My 7-year-old twin daughters, M and J, love each other, deeply and openly. They bicker and annoy each other on purpose, but their love for one another is never in doubt. They may argue at bedtime, sometimes until late at night, but they fall asleep in each other’s arms 99% of the time.
Every few weeks, J tells me worriedly, “This might hurt your feelings, but I love M more than anything.” I always let her know that my feelings are doing just fine and that her love for her sister is completely appropriate.
The other day, M was admiring her own waist length hair in the mirror. “I’m never cutting my hair,” she told me, “except to trim it. Having my hair cut off is my worst nightmare. No. J dying is my worst nightmare. But I like my long hair.” Some might consider her statement morbid, but it was delivered as fact.
A while ago, J suffered a theological crisis in church when she realized that she was supposed to love God above everything, even her sister. She began to cry in the middle of service. “You don’t understand,” she told me vehemently when I tried to soothe her. “You don’t have a twin sister and you don’t even believe in God!” She was finally comforted by a friend in the congregation who told her that her love for her sister, the sacrifices she was willing to make for her, was a reflection of J’s love for God and God’s love for her.
J and M don’t have any homework this week and will be leaving to spend Christmas with their father’s family tomorrow. On the spur of the moment, finding ourselves with some free time, we decided to go to the movies and watch Frozen.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Flix Brewhouse in Round Rock, TX, the only movie theatre near enough with a showtime that worked for us. I hadn’t gone before, assuming it would be a cheap and underwhelming attempt to copy the Alamo Drafthouse. Instead, I was pleased to find a spotless and charming movie theatre with excellent food–the fries were better than those at the Alamo–unobtrusive but attentive waitstaff during the movie, comfortable chairs, well-designed tables that fit even my 7-year-olds, and excellent film and sound quality. I was impressed even without trying the beer brewed on site; after all, I was driving.
We loved the movie. J left the theatre singing, “The cold never bothered me anyway.” All three of us were smiling. We agreed to buy the DVD as soon as it came out. (If you go to see the movie, watch for the disclaimer at the end of the credits. I laughed so hard!)
I’m a sucker for traditional musicals and this was a modern throwback to the days of Cinderella and Snow White, where the main characters broke into song midscene. I started out a little annoyed that this was to be yet another story about a damsel in distress being saved by a swashbuckling man, but there was a nice twist to story that pleased the feminist and strong single woman in me.
The part of the movie experience that touched me the most, though, was a moment in which the two main characters, sisters Elsa and Anna, clearly put their love for each other first. I glanced at my own little girls during that moment and caught my sweet J brushing a tear from her eye. The parallel between her connection to M and Anna’s to Elsa hadn’t escaped her either. She smiled at me sheepishly and said, “I just love M.”
I hope that love lasts always.
Unfortunately, my sister and I have drifted apart, living very different lives on different continents as we do. We’re nothing like twins, born over a decade apart. I wish she knew how much I love her and felt comfortable opening up to me, but I realize that it may never happen. The kind of love I have to give may not be what she wishes to receive. Meaningful long distance relationships may never be her comfort zone.
May my daughters never feel that loss.
I am so grateful that even such mainstream media companies as Disney recognize the value of the relationship between sisters. Brotherly love is harder to portray, thanks to our societal assumptions that emotions like love belong in the feminine domain. I can’t help remembering a passage in One and the Same (previously reviewed by yours truly) in which Abigail Pogrebin talks about how hard some identical twin men find it to find romantic partners who aren’t frightened off by their intimate relationships with each other.
Are your multiples close? How do others perceive their relationship?
Sadia (rhymes with Nadia) has been coordinating How Do You Do It? since late 2012. She is the divorced mother of 7-year-old monozygotic twins, M and J. She lives with them and their 3 cats in the Austin, TX suburbs and works full time as a business analyst. She retired her personal blog, Double the Fun, when the girls entered elementary school and also blogs at Adoption.com and Multicultural Mothering.