"They aren't twins, are they?"
They are actually!
"Oh really? Fraternal?"
"Oh, interesting, one looks bigger than the other"
Yes, they are different sizes.
"Well mama, you've got your hands full. They are precious."
Thank you :)
..Is usually how the conversation goes at least once an outing. Occasionally, someone mentions how either I need to feed Evangeline more, or they tell her that she needs to eat more, at which point I passive aggressively smile and say, "she's actually a great eater, thank you". :)
The girls hear everything and they understand way more than even I give them credit for. I just cringe walking away from these unfortunate conversations wondering what each of them gathered about themselves from these stranger's observations, and hoping that they were distracted by the bakery section or whatever. For the last 6 months, the girls have been talking a lot about their sizes. In terms of their sense of self, I dare say that it is a/the central thing they are aware of/ can verbalize about themselves, especially in relation to the other. At first it was just, "I am little" or "I am big", but now it has become, "I'm too little for X", and "I'm too big". It breaks my heart. Both Ryan and I are quick to tell them they are loved & beautiful just the way they are.
Yes it is true, one is bigger. It is a fine fact, that need not be hidden from them. BUT, it overwhelms and scares me to think of size as THE primary characteristic shaping or defining/confining their young identities.
I knew immediately that I had my work cut out for me when we were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome at 18 weeks gestation, as we would have identical girls that were significantly different sizes. Size comparison is hard enough on women who are not related, not to mention identical twins.
..And so I have braced myself for the beginnings of this battle, and with this blog post am rolling up my mama sleeves, and inviting all the sweet people who love my girls and interact with them regularly if they would be so kind as to help us by being mindful of their words, and how they impact the identities of these developing people. I know ultimately, I cannot control people or protect my children, and I know that every parent has fears and concerns about their children. Our fears are no more significant than anyone else's, I just chose to write a blog post on them. At the end of the day, I rest in God's sovereignty and love for them as they grow, trusting him to provide us with wisdom as we continue to walk through being TTTS parents of identical girls. BUT, I thank you for taking the time to read and consider this invitation, and I am hopeful that even this small step can make some difference.