
We notice a completely different vibe when we are in these small groups. Our conversations are easier and we can pay full attention to words, body language and feel the excitement they want to give to every detail. There is a special relationship with each child.
The six of us together became something like planets that orbit one another. Each adult and child has an orbit, we are not just individuals, we are influenced by each other and any change in one person’s orbit pulls or pushes at another. The Steuer and Kloss family system is unique, but we are STRONG and we are all LOVED.