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Friday, February 24, 2012

Shared Suffering

There's a phenomenon I've noticed since the girls were quite little. Unless they're fighting with each other, only one gets upset at a time. If one is sad about something, if one is angry about something, if one is tantruming about something, the other usually will not. The other usually will remain calm, even if the problem the first twin is experiencing is something that would upset them both. It's as if they figure one crying about it is enough.

For instance, they take turns grieving when a visitor leaves. When my brother left last week, Dulce was inconsolable. She wailed for about two hours, so upset. Natalina was calm and collected. It was as if it didn't matter.

My mom just left yesterday (she visited for a day on her way to the beach), and Natalina went beserk. She spent 45 minutes in her room begging Nana to come back, looking out the window for her car. Dulce accepted her departure with grace and serenity.

This is a nice pattern for me. Even when both of them have reason to be upset, I only have to work on calming one of them. I'm wondering, though, if it doesn't speak to something different.

With twins, how much is shared? Toys are shared, routine is shared, television is shared, games are shared, imaginative wanderings are shared. Are feelings shared? Is anguish shared? When one feels deeply, does that sate the other's need for those feelings?

Twins are something else, sometimes. It's a joy going through parenting with them.

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  1. It's a joy to read your musings and ponderings as well; I look forward to your blog every day.

  2. I've noticed this, too. It's a bit amazing, and incredibly necessary in the world of twins that is so about competing needs and attention. Thank goodness.



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