I have identical twins. They are 9 years old. You would think by now I would be used to having twins. That I wouldn’t still be amazed every time they answer a question the exact same way in separate conversations. Or still enamored when their arms and legs are ever tangled, as though they inhabit the same personal space. Or shocked when they unknowingly mispronounce the same exact words. Or dumbstruck when I discover they’ve missed the same questions on standardized tests. Or surprised when they’ve disappeared from the rest of the world in Twin Mode, their own impenetrable bubble of joy.
You would think that eventually I would get used to this phenomenon they share. But I know I won’t. Because I’ll never fully understand their identical twinship, even though I’d love it more than anything if I could.
Last week Taylor was coloring a picture beside me while I was folding clothes. Out of the blue she asked, “Mommy, why did Butter die?”
Butter was a very sweet puppy that belonged to our close family friends. Butter’s unexpected and premature death has really bothered the twins.
“She was born with bad kidneys, sweetie. They didn’t work right, so she couldn’t pee out the yucky waste inside her body. The waste turned into poison, and made her very sick,” I tried to explain in the simplest terms she might understand.
Taylor was very quiet for a minute. Then she asked with uncertainty in her tone, “Mommy?”
“Yes?” I waited, nervous for the question that was to follow. I prayed I’d be able to come up with an appropriate and applicable answer.
“Do we have bad kidneys?” She put down her marker and looked straight into my eyes.
“No, sweetie. You don’t have bad kidneys,” my heart ached for her anxiety as she related Butter’s young age to that of she and her siblings.
“Does Gabe?” She caught me off guard with this question – I had assumed Gabe was included in her collective usage of we.
“No, Taylor,” I assured her, while my mind spun to process her train of thought.
“Hey, T? When you are scared for yourself, how often are you scared for Sydney too?” I asked, realizing that she used the pronoun we the same way singletons refer to themselves with I.
“Always,” she said, matter of factly. “Whenever I dream, Sydney is always in my dream with me.”
“Every single time?” I asked, amazed this was the first thought that popped into her head.
“Yep,” she said.
“You’ve never had a dream about just you?” I had to be sure I was understanding.
“Nope,” she answered.
I couldn’t believe it.
“When you are awake, do you ever think about just you? Or do you always think about Sydney too?” I probed further.
“When I think about me, I think about Sydney too,” she stated a simple fact.
“Every time?!” I couldn’t hide my surprise.
“Yes, Momma!” she giggled. “Every time!”
My mind was blown. Again.
Forever I will be mesmerized by their innate bond. They exemplify the purest form of love. A love composed of complete acceptance and total understanding. I will never fully relate to their twinship. But I will always be thankful to witness it.