11 years ago today God blessed my family with triplets. In the time I have been lucky enough to be their aunt I have watched them grow from tiny little creatures hooked up to feeding tubes to loving, beautiful, smart, amazing individuals.
What I have learned from my nieces is a priceless gift. You see, from birth they clearly had their own personalities even though they had experienced absolutely everything the same. No two babies handled anything exactly alike. No two toddlers liked the same thing. No two children today process hurt, anger, love, affection, or independence the same. Each girl has her own special set of gifts, likes, dislikes, and each has a very distinct personality. Each child is a unique individual and while their lives have not been perfect, they have each learned to process and cope in their own special way.
When they were little, people couldn't tell them apart. I never understood this, mostly because they don't look alike. Today if you know them, you know they are completely different people but people who are connected to their sister with a special bond. They go their own ways, playing different sports, liking different foods, having different strengths. One is mouthy and tough on the outside. One wears her heart on her sleeve. One is a little con-artist. I adore them each for who she is and I can't imagine our lives without them.
They have taught me so much about myself. Before them I thought we were all a victim of our circumstance, but they have the same basic circumstance and they are different. From them I realized it isn't the things you face that create who you are but how you respond to them. None of us have a perfect life but we all have our personalities. We can also overcome anything, even ourselves.
Today I am thankful for these three babies who came into my life and have given me unconditional love for 11 years. I am thankful that each day, they remind me to be better, sweeter, stronger, and not afraid to eat a bowl of strawberries or chocolate cake or meat and potatoes...because that's how they roll.