There is a book we read often at bedtime, Just in Case You Ever Wonder, that tells a child how special they are and how their parents and God will always love them and take care of them. There is a passage that says something like this...
It's always at this part that I wonder when one of the girls will begin to realize that someone does have her eyes, nose, and mouth? I put emphasis on the "laugh" part, because that's one very distinct feature between the girls. (I should point out that their eyes and mouths actually look pretty different to me too...but other people aren't going to notice it, and I know they are going to grow up hearing comments about how they look just alike.)If you looked all over the world, in every home, there would be no one like you. No one with your eyes, no one with your mouth, no one with your laugh...
I know the girls don't (and hopefully won't ever!) understand that some people may see it as a disadvantage that they had to share everything, including their looks, from the moment they entered this world. I hope, I hope, I hope that they see it as a distinct advantage...they will always have someone around to talk to or play with...they will always have a friend close by and someone to take their side. And after all, they won't understand what it's like not to have to share everything with 'sissy'; it's just a fact of life for them.
Still, I want to make sure my girls know that I love them equally and individually. I don't love them more or less because they're twins; I love them each for exactly WHO they are. I want to make sure we allow the opportunity and encouragement for each of them to pursue the things they are interested in and to find what makes them happy, regardless of whether or not it is the same thing her sister enjoys. If one loves dance and the other loves gymnastics...wonderful! If they both love music and want to learn to play an instrument...equally wonderful!
I guess what I'm saying is that I want them to come to the determination of who they are and who they want to be without necessarily regarding their twinship. Yes, their twin bond will undoubtedly influence them throughout their lives, and that's awesome...I just want to be sure that it doesn't define them.
My sister sent me this on Pinterest that I think kind of sums up my feelings on the issue. I'm thinking of printing this quote and framing it for their bedroom...kind of a mantra of sorts:
This is just a start on this broad subject that I'm sure will be present in my thoughts for many, many years. But I'm curious...Have you thought about how to foster individuality in your twins? How do you plan to handle it in your family?