With the twins’ first birthday right around the corner, I’m already getting teary thinking about my babies growing up. I can’t believe they are going to be ONE, but I also can’t believe that we managed to keep two tiny humans alive for a whole year (minus the two weeks that the NICU nurses kept them alive).
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this last year having infant twins, but there’s one thing, in particular, that’s really struck me: just because my kids are twins, it doesn’t mean they are the same.
I have a younger sister and no one was ever surprised that we weren’t a matching pair. She has brown hair and brown eyes, and I have blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s tall, and I’m short. She loves horseback riding, and I’m into photography and calligraphy. And everyone accepted our differences as natural because, after all, we are sisters, not twins.
But with Reese and Rowan, people have a hard time seeing them as individuals. Rowan is crawling and Reese is not. I’ve had multiple people tell me how strange it is that they didn’t start crawling on the same day. Rowan has eight teeth and Reese has two and a teeny top tooth that just started poking out. Again, people are baffled. Reese has more hair than Rowan. Rowan loves food and Reese is more apprehensive.
Our kids, though carried by me at the same time, could not be further from “twinning.” Their personalities are totally unique. Rowan is bold and often fearless while Reese is much more cautious and cerebral. And yes, while not having much hair makes them look somewhat alike, their features are certainly different.
Reese and Rowan aren’t even one yet, and already I see people lumping them together as an inseparable pair. As their mom, I absolutely hope that they’ll be best friends, but I also hope they’ll make their own friends. It also makes me realize how important it is and will be for me and my husband to foster individual time. We want to start implementing “solo dates” where we split the kids up and take them out on their own. I know it will be good not only for their own confidence but also as a bonding opportunity with either Mom or Dad.
It’s important to me that we give our kids space to be seen as themselves and not as a pair. I want people to see them as Reese and as Rowan and not as “the Thomas twins.” I used to dress them in coordinating outfits because “how fun!” but I soon realized that I was only reinforcing the “matching pair mentality.”
I noticed them playing together for the first time the other day and my heart just melted. I was instantly reminded of the special bond my kids will have because they are twins. I love that they rarely feel alone because, from day one, they’ve had a buddy. But I also want them to know that I see them as individuals, as my son and my daughter. And as they continue to grow up (wahhh!), I hope they feel supported and encouraged to blaze their own trails. I hope that outside pressure to be the same doesn’t hold them back.