J and K… and I
They crush me from either side, as if I need holding together. Each one pushing closer until my arms are pinned by my sides and I can hardly hold the book we are browsing. My heart lurches with indescribable joy.
Five minutes absorbed in the book and then still as two little statues they stand facing the TV screen. Two pairs of sturdy little legs, feet apart , backs straight as ramrods. Identical little heads lean slightly to one side, catching the action of Disney Planes falling from the sky.
Sounds from my bedroom indicate investigation. Two identical pairs of eyes twinkle mischievously, little mouths open in wide smiles, feet pound the carpet in a clumsy dance. A little hand stretches out and ups the volume on the radio, another reaches over and turns it down. Up, down, up, down, laughing, giggling, scrambling up onto my bed. Two fancy bow bedecked cushions, either side of a smaller one, tumble to the floor. Two pairs of shoes are kicked off and two little heads rest on crumpled pillows for all of a minute. Pushing and shoving, excitement mounting, tumbling off the bed in a tangle of identical little limbs.
Suddenly they are either side of me again, little hands grasping mine. They crush against me, getting as close as they can, pulling me into the kitchen. Two pairs of little hands reach out, tugging the handle on the chocolate drawer. Ignoring the child-sized chocolate bars lined up at the front, they reach to the back, each grasping a chocolate cream egg. I wished I had put them in the fridge. Harmonious shouts of, “Thank you nanny” make the sacrifice worthwhile and I take off the wrappers and forego my treat for the day.
Lunchtime comes and goes, chatting, eating, little legs swinging. Cups of milk in tired little hands.
Identical little heads lie side by side on my pillows. I sit on my bed and quietly sing, ‘Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so’. A song my grandmother used to sing to me. Two sets of sleepy eyes close and silence reigns. My gaze fixes on the half-litre sized porcelain letters standing on the dressing table, several paper back books wedged between. J for Jayden and K for Kenzie.
The warmth of the room and the quietness lull me into a gentle half doze. I lapse into thoughts of a cold November day, shiny black ice on the ground, snowflakes swirling past windows like soft white goose feathers. Identical twin boys are born, two months early. They lie side by side in identical incubators, breathing tubes like lungs working rhythmically. Wires and monitors in a tangle of technology, feed and nurture tiny bodies. I stand between the incubators, nervously inserting a hand into each one, gently clasping tiny fingers. I feel their fragility and imagine holding one on each arm. Oh how fervently I had prayed.
A sound breaks into my reverie. Two pairs of feet shuffle across the room in nanny’s slippers. I have two pairs to avoid a scrum. Giggles and laughter. The radio goes on again, volume up, volume down. Little heads wrapped in silk curtains peer out at me, eyes twinkling, expecting to be chased. A splash of Disney Planes sweatshirts as they disappear through the door. They turn, each taking a hand to make sure I’m in the middle, exactly where they like me to be. Nanny’s slippers are flung from two pairs of feet, landing in four places in the hall. Giggles and laughter. We put on sneakers and coats and go out into the garden. They each take a hand and pull me in different directions, yet still wanting to keep me in the middle. We play with the football until they tire and drag me back inside, little bodies pressed close to mine, small hands grasping tightly.
We have warm juice and apples and they sit either side of me at the table, moving chairs to make sure they have equal access. I tell them it’s almost time to go home and two pairs of eyes give me looks that say, ‘Not yet nanny’.
It’s time to go. Shoes and coats on, run and hide, shrieking, laughing, hanging on, delighted to see mummy.
I’m wedged between them like the books between the porcelain letters on my dressing table. Two little book ends - J for Jayden and K for Kenzie.
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