I saw a picture of you today and the world stopped. You were sitting next to two other little girls, surrounded by baby dolls. Three of you in a line. They were smiling. You were radiant.
I stared at you. You are so familiar to me and yet suddenly you looked so different. So much older, next to those other little girls. So independent. So self assured. So happy. You were the smallest in the picture and you stole the show.
I see you all the time, but not like this. I saw someone else, someone apart from me. Someone apart from her brother. Outside of the house, and maybe inside it, I so often think of you as brotherandsister. The two of you together, one entity, even though I grew up hearing how twins are different people. But in your case I feel like you’ve had to be different people too long, that you need some time to settle into just being the twins, and into having each other. In this photo, though, I just saw you. In a way I hadn’t seen you before. The same sudden rush of emotion that I felt when I first saw you and yet you couldn’t have looked more different.
I saw your future in that picture. A little girl, no longer a baby, surrounded by other little girls. I saw you growing up and making friends and laughing and becoming yourself. I saw the most beautiful little girl in the world.
I picked you up in the same room and you ran to me and jumped into my arms. “MAMA!” you shouted, and then, to make sure everyone heard, “MYMAMA!” You patted me and looked around, proud, joyous. I wanted to do the same. This one is mine. Can you believe it? This magical, brilliant little child is mine. I don’t know how I got so lucky.