My twins turned twenty this month. Twenty?! I’m feeling a little…sad, I think. I miss the little girls they were. Parenting them has been such a privilege. They were the easiest going babies, which continued until their teen years. I feel so utterly blessed to have been their mummy, and to have been the mummy of twins. Again, it feels such a privilege. Parenting twins is totally different to parenting singletons. And parenting teens is very different to parenting children. That said, the last six or so years have definitely been very hard, because Charlotte has been so ill.
Yet, those years have been some of my favourite. In times such as these, God seems to strip us all back to our bare bones. We were fighting for the health of our daughter when the whole world was fighting against a pandemic. Trying to get doctors to listen to us, to take our daughter’s issues seriously, felt at times impossible. What we forgot, at times, was that God was right beside us, fighting with us.
Teens have a bad rap these days. There seems to be an assumption that they are the problem. I remember the neurologist looking at Charlotte and telling her that she needed to just deal with what was going on and learn to live with it. I wondered at the time whether, if Gary had been the patient, would he have been given the same advice? I refused to leave the office until he had referred her to St George’s. There was no way we were going to accept that this was all there was for our brilliant and vibrantly alive daughter. She was so much more than a teen with issues.
Then there was Lillie, who became Charlotte’s primary carer. There was no discussion about it. It just simply was. They were twins. When one is hurting, the other suffers too. The whole communication between twins thing is really a thing! I’ve seen it. In fact, come and play charades with us. The ‘family’ game quickly turns into a ‘Charlotte and Lillie’ show. Charlotte doesn’t need to make guesses about what Lillie is acting out, she just knows. And visa versa. We don’t allow them to guess each other any more. The Lillie and Charlotte charades is no fun for anyone else!
As I say, parenting twins is more complicated than parenting singletons. Over the past few years a healthy separation has been happening. Both girls want to cut the twin apron strings (so to speak) but my goodness it has been a painful transition, at times.
They both have met men they have fallen in love with and who they hope will be a part of their long term future.
Charlotte and Ads have been dating for three years, whilst Lillie and Jj met this summer in America. These lovely men have taken on girls, who already have a twin-relationship which has, I think, at times felt impenetrable. Ads, right from the start, always planned Charlotte and his life together with a Lillie room attached. Meeting Jj has meant that now Lillie and Charlotte have to start to thinking about their lives truly apart rather than together.
And of course, watching this happen, makes my own imminent separation from my children more of a reality.
That’s why I’m feeling a little sad.
The last twenty years have been utterly magical for me.
I miss those years already, and they’re not even over yet.
I love watching my twins navigate their world, alone, together and with their chosen partners. They have their whole lives ahead of them. I hope and pray those lives will be, above all, happy ones.
Here’s to the next twenty years, girls! I love you both so very much ❤️