A Celebration of Amanda and Chelsea

Fourteen years ago today, I became an aunt to Amanda and Chelsea. Twins. My Gracielia’s. I got home from school and found the post-it-note my mom had left on the front door notifying me Paula had gone in to labor. I jumped in the car, stuck the post-it-note on my dashboard, and committed numerous traffic violations on the way to the hospital. The border patrol checkpoint mistake I made only delayed me for a little while.

Two new babies at the same time. Double the joy. Double the chubby cheeks to kiss. Aunt squared. From an early age I could tell them apart, except when they had their backs to me or their hair was wet. Only once have I mixed them up. They are the 4th (Amanda) and 5th (Chelsea) of the Magnificent Nine.

When I look at the beauties they’ve become, I can still see them in their fuzzy sleepers crawling around in a heap on the floor, cheeks rosy red, little pink lips, tiny brown curls. I can see them in the little black-velvet dresses, white tights and little black shoes, dancing around the room.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Gracielia’s every year of their lives. In the past it was three weeks a year on vacation and now it’s every day. The simple pleasures we share are so valuable. A drive home, a trip to the store, a walk around the block. Each day I love them more and more.

Amanda and Chelsea are more alike than different. They are intelligent, beautiful, talented, compassionate, hungry for knowledge, obedient to God and parents, and loyal. They’ve developed individual skills and abilities and flourish in their chosen hobbies.

My sweet Gracielia’s, your love surprises me. I look forward to your laughter and hugs each day. Happy Birthday my gracious princesses! May this year of your life be filled with trips to England and Italy, the perfect shade of pencil, horseback riding, the perfect light, clothes shopping, rolls of film, another published story, lots of things to write about, abundant joy, and trips to my house. Your Tante Lucia

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