I spent last week with two girls.
I got an email recently, and it said they’re adorable.
I think adorable is an understatement, but I admit I’m biased.
The email came after I ordered four pictures of them through a Mixtiles app, right from my phone, for Mama’s birthday.
They turned out great, and Mama stuck the tiles to the wall around another picture of the two girls.
The girls are twins.
They’re my nieces.
They’re a year old, and they’re growing faster than kudzu.
They ate just about all of my French fries one meal, even though they have only some of their teeth.
For a while after they were born, I stared at them through incubators in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Now, we dance to “Sweet Home Alabama.”
It’s hard to believe.
It’s funny how much you can love two tiny people.
I used to love football games. I still do, but now I like peekaboo games better.
I am amazed by how much they’ve learned so fast.
They can wink, walk, jump, run, blow kisses and hug.
They know where their eyes, noses and ears are. They’re happy to show whoever asks.
They’ve recently discovered their bellybuttons.
They’ve started saying names and words. Sometimes, they put them together to make small phrases.
I remember day I met them in the NICU.
I was alone in the lounge, with a book and my thoughts, while I waited to see the new arrivals.
A young mother and two little girls walked through the door. High-pitch laughter soon filled the room.
I started to think about how the tiny babies I waited to see, who were too helpless to regulate their own temperatures and no bigger than dolls, would soon laugh and play like the little girls in the hospital lounge.
One of the little girls walked over and waved at me.
Now, my nieces wave to everybody they meet and say, “Hey!”
Before my nieces arrived, I used to think about twins in terms of how similar they were.
My sister’s daughters are similar in a lot of ways.
They’re both busy and all over the place. They get jealous of each other.
They both like music.
They have a bond I believe is unique to brothers and sisters who share a birthday.
Maggie, who is the youngest by a minute, takes longer naps than her sister most of the time.
If Maelynn can’t find her, she’ll walk around the house and holler, “Maggie! Where are you?”
I’ve watched Maggie notice Maelynn cry, walk up, pat her on the back and hug her.
They already look out for each other.
They’re twins, but they’re far from the same.
Maelynn’s voice is softer and has a little rasp. Maggie’s is shrill.
Maggie doesn’t sit still for long. Maelynn will read a book to herself.
I think the differences in their personalities have amazed me most.
They’re like sugar and spice, but they love each other.
Us older folks could learn a lesson from them on how to look out for each other and love despite differences.
I know when I take time to count my blessings this Thanksgiving Day, those babies will be near the top of my list.