I departed this past Friday for my first weekend away from the twins. A fun-filled weekend spent in Boston with my best friend, Stephanie. My husband surprised me with the trip, I was hesitant but accepting…he is now in the running for husband of the year! The flight from Nashville to Boston is five hours; I wanted nothing but to read a book! I love reading, but time do so is running on empty these days. I chose One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin. I must say I chose the perfect book for my Boston escape, being away allowed me to really hear what I was reading. Further, guilt for leaving never crossed my mind because I was constantly mulling over our approach to twin parenting.
One and the Same offers a view of twinship that covers the spectrum, from the pitfalls to the rainbows, written with the insight of a twin. Pogrebin marries beautifully twins’ testimonials with factual information relating to multiples. If you choose to read this book, which I highly recommend, you will laugh out loud, shed tears, and come away with focused vision on the challenges of being a twin in adulthood. Pogrebin does not necessarily offer solutions to the difficulties of raising twins, but a parenting lesson was learned through each story she shared. I know I will be a better parent to Kellen and Paxton for having read this book.
One particular paragraph stood out to me, I read it several times, and then stamped GUILTY on my forehead! The paragraph reads:
“Labels or personality styles are assigned to each twin and scripted by the mother and family quite early,” Rothman writes, “likely as a means to soothe their own anxieties.” Joan Friedman agrees. “The labels are created in order to convince yourself you have a separate attachment. And if you don’t do the work and really have the separate attachment, then you’ve just created sort of a myth that helps you define one child in relationship to the other. . . . That’s the difference between being known and being noticed. If you’re not known through your attachment to your parents, then you’re noticed because you’re like your twin or you’re different from your twin. It’s not about who you are, but how you compare to this other person.” Being known versus being noticed.
Excerpted from One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin Copyright © 2009 by Abigail Pogrebin. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Publishing, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Wow, powerful stuff. I am certainly guilty for reciting the boys’ differences and not who they are as individuals. How sad if Kellen and Paxton become adults only being “known” for how they compare rather than whom they are? The difference between the two is fine, but I find this concept of utmost importance in parenting twins. This realization will foster more individuality, separation, and parenting decisions that will hopefully lead to a healthy adulthood for our twins.
So in sum, Boston was fabulous. Stephanie and I, once again, hypothesized solutions to all the world’s problems and did so over yummy wine and fantastic Italian cuisine. I return to Nashville manicured, pedicured, massaged, refreshed and energized with a better perspective on parenting. Now that is a successful 48 hours!! Thank you to Stephanie for hosting me, and Abigail Pogrebin for enlighting me.