Yesterday morning I was upstairs tiptoeing around the third floor for something in the bathroom while the house slept. We're in the midst of a flash heat wave right now, so N and S both had their doors wide open and their sheets pushed away, tangled around their feet. I realized that they are in two wooden beds that used to be attached as bunk beds, where they slept about 17 years ago. From the hall I could see both of them sleeping, hear their peaceful breathing. I had to pause for a minute or two.
A mother has to seize these secret moments when she can. I am well adjusted. I accept and embrace and adore the young adults that my children have become, and I genuinely celebrate their world travels and explorations into life. Still, when they are home for a few days in between episodes of their blossoming lives, I occasionally allow myself a little nostalgic indulgence.
N. spent last fall semester (about 5 months) in Buenos Aires, studying and traveling and cooking. It is not entirely a coincidence that her twin brother, who has been wanting to live abroad for some portion of his college years, has decided to spend his summer in Buenos Aires. They don't get to see each other a lot, so this few days of connection at home base is nice for them too. I watched their two heads together, poring over a guide to the city of Buenos Aires that N pulled out to give S before his trip. That was another little moment - watching those two faces, distinct but certainly related, close together studying something.
When they were first home from the hospital we put N and S into a full size crib. Each was laid to sleep horizontally at either end of the bed. When we would go back to pick them up after a nap or in the morning, they had usually wriggled over next to each other so that they were touching.
I have a brother and sister who are twins too. They weren't always friends, but they have always been close. There is something unique and magically wonderful about the twin relationship. Even though N used to complain about having to share her birthday every year, and how she was always lumped together with someone, she loves being a twin and hopes for twins herself some day.
There is something magical about giving birth to twins as well. About watching them interact and grow both separately and together. Their twin identity is interwoven into their individual selves, so they are really almost like three offspring - my daughter N, my son S, and my precious twins.