The connection between multiples is unique, indeed. Multiple-birth children are a rare gift, and the connections that form are as varied, and sometimes as surprising, as the stories of how they came into this world.
Studies have shown that healthy marriages, friendships and social interactions can help people live longer, healthier lives. A new study indicates this close connection and emotional support also results in twins tending to live longer lives than singletons. The occurrence of female twins who live into their early 60s may be 10 percent higher than female singletons. In addition, identical twins seem to have a greater ability for a longer life than fraternal twins, while fraternal twins have higher odds of a long life than the general population.
While psychic powers have never been scientifically proven between any two humans (including twins), there is no doubt that two or more individuals — married couples, best friends, multiples and other siblings — who have shared common experiences form a special connection. These connections range from finishing each other’s sentences to claims of sensing each other’s pain. The connection is even stronger between individuals whose connection begins in utero, strengthens throughout childhood and lasts a lifetime.
Teresa Stacchiotti of Main Line (PA) Mothers of Multiples Club has twin girls who just turned two. “My girls twins have a special connection,” Teresa said. “When they are at school and hear a baby crying they look at each other to see if it’s the other one, to make sure the other is okay! If one cries, the other tries to comfort her by rubbing her back. They bring each other their water bottles and sometimes feed each other.”
A quick poll among members of my local club, Multiples of the Midlands (SC), led to some endearing anecdotes that prove connections begin at a very young age.
Bonnie Levkoff, mother of two-year-old boys, said “Hudson waited patiently for hours in the ER with Grayson when Grayson broke his toe. He wouldn’t leave Grayson’s side until we had to.”
Amy Ruple shared another hospital story: “When my boys were six months old, Logan had to spend a few nights in the hospital for a UTI. My mom and aunt stayed at my house with his twin brother Landon while my husband Robbie and I stayed at the hospital. Even though they were only babies you could tell they truly missed each other! Landon especially missed Logan and would fuss and cry until my mom showed him a picture of Logan on her phone, which made him smile.”
Lisa Woodring challenged her twin daughter Harper to find a new friend while at vacation bible school this summer. “Harper came home the first night beaming with pride. She told me, ‘Mom, we found a new friend!’ I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was speaking of just her, not her and her brother. She sees it no other way.”
Sometimes the connections can benefit the health of our multiples. Jeannie Grover has 18-month-old boy/girl twins. “My son has breath-holding spells,” Jeannie explained. “A few months ago, he got upset and was sitting on the floor crying hard. Adults were talking to him to calm him down, but it wasn’t working. I was worried he was about to go into a spell when his twin sister walked over and babbled something to him, and he completely stopped crying. The adults were all looking at each other and wishing we knew what she said to make him stop, because it’s often not easy to pull him out of it.”
Meghan Woods, also of Multiples of the Midlands, tried putting her twins in separate cribs when they came home from the hospital. “We learned quickly that if we wanted to sleep, they needed to be in a crib together. That is where their bond began!” Meghan said. “Their bond is something I have sat and watched in awe for almost 15 years. They have done everything together — soccer, dance and the same classroom through third grade.”
“Now they are in marching band together. My son did one year alone, but his twin sister joined Color Guard to be with him. I think she missed spending time with him. As much as they are individuals, they share a togetherness. Their bond was always there. I encouraged love, taking care of each other and fairness, and it just made their bond stronger.”
Looking for ways to strengthen the bond between your multiples? “I was advised by many friends who are adult twins that the best way to keep mine close is to sometimes keep them apart,” said Talyse Burkett of Multiples of the Midlands. “My twins have always been interested and involved in separate activities, so separating them in kindergarten was a natural decision for us. We were excited to see them make friends so quickly, and also secretly pleased to see that both found the child in their class most like their twin, and that child became their best friend for the year!”
The connections between and among our multiples is the biggest reminder of the special gift we have been given (no matter how/who/when/where or by whom they were conceived), and some days our greatest task as parents is simply to stand back in awe and watch the magic as it unfolds.
by Sara Barr
(originally published 2017)
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