We have never tried making it a big deal that we have twins in our family. It came to us as a complete surprise when I went to see a doctor on my 16th week. I went because ‘my fundus was too high’ and I thought something was wrong. I’d google ‘high fundus’ at least once a day and skip right past the first reason: multiples pregnancy. In my wildest dreams never did I think I’d have to deal with that outcome (the night before my ultrasound, as I was up all night with a teething 10mo old I told my husband that if indeed there were more than one occupying the space I wouldn’t be coming home after the delivery). But there they were in the ultrasound, two adorable beating hearts.
When they were born we called them by their names. I was put off when someone referred to them as ‘the twins’, like they were a unit and not two individuals with their own personalities. I used to place them in our singleton bassinet-stroller so that people in the park or mall wouldn’t bother us with comments or questions. I often wondered about the ‘twin bond’ and if that was something that really existed or something that would develop between any same aged children that spent all of their time together from birth. Whatever it is, I love watching them interact with each other. There is something in there that makes me feel like they are in a world of their own at times.
A week ago I was talking with an acquaintance. Beth was telling her how she and Joshua are both 3 years old and I mentioned how we don’t refer to them as twins. She said ‘why would you? They only share a birthday. It’s not like they’re real twins’.
I was too puzzled to say anything that made sense so I ended the conversation pretty quickly. As I walked away and thought about it I was offended and angry by this notion that just because our twins are a boy and a girl they somehow are ‘lesser’ twins than identicals (or twins that are not identical but look alike to a strangers’ eye). Sure I’m aware of the hierarchy that exists in the twin world but to not call them twins at all was utter craziness (specially by someone who doesn’t have any twins to ‘brag’ about).
As I’ve been thinking about the comment and how it made me feel I realized that while I certainly don’t promote their twin-ness I am not willing to have someone take it away from them either. Being twins doesn’t make them any more special than the singleton child next to them but it is part of who they are. They are blessed and cursed for a lifetime for having to share their most magnificent moment, being born. And by definition that is what being a twin is. The rest is just the icing on the cake.
What are your thoughts on this?