Updated: May 21
Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and let us chat about the obvious question.
What's it like to be an identical twin?
I can rattle off many entertaining facts like - as a kid, I had a built-in friend; we shared our birthdays; we wore the same clothes for the longest time; and we liked similar activities. We were talented athletes, and I assume the competition between us helped that along. There are many things that a twin will experience that are endearing that most individuals do not.
Who was born first?
When we were born, I wore bracelet A, and my twin wore bracelet B. The bracelet A meant I was born first. To be exact, it was one minute earlier than my twin. That is a common question from onlookers–who was born first? And boy, I loved answering that question with a great big smile, "Me, I was born first." We were identical in so many ways–at least on the surface. I think we defined "Double Trouble"–and I say that with a smile on my face too. We were good kids with a lot of energy. The biggest thing we would get in trouble for was sitting in the same chair and giggling to the point it annoyed everyone. We loved to laugh together—so many fun aspects of being a twin. My Mom may disagree with you as she had three kids close in age. :)
What's innate to twins?
As an adult, I am built for relationships as I learned how to share, communicate (maybe over-communicate), and compromise with another individual my entire life. My communication skills are excellent. It is a twin thing, for sure! Singletons do not grow up chatting and laughing to someone all day long like me. :)
Being an identical twin is a gift, and the differences are sometimes more prominent as we grow older.
I say this lightly; comparing twins can be hurtful!
Even as adults, when onlookers compare, there can be a positive comment for one and a negative one for the other. Everyone is happy when we receive compliments, but being compared can be very hurtful to one.
I have had many questions like - "Who was the better athlete?" My response was, "We have equal ability in sports. I just never wanted to feed into who was better than who.
Other common questions -"Who is smarter? and "Who is the bad one?" To me, these are ridiculous questions to ask individuals. And my question back to them - Why is this question important to you?
My recommendation to everyone who asks comparing questions, pause for a second before asking such questions. People blurt out without thinking about how it may be hurtful to one twin. We are individuals like everyone else, as there are many differences and similarities among identical twins.
By Linda Herron
Children's Book Series