This month, my boy-girl twins turn 11. Of course, as a mom blogger, I think the best way to celebrate this milestone is with a list! Here are 22 unexpected gifts that come with having twins.
1. The instant anyone finds out you are pregnant with twins (family, friends, strangers), the red carpet rolls out -- seats, support, snacks; ask and you shall receive.
2. Two "birds," one "stone" = instant family (for the pregnancy-averse, you only buy and wear maternity clothes once!).
3. Two babies came out of YOUR body. Out of YOU. Think about that. If you've had a singleton (what we twin moms call your regularly spaced children), it's amazing. But when I think about the fact that I had TWO at ONCE, "wow" is the only word that describes this physical feat.
4. Holding a baby is delicious -- but holding your two infants at the same time is nothing short of a miracle.
5. Remember the "double your pleasure, double your fun" ad slogan? When it comes to twin babies, somehow one makes the other cuter and sweeter and vice versa.
6. From birth to the present, it's been fun seeing the physical differences -- and similarities -- between my twins. From fingers to toes, the who-got-what game never gets boring.
7. Twin Love: my two have superhero-strength love for each other. It's stronger than words can describe. And nothing like regular sibling love.
8. My twins are almost past the one-decade mark and I still fiercely treasure alone time with each.
9. Boy-girl twins are competitive but not as competitive as same-sex twins. Phew!
10. The unspoken rule of "I've got you" between the two applies to everything -- birthday parties, Sunday school, doctor's visits.
11. Although the first year of twins sometimes felt (and looked) like a scene from Sharknado, I'm a more relaxed, balanced and grounded person because I survived it.
12. Now in middle school, my twins are in different classes. Because every teacher is different, each benefits from the other's classroom experience all the time.
13. If one twin misses school, I don't have to call the teacher or a peer -- the twin who didn't miss school has it all in his or her backpack already. Score!
14. Spying! I am not proud of this one but I can corner either Twin A or Twin B and get the scoop on almost any situation, complete with a feelings analysis about their sibling.
15. Having two children the same age means they can share age-appropriate books, movies, games and toys. I don't have to buy two of Wimpy Kid or Harry Potter. (The flip side: we will be paying for college for two at the same time! Gulp!).
16. My twins frequently offer unsolicited praise and support to one another. It's genuine, and comes from a deep-in-their-bones place that I believe has to do with their shared in-my-belly-time.
17. Anticipationnnnn... twins really have a sixth sense about one another and they just KNOW WHAT IS COMING.
18. One birthday party! I'd be lying if I didn't admit to doing some separate birthday celebrations for friends, but we always have one family party (and have had many joint birthday parties). Less work, more fun for Mom.
19. Same gift, different package. It's a unique phenomenon to see the same strength or talent manifest itself differently in my boy and girl. Both are very musical but in different ways. The way nature wired them similarly and differently makes me smile.
20. Boys will be boys and the same saying applies to girls. But the quirks my two share are genderless. Small mannerisms or gestures are IDENTICAL. Kind of spooky how all that wiring and neurology works.
21. I never realized that having two children in the same exact grade means we are always on the receiving end of every illness, germ or rash. If one doesn't get it, the other does. This I can count on. I admit this one isn't exactly a "gift"...
22. Last but not least, twins really are best friends and platonic soulmates long before they are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, teammates and best friends. It's a miracle to give birth to twins, to parent twins and most of all, to witness the marvel of twins.
Happy Birthday J and M!