She looked at their little coats hanging on their hooks, the little arms dangling emptily on the wall, and she thought, as every parent before her had thought, that someday their arms would grow and fill coats with long empty arms, and how she wished that she could wrap her own long arms around theirs and they would be like pads of butter on warm bread and they would melt into her and they could be one person again, though not exactly one, but certainly not two, or three, rather they could be like the matryoshka dolls that lay halved and scattered on the floor, and they could nest within her again, being themselves but also being her and never having to worry about which empty coat arms they would fit into because her arms were the only arms that ever felt the cold.

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Emma Tessler is a psychotherapist and writer living in New York City. She is on Twitter @emmatessler.