We sat at a table across from my boys’ principal and I had a post-headache headache. I had gotten less than five hours of sleep. I really felt like I needed to throw up. I would have been okay with puking, but I just didn’t want to cry. Emotional, big decision type of conversations tend to knock heavily on my weakened Monday tear gates. “Keep it together, girl.” I told myself. Passionate=good. Sobbing mess=awkward.
My husband and I had scheduled a meeting with the school principal to talk about first grade options for our twin boys. Whether or not to keep them together in the same class or separate them. Tough growing up stuff. No book can tell you the right decision to make for your children. You know deep down what is best. Maybe. Somewhat similar to the baby teeth that will soon fall out. And be replaced by permanent ones. I knew my boys would not always be together, but that knowledge doesn’t help make the transition easier. I talk about things, cry about things, sometimes write about things and then I tend to work through. Or around or under things.
Ever since we found out we were pregnant with twins, we determined that we would always treat them as individuals, siblings that just happened to hang out in my uterus together. Easier said than done, like most parenting decisions predetermined before you ever have a child. Jinxed it. We didn’t want to raise creepy twins. I know that sounds bad, but we didn’t want their sole identity to consist in being a twin. (Sidenote: A guy asked me on a date my freshman year in college. I was pretty stoked, mainly about the free meal. However, he cancelled last-minute because his twin brother had a headache. Empathetic, maybe too much so for my eighteen year old, Outback Steakhouse loving self. There was no make-up date. Which was okay. I didn’t want to date identical twin brothers.)
We don’t know if our twins are identical because we haven’t done genetic testing. I can think of a million better things to do with $150. It doesn’t really matter if they are or not. They are two very different little people, despite the fact that even they have a difficult time telling each other apart in pictures sometimes. Just recently, Julian saw a picture on the computer from kindergarten graduation and said, “Why is Asher making that face, Mom?” I laughed and said, “That’s not Asher, that’s you, buddy.” He almost wouldn’t believe me until he saw his backpack strap on his shoulder.
We rarely have dressed our boys alike, except in the beginning weeks when we really couldn’t tell them apart. We’re smart like that. Bald scrawny baby boys with matching car seats. Matching blankets, hats, clothes. They were so stinking cute. It makes you feel like a real winner as a first time mom when the nurse ready to dilate their eyes asks you which one is which. Hmmmm. Where are you, sleep deprived insecure first-time twin mom tears? Wait for it. You look down. They are sleeping the exact same way, in the exact same outfit, in the exact same carseat. Bad idea on multiple levels. Ever since that appointment, they have chosen thei clothes, shoes, lack of underwear and favorite everything else.
There are some decisions that we, as parents, have to make for them. It’s a lot of parent pressure, way worse than peer pressure. Indecisivity happens to be one of my strongest characteristics. After our meeting with the principal, we sat in our driveway and my husband asked, “What do you think we should do?” My tears could only be restrained for so long. Permission to cry? Granted. I know what I think we should do. It’s just hard. And I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to separate them. I hate that word. Separate. It hurts me to think they will sit all day in separate classrooms without a brother there. A brother that has always been there. Since those days back in my uterus.
I know I can get oversensitive, overprotective and over psycho-analytical. I hope that we have raised them to adapt, adjust, and thrive. I think I know that they will do great. I think they are not creepy twins, but maybe I am a creepy twin mom. I think I want them to be together forever. Together. There always to stick up for each other, wrestle with each other, laugh with each other, and experience life with each other. All of them. Little brother included in my Peter Pan motherly complex. I half-jokingly told the principal that I would like to be “the catcher in the rye” of sorts playground mom. He probably didn’t know what I was even talking about. I would probably be fired after a day, when I let all of the kids take off their shoes and climb up the slides. I guess I will just have to find another way to get into the school next fall. Until then, I will try my darndest to hold tightly the time my boys all have together.