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March 19, 2012

A Very Sweet Look Ahead

Yesterday our MoMs group hosted a panel discussion. On the panel were 30-year old identical twin girls; and a mother and her 23-year old daughter whose twin brother wasn’t able to join us.

We covered a lot of your “standard” territory, like dressing alike, sharing rooms, and classroom dynamics. We hosted a similar discussion a couple of years ago, and it’s been so interesting to hear fellow MoMs ask questions, and to hear perspectives from the “grown-up” side of things.

I came away from the discussion yesterday with so much more than that, though. It was so incredibly heartwarming to hear the three adults talking about how special their twinship is, how much they cherish their unique blessings.

I read Abigail Pogrebin’s “One and the Same” a year or so ago. It was such a great exploration of the science and psychology of twins. One of my primary takeaways was, “Don’t over-romanticize the twinship.” Pogrebin presents several instances that, I think, ultimately caution families of multiples not to put undue pressure on them to have supernatural powers, to be joined at the hip, to be the bestest of best friends.

And one of the first things I remember our pediatrician saying is, “They’re just sisters, who happen to have been born on the same day.”

And there is so much written about encouraging individuality among multiples.

I had a realization yesterday that I may have been so concentrated on our girls’ individuality that I rarely stop to acknowledge that they are – in fact – twins. And that is pretty special.

I jotted down one phrase that really resonated with me, specifically with respect to competition. I know our girls will have their unique strengths, and this is something I think about quite a bit.

…we were encouraged to be each other’s biggest fan…

I know three grown-up twins does not a statistically significant pool make, but it was really encouraging to see them all talking about the [mostly] great things about being a twin…and not lamenting that they didn’t feel like individuals, or that they competed so vehemently against each other.

I know it’s a balance…certainly our girls need to develop as individuals and to be comfortable in their independence...but yesterday’s discussion reminded me also to encourage them to appreciate the wonderful blessings they are to each other.

…and I can only hope and pray that my girls will speak of their relationship so fondly in 25 years’ time.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

Great post - you're right. I am the same. So focussed that they're treated as individuals but they are still twins.

Although just today I had to explain to two people that just because kids are twins (not necessarily mine) doesn't mean they're automatically best friends and I know of some twins who fight like anything :)

Cuz I'm the mama! said...

They absolutely will!! And .. it's because of their awesome upbringing! When I worked as a high school counselor I worked with several sets of twins .... some of them were super close - while others almost arch rivals. I even had a set of identical twin girls get into a physical fight at school!! :( What made the difference?? Their home life - hands down. You are doing all the right things!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

I hear ya! I also try so hard to ensure their individuality that I forget to embrace the fact that they are twins...balance....that's what life is all wbout eh?

Happy Monday!

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

I hear ya! I also try so hard to ensure their individuality that I forget to embrace the fact that they are twins...balance....that's what life is all wbout eh?

Happy Monday!

Beth said...

Yes. I try to remember that they are "siblings born on the same day." They need to learn to get along, play well together and support each other, but no more than I would expect of any siblings. Will also needs to love and support his brother and sisters and them him.

That being said, I am anxious about the quads starting preschool in the fall. It is 5 months away and I already get a bit of a pit in my stomach thinking about. How awesome, though, that they get to walk in together! Yes, Mommy is going to leave, but they will have three friends right there with them. I hope they make new friends, but still enjoy being together!

Mandy said...

I was just thinking about this this morning. I don't think my ladies know they're twins or the meaning of twin. They know that they are sisters, that they are different. We've really focused on being individuals. Then I thought back to my mother and aunt, twins, who are not "twin-y" at all and I think that is where my perceived normal of twins developed.

Thus far I can see that they are friends. I am in no way expecting them to be best friends, but I certainly think they will be sisters through and through.

Amanda said...

Great post! I love to hear of twins who are still close as adults. Being a twin is so special. I love the quote too. I would love my girls to be each others best cheerleader instead of being competitive.

championm2000 said...

It's good to hear this perspective.

I don't think we romanticize the twinship, but I do think it is special to be a twin.

cat said...

Great great post! I think we also concentrate maybe too much on idividuality especiallynseeing oura are so different in any event.

Deanna said...

Love this! It's a good reminder that balance may be the best thing we can do for them. Yes, they are two individuals, but at the same time, being a twin is pretty special.

I love to hear Kristi, who blogs at The Hutton House, talk about her relationship with her identical twin sister. She says they have always been best friends and can't imagine it any other way. I hope that is the natural relationship that develops between my girls, but I don't want to push too hard or pressure that relationship.

Amanda said...

I had the luxury of having identical twin roommates in college. I learned more about the twin relationship in those 4 years than I have in the almost 4 years of my twins life. It's amazing to see the relationship develop and know what it could possibly develop into. Great post Mandy!

Unknown said...

Oh I LOVE this post!! Great idea for a panel...I'm going to suggest that for our MoMs group!!

I sometimes think having boy/girl twins makes it easier to separate them as individuals but it definitely still happens. In school, they are compared against each other a lot and are always spoken about as "they" not "he" and "she." I struggled listening to their teacher at conferences both times this year, anxious to hear about each of them separately and not as one.

But...despite their differences, they are still SO close and SO good to each other. even as a boy and a girl - they have a great bond and help each other out, work together and problem solve well. Their teacher did note that well - that they work together to figure things out.

Next year will be interesting - a new school and likely separate classrooms. I think they'll be fine but it will be an adjustment for sure. They need to grow a lil more on their own but I hope they'll always remain close!!

Unknown said...

This is beautiful! I feel the same way, sometimes it's nice to sit back and see how lucky we are. Having twins and being a twin is special! This is great!

northsidefour said...

This could not be more timely for me to read, we are very deep into dealing with two little girls who are vastly different, both wonderful, but excelling in different ways. And I'm working so hard to teach them to be the cheerleader for the other, which is hard when one has just been deluged with amazing achievements. We're all just trying to make our own kind of music, it's just not easy.

Julia said...

Everyone has a story to tell--I believe that. I love that for every bit of their existence, save the six minutes Hadley was breathing oxygen without Brynne :), their stories are intertwined. I love that. There is a special connection---they've never known a day without one another.

I love that picture of A & B, Mandy. So precious!