On being a twin

I don’t know what it is but it seems that as soon as one says they have a twin, the curiosity factor kicks in. “You have a twin? Tell us more!”

I grew up with two brothers, one older, one technically younger. My twin brother is a mere 3 minutes younger me. These were a very important 3 minutes when we were growing up it gave me the upper hand. Or so I thought. But that’s my twin for you, always a gentleman. He maintains still to this day that he allowed me to be born first (like he had a choice?), and claims that he is really older (last in first out).

As babies  / toddlers we had our own language, that apparently we used to babble away in all the time. My mum maintains that we seemed to understand each other very well and there was give and take in the conversation as with any other language. I wonder whether if I heard it now I would understand it.

We went to school together, and did everything together after school. He was my best buddy growing up. We had other friends, but better than that we had each other. We didn’t need anyone else.

Then came high school and we were separated for the first time in our lives as we attended single sex high schools. I missed him. I relished being able to be me, not half of the “twins”, yet I missed sharing so many experiences with him.

Now I am half a world away from him and I miss him every day.

As kids we hated being referred to as “the twins”. We had our own separate identities. We thought for ourselves. We had different opinions. Heck he was a boy and I a girl. If I had a dollar for every time we were asked if our twin was identical. Identical means exactly the same. Boys and girls are not exactly the same, they never can be. But we don’t look like each other. We have had distinctive facial differences since the day we were born. We each take after a different side of the family. I am loud and outspoken. He isn’t. But we both have a fierce love for our children, spouses and each other.

I know that whenever I need him I can pick up the phone and ask him to get on a plane to come to me and he will make it happen (I would do the same for him). I did that once. There was a point in time that I desperately needed the unconditional love of my wombie. And he came.

We don’t read each other’s minds or finish each other’s sentences, but there is a bond there that defies explanation. It transcends the physical and spiritual. A hug from my twin can put right almost any wrong that is happening in my life. I don’t need to explain myself to him, or justify anything. He is just there for me, as I am for him. We accept each other just the way we are.

There is something deeply magical and mystical about being created at the same time as someone else. Growing together from a cluster of cells into human beings. Our bond was created 9 months before our birth – there is no way that anyone could ever hope to recreate that in the physical world.

I am blessed to have received all kinds of unconditional love – grandparents, parents– but, somehow, my twin’s unconditional love for me seems the most powerful and strongest bond I have ever had. Although, since the KoD entered the picture, there is competition for that level of unconditional love!

I am so blessed.

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8 responses to “On being a twin

  1. Being a twin is so special. My mother’s twin sister passed away almost two years ago. When she died, my mother said she felt “alone”, even though they had not lived in the same country for 50 years. Their bond, because of their “twinship” was truly special.

  2. Thank you for writing this.

    As a parent of multiples, I always wonder about their bond and to tell the truth, am insanely jealous of it. I hope the Trips grow up with the same type of relationship and healthy attitude about it that you have with your twin!

    My girls are still adjusting to be separated from their brother in school (he’s just fine about it) and this year, from each other in class. It seems to have made them more dependent on each other at home.

    Of the barrage of strange and sometimes nonsensical question multiples and their parents receive, my favorite by far is the woman who looked at them in their strollers (a double and a single), pointed and asked “9 months apart?” Huh?!

    I also love it when people stare at the three of them, try to figure out what’s going on, and ask my girls (who are NOT identical) “Are you girls twins?” To which my girls answer without missing a beat “No” and go on their merry way, leaving the adult none-the-wiser.

  3. What a blessing, to share that special bond with your twin! Years ago I was part of a team of early intervention therapists working with a set of triplets. They were so young, yet had such an amazing relationship, always looking out for each other. It was a pleasure to work with them (and B”H they are pre-teens now and doing great!)

  4. Thanks for sharing!

    The Jewish Side/The Babysitter is a twin also. She should blog about it too.

  5. “and claims that he is really older (last in first out).”

    I didn’t think of that, that would make me one minute older than my twin brother! For 8 years I was always the youngest, by a minute!

    I think I’m gonna write a post about being a twin, and link up to yours.

    lol, same here with being asked if we were identical!

    Very true about the close bond, I’ll write about mine…

  6. I am a twin too. We are definitely not identical. I have blue eyes and dark brown hair and she has brown eyes and freckles and brown hair. Every time we tell someone we are twins we get the same reaction: “what??? No you’re not!” And then they look back and forth between while their mouth is hanging open. But we fight all the time! And we do have some wired mind reading things. And she talks so fast no one but me can understand her. We are freshman in high school. So we got a long way to go as far as getting along. Thanks for the article!

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