Our society is fascinated with twins, but they like to appreciate twins as two halves of a whole.
Just today, someone stopped my boys, asked if they were twins, requested that they stand still, studied their faces, and then pronounced, “Yep! They’re identical!” (Wait…what? Really?!) 😉
I don’t mind this attention and neither do Micah and Benji, but from the day I found out I was having identical twins (one of my favorite anecdotes!), my husband and I have taken steps to help them forge their own paths.
We have purposely chosen to avoid lots of common “twin” habits and traditions.
We didn’t choose names with the same letter, or names that rhymed.
We don’t buy identical toys.
However, one time they bought each other identical toys! Last Christmas Aaron took each boy shopping separately so that he could buy presents for his bothers. Micah and Benji picked out the EXACT SAME TOY for each other. It was hilarious–and weird.
We don’t call them “the twins.” –they are two individuals, not the lump sum of their womb-relationship.
We don’t dress them alike–if fact, I rarely buy matching clothes.
Dressing them alike is adorable, but since I shop 2nd hand most of the time, it isn’t realistic. And actually, dressing alike has caused a bit of trouble for them!
Just a few weeks ago, they wore SIMILAR shirts to school (not even the same shirt!) and Benji came home crying on a Friday because he got in trouble for something that Micah did! Micah readily admitted that he did it and when he went to school on Monday, he purposefully went to the teacher and told her what happened.
“This is probably not the last time this is going to happen, boys.” I told them, laughing and shaking my head.
Being an identical twin has its own joys and consequences.
Most of the time, I don’t even think about the fact that we have twins. We work really hard to celebrate their individuality and unique place in our family.
In fact, the reality that he is a twin was THE most important consideration in the educational decisions we ultimately faced.
In the next few days, Benji’s Story will examine the Twin Factor:
1. Why we chose separate classrooms when they entered school
2. When separate classrooms failed us
3. And…the impossible decision we faced when choosing the best educational option for Benji.