I always wanted to have twins. I figured I could just have one pregnancy, have two children and be done. My grandma had two sets of fraternal twins (back-to-back!) so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities for me to have twins. I’ve had to let that dream die with many others, though. The death of that dream makes the love I have for another set of twins in my life even stronger.
Today my family celebrates the birthday of Anastasia Jane and Juliet Marie – twins who in one way or another both carry on my name, twins who in one way or another satisfy a portion of my dream, twins who in many ways have captured my heart.
Today these two funny, emotional, identical yet different, sneaky, inquisitive, free-spirited, joyful, dramatic, intelligent, adorable, lovable, loving, beautiful girls turn three. (When I talked to Anastasia the other night she jumped right to four, but I told her that wasn’t allowed!)
I thought Rosemary was small when she was born, but that was nothing compared to A & J. Teeny tiny. Miniature. Their arms and legs were so skinny. I’m normally quite comfortable holding babies, but with them I was a bit hesitant – you’re sure they won’t break?
You know those “boppy” pillows new moms use for nursing or just to keep the newborn in place? They shared ONE pillow – they both fit inside the opening – for several weeks. One afternoon I was sitting on the couch with them, just admiring these two tiny babies and one got the hiccups. Just moments later, like it was a yawn or something, the other one started hiccuping too. I knew then that they had a very special connection we may never completely understand.
Everything took them a little longer to accomplish – sitting up, crawling, walking. But that didn’t slow them down. A, in particular, had some setbacks, but she found other ways to get around. She wasn’t going to sit back and let her older sister and her twin sister get into anything and everything without her!
Oh, I might also mention that Rosemary was 17 months old when the girls were born. Just let that sink in!
In pictures and over FaceTime, I’m still not always sure who is who. In person, after a few moments reconnecting, I can usually tell. However, all of us, even their parents occasionally, get confused. Lately I’ve wondered what it would be like to have another person in your life who reflects your face…obviously, they don’t know any different. What an odd experience that might be! I know there have been times that one looks in the mirror and exclaims, “Sister!” not realizing it was her self.
These twins will never replace the twins in my dreams. However, unlike the twins in my dreams, these twins are here, these twins are present in my life. Their little noses and big laughs and daring personalities are real. Their hugs and kisses are felt on my arms and cheeks. These twins help to heal a part of my heart – just like all 7 of our nieces and nephews do.
They may not have 50% of my DNA, but they do have 25%. That’s not too bad. Thank goodness they got the good parts 😉
Happy Birthday Anastasia and Juliet. I never knew how much I needed you until you arrived. Love, Aunt Anne
2 thoughts on “Twins”
Dear Anne, This is such a sweet tribute to your family. While it seems that your sadness about maybe twins of your own is strong may I remind you that sometimes we are called to parenting in a different way. You have been called. Everyday you parent a group of kids that need to have you in their life for many different reasons. We, or you, don’t, in most cases, even know why or what that reason is but God knows, He gives you the resources each day to plan that journey for them and to fill in those gaps. I remember my youth group experiences growing up and I especially remember how real and potent they were for me. While I had two good parents they did not provide that spiritual guidance that I needed to become the person that I am. My youth group experience was that place of spiritual growth. I can point to my salvation there, I can remember the first time I felt the very real hand of God on my life there, I remember the study of the scriptures there and how that shaped me. And none of that could have happened without an “Anne” in my life. A spiritual mother/father that could connect me to my Heavenly Father in a way that my parents could not. So you see sweet Anne, while you do not have the sleepless nights, the dirty diapers, or the spit up on every piece of clothing you own, you do have a bunch of kids that God has trusted you with to parent. You are such a great soul. Filled with love and light. I am so proud of who you are and how you have been called to be a parent. I love you, Kat
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What a powerful comment, Kat. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. You are right – I’ve “parented” so many in 13+ years of youth ministry. It’s not what I expected, but I’ve been faithful to what God has put in front of me. I’m grateful for your love and reminder of my many children. love, Anne