Friday, May 20

Two Singletons

I have twins.

Identical twins.

It's funny. Some people swear that they can tell the twins apart. Some people swear that there are no differences between them. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I got a call from the kindergarten teacher this morning. She would like to put the twinnies into different classes when they enter grade one.

Not because they are suffering academically. They're doing beautifully, in fact. Not because they are suffering socially. They love to play with the other children.

The teacher would like to separate the twinnies because she, and the students, can't tell the twinnies apart. After almost nine months.

Being a twin is special. I don't think that we should be so quick to separate twins based solely on the fact that they look similar. I don't think the objective should be to create two singletons. To make them like everyone else. To make them "normal". Especially because my twins thrive on being twins. And they are doing exceedingly well in all aspects of their lives.

The teacher is a kind woman. A good woman. A clever woman. She has done her best to be fair and considerate and compassionate. I have the utmost respect for her, and her opinions. But my heart has broken.

Because when I look a the twinnies,

I see the child, not the unit.

I see a little girl who rages like a thunder storm, yet is instantly calmed when a cotton ball is placed in her hand. This child sees the world in black and white, right and wrong. And in case you were wondering, she's right and everyone else is wrong. The world is her stage, and she lives to perform.

I see a little girl who is ruled by loyalty and love. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and that heart bleeds for everybody. She is a thinker, and lies in her bed figuring things out. She studies the details. She's quick to laugh. She loves being outside.

And it breaks my heart that people can't see beyond the unit to see the individual. The individuals are worth knowing because they're special. The unit is worth preserving because it's special.

I used to dress the twinnies identically because they looked super cute and they preferred to have the same outfits on. Now, (most of the time) they don't care if they are dressed identically or not. I let them choose what they wear. I figure that one day, they will want to be in separate classes and have different friends. And I will support them. Until then, I will allow them to remain together. Because I have spent five years with my twinnies, because I know both of them collectively and individually, because I know them best.


Bibliomama said...

I see your point, but on the other hand I kind of think you're making the teacher's point for her also. She WANTS to see beyond the unit to the individual, but when she has both of them together she has trouble doing that, because she hasn't spent five years with them and they look EXACTLY ALIKE. Not that I'm saying they should be separated. In our school twins never seem to be separated - when I see that they are, I always assume the parents asked for it - with Eve's twin friends, it always seems a little strange seeing one without the other.

Yabut said...

I volunteered to help in a kindergarten class for several years. One year there was actually 5 sets of twins in there (there must have been something in the water!!!). They were not all identical twins, mind you, but there was one set I had difficulty telling apart in the beginning. I quickly learned to watch them when they arrived each morning, and could then decide who was who by doing that. Twins aren't as much the same on the inside as on the outside, so the teacher just needed to learn their personalities to tell them apart, as I did. At this age, I wouldn't think of separating them, unless THEY were having a problem with being together. IMHO

3LittleMonkeys said...

What a beautiful post! Sometimes I wish I had a twin sister...I think that would be great :)

Ali said...

I love this post Gwen, I 100 percent agree with you on this one. While I was reading this post and you described Katie, I knew it was her BEFORE reading her name, those teachers, they are just too stupid to see the beautiful individuals that the girls are. :)