I don't feel it often, but once in a while the limitations of having twins is so noticeable that the guilt just sort of seeps in and finds its way into my heart.
We took the kids up to an indoor play place filled with padded toys to climb on and crawl around. Reese, already being a walker, was all over the place. It wasn't long before the toddler section lost her interest and we found our way into the larger bounce house. The larger house has tunnels and nets and cannons you can use to shoot foam balls. There are nooks to climb through and crannies to hide in and, of course, places to go up and down in the maze system (read: places for a 14 month old to fall through and get hurt).
Ryan was able to climb up into the maze system, but once we were up there he was limited by his inability to walk/run and reach things. He also tends to be my more introverted kid in public situations. Which is funny because he has no stranger danger, he just takes a while to warm up and get comfortable in new environments.
Reese, on the other hand, is my wild child. Put her in a new environment and leave her and OH MY FREAKING GOD she'll hold her breath and turn red and cry so loud windows shatter. But bring her somewhere and play with her, the kid is totally in her element. Running up to kids she doesn't know and smiling at them. Grabbing things, climbing things, exploring her new world. She's truly fearless (as long as her mommy is nearby).
The kids both loved this play place, but the intricacies of the maze, mixed with one introverted and relatively immobile child means that I cannot go there alone. Thankfully we went as a family, and Joe hung out with Ryan in the tunnels and I ran all over the place with Reese, sliding down slides and shooting cannons. And the more she giggled and babbled and pointed and ran, the worse I felt.
What would these two be like if I only had them to focus on at this age? What skills would they have mastered? How differently would their personalities have emerged?
I see glimpses of who my children really are when I do independent activities with them. The unique ways that they shine, things that are washed out at times by their duality. And I can't help but be hit by a wave of guilt.
My children are so lucky to have each other. And we are so lucky to have them. I cannot imagine one R without the other. But some days, when I see them alone I can't help but feel like there's just not enough of me for both of them to truly shine.