June 29, 2010

Baby Love

Ask any parent, they'll tell you their kid has had plenty of personality from the start.  Sure, they might have been sleepy a lot in the beginning, but parents always know the traits that predict who their kids will become later in life.  Maybe it's all speculation, maybe there really is a way to pick up on those sorts of cues from an infant.  I really don't understand it, but I know that I've had a good handle on my girls' personalities since they started kicking around my insides.

I knew that DD would be a hellion, brave and kind hearted.  I knew that SI would be smart and, frankly, lazy.  I knew that DD would run circles around her sister, and that SI would be a little clingy.  I had all of these preconceptions about who they would be, and lo and behold, here they are.

More than anything else, those little girls are loving.  Now, love is a very complicated emotion.  It's part dependence, part friendship, huge heaps of trust, and endless affection.  So how can a rational adult even begin to believe that a baby, incapable of any real form of verbal communication, feels love?

SI has a way of looking at you as though you're the most amazing thing in the world.  As my father puts it, as though you're in her own secret club.  It's a smile she reserves for people she obviously prefers- her grandfathers are at the top of her list of favorites.  She has also learned to give kisses.  She'll see her favorite stuffed animal, grin and squeal with delight, and then oh-so-gently put her mouth (with a bit of tongue sticking between her lips) against it's nose.  She does this to her parents as well.  It's a very deliberate, very slow action.  A kiss on the nose is her little ritual of affection.  And then she smiles her special little smile and looks at you as though nothing could be better than getting you slimy.

DD also gives kisses, but she prefers to essentially latch on to her victim's shoulder, slime them thoroughly while giving them a baby bear hug, and then burst into peals of laughter.  But she stares at her loved ones in absolute awe or concern, she studies your face so intently that she reacts instantly to any little change.  A sigh, a frown, anything that might give away a moment of less than joy.  And then, deliberately, she tries to distract you.  As though she thinks that she can make you happy again.  And when she succeeds, she laughs and smiles and gives you that silly bear hug I've come to associate with her so strongly.

But I didn't sit down here to write about how much my kids love me, much as I enjoy it.  I sat down here to write about how much they're starting to obviously love each other.

These last few weeks, the girls have begun to really play together.  I'll be ignoring them in order to accomplish some other task, and suddenly the room is filled with the raucous laughter of two babies.  When I go to see what's so funny, it's the girls playing.  SI, leaning in to give DD a kiss on the nose, and DD grabbing SI's head for a bear hug that knocks her onto the floor, and both of them finding it hilarious.  When SI cries, DD stops and looks, in obvious distress.  She doesn't start crying herself most times, instead she does what she would do if I were upset- she attempts to distract SI.

Yesterday I observed an unexpected scene.  DD was fussing, she was whining and her parents were too busy to pick her up at that second.  SI was about a foot away.  She picked up the glove she'd been playing with, leaned over, and placed it directly in DD's lap.  DD was instantly cheered, and SI responded to DD's smile by grinning right back.

It had been my thought when I learned I was having twins that they would always have a friend, but I didn't really understand what that meant.  I have no friends who shared my babyhood, who learned to walk and talk with me.  I have no friends who knew me before I knew myself.  Not only do DD and SI care for each other, they've learned who their little friend is.  They know the patterns, they know what the looks mean and what the sounds mean.  This, from children so small they don't understand that the baby in the mirror is their own reflection.

Each time I see them play together, hold hands or tickle each other, I am so proud of them.  I am so proud of them for becoming people, for having a life that has facets of which I am not included.  Already I'm a sort of exile- the MOM, not one of the kids.  I am not saddened at all by this, but I am surprised at how sentimental it makes me.  Already I mourn the loss of this time, as it happens.

I never have to worry that my girls will feel alone in the world.  I can see in their eyes when they play, regardless of genetics, that they have a friend for life.

4 comments:

  1. When you start to feel nostalgic for the moment you're in, I think that means you're in one of the best moments of your life. The nostalgic feeling -- oddly sad for such a happy moment -- is like a meditation bell, reminding you not to miss this moment. That's pretty much how I felt during your recent visit.

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  2. This is basically the cutest thing ever. Love those little people.

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  3. Awww what a cute scene. And you are right, I'm convinced I could tell my son's personality from the second scan! So far all evidence shows I've been right :0)

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