My children have different hands.
Dixon’s are thin and delicate, with a firm grip, but not hard or clingy. They are surprisingly strong, and yet surprisingly relaxed and soft. Purposeful. And quiet. They know what they want.
Delaney’s are thicker and meaty, but with very long, tapered fingers. They are never easy and relaxed; they are always moving. When she’s in thought, they look like they’re flying. Tie her hands behind her back, and she won’t be able to speak.
All their lives, without even looking, I have known who has just put her hand in mine. They get a kick out of this. Every once in a while, they ask me to close my eyes, do a circle around me, and then stop and take my hands. Then they giggle when I tell them with unerring accuracy who’s on my left and who’s on my right.
Their personalities are a lot like their hands. Dixon looks so delicate and wistful, yet she can more than hold her own in wrestling matches against her twin sister, who has about 10 pounds and two inches on her. Delaney seems so large and bold, yet when they first started Trick or Treating, Delaney would lead Dixon up to about five feet from each door, then stop in fear, while her sister purposefully ran up to the door and rang the bell.
Before I go on, you have to know this: people notice my daughters. They are quite beautiful. They are also always bubbly and laughing. There is something inside them that radiates… something that attracts other people. I’m not kvelling, here. It’s somewhat perplexing to me, and a little disconcerting. Part of it is that there are two of them, but people gravitate to them. When we walk into stores or restaurants—even now as they are 8—people turn around and smile. Sometimes they even give them things. Still.
This came up one night at the end of 2007, a few weeks shy of their fifth birthday.