Tomorrow, my babies turn three.
This is mind-blowing in any number of ways, of course. But looking back on this blog, which I started back when they were six months old, one thing that really strikes me is how much the “twin thing” has changed over the last three years.
The last 12 months, the centrality of their twin-ness to my parenting experience has really faded into the background. Oh, it’s still a major factor of my identity as a mom, don’t get me wrong. I will always carry that as a badge of pride, maybe as a war wound, too. I love that my kids are twins. While they may not be as inseparable as some, they are most definitely close. They fight, sure. They get on each other’s nerves in ways I find both exhausting and amusing. But the last year in particular, they really have become each other’s very best playmates and have tons of fun together. With almost no words spoken between them, a piece of rope will turn into a 20-minute game of chasing and hysterical shrieking.
While there will always be benefits and problems that are specific to having twins, my day-to-day life is no longer a series of unique logistical problems in the way it was that first 3, 6, 12, 18 months. Having twin newborns, infants, and young toddlers is so intense and so uniquely challenging, it makes for an entirely different experience of parenting from those who have “just” one. People are incredulous when they ask “how do you do it?”, especially because if we parented just like a singleton-parent-times-two, we’d never make it. We don’t fuss over every little thing, we simply don’t have the time. That experience is foreign to us.
Today, though, I don’t think my life as a parent of two three-year-olds is nearly so different from my friend with the two-year-old and four-year-old. Much more these days, I’m simply a parent of two children. When people start to give the, “oh, wow, twins, that must be so hard!” reaction, they now start to backtrack and realize that it’s not so different from their life as a parent of two, even if they had them one at a time.
The intense difficulty of those first months has not been negated. It forever changed me, primarily in what I think are really positive ways (even if that was in a “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” kind of way). My kids and their twin-ness will always have something special that their singleton friends don’t. I will always proudly be a Mom of Twins.
But I’m also just a mom of two kids, like so many others. The specialness of my experience is fading a little bit, I’m blending in. I’m OK with that. I’ll never forget where I came from.