No, I'm the Other One


If you didn't already know it, I'm a twin. A fraternal twin, to be exact. Though I've experienced quite a bit of skepticism from people when I make the distinction because my sister and I look so much alike. There are subtle differences though. Claudin has a slightly rounder face, while mine is more oval-shaped; her height and shoes size are just a tad bigger; and she wears the color red WAY better than I do. It's tricky for people who first meet us to pick up on those subtleties, but for those who have known us for a while, the differences are gaping.

When we were little, the distinctions were less obvious because we were often dressed in the same outfits and had matching hair cuts. Unless you knew what color my mother had dressed us in, it was a guessing game as to which twin was which. Our nanny relied on the "color coding" because otherwise she had to ask us for a clue; a tenuous request of any toddler, much less two mischievous twins. "Qual eres?" Which one are you? She would ask and I would respond with, "Yo soy la otra!" I'm the other one! 

Looking back on old photos, even I need a minute or two point out which is which. Growing up we unintentionally mixed people up so much that a couple of times I questioned my own identity. If others couldn't keep us straight, then how could we be sure that Claudin and I weren't mixed up and switched at some point? My older sister (pictured below) cruelly preyed on my plight. She'd tell us that we were swapped at birth and that I was actually Claudin but had been living a life of lies as Lucinda. Boom. A bona fide existential crisis at the age of five.
My mother always knew the difference. I guess she did birth us. But even then, she had an uncanny ability to tell us apart. In fact, we had this great act we'd perform for dinner guests in which my mom would close her eyes and ask us each to present a limb that she would use to identify the correct twin. With just one touch she'd know. Even I was impressed. In a way it was comforting because despite being twins, we are individuals and our mom being able to tell us apart like that proved it.

Whenever there was any doubt as to who was who, there was this one distinct characteristic that helped to tell us apart: my ears. Both my ears fold at the top, which we always joked was because Claudin and I were cramped in utero and had to share tight quarters. But then, when I nursing Auggie one morning, I noticed he has the same attribute on his right ear. Turns out, I guess, that it's a family trait. I love that my son inherited the unique feature that always set me apart - a hallmark of his mama.



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