Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's a Twin Thing

When I reflect at the the end of the summer, I am quite sure that yesterday will be remembered as one of the best days of my Summer of 2011. Yesterday, one of our daughters received her first letter from her twin sister who is away at camp. The recipient of the letter has been writing to both of her sisters daily and had just come through her first meltdown of the summer when the realization that her sisters are gone hit fiercely and she missed them terribly. Somehow that twin telepathy thing got going and the letter arrived exactly when it needed to. My husband and I also received letters from that daughter yesterday, which we loved, but it was the letter from sister to sister/twin to twin that lit up our world.

Our twin daughters are two very distinct individuals who get a tremendous amount of love, support and companionship from one another. Our twin daughters attend different schools and different camps and in each case, the school and camp selected are just the right fit for that particular child. I have been questioned on this by several people with twins because it seems so unnecessarily complicated  and many twins derive strength from their togetherness. The thing is that though our daughters look very much alike to many people (not at all to us!), they couldn't be more different. There's no one-size-fits-all road map when it comes to twins, just like none exists for kids in general. Ultimately, you've just got to know your kids - our path works for us.

It's funny that people expect people who look alike to be alike. Our daughters take great pride in their differences and, in fact, each has been known not to pursue an interest she feels is already in her sister's realm. The fact that they each declared an interest in theater this year was actually a huge step for them! For a fun look at the world of twins, you might want to suggest that your young reader take a look at Grace Lin's Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same. Twins abound these days and it's a safe bet that your child goes to school with twins - this is the kind of book that will have them saying, "hey, it's just like A and B!" Never underestimate the importance of recognizing individuality!

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