I broke away from popcorn and Play Nine, our family’s favorite card game, to reflect in awe at what the COVID-19 virus quarantine offers our family. Our kids sit at day 11 without climbing on the school bus in the dark, picking through school lunches, and leaning heavily on their peers, an essential slice of their life experience at ages 20, 17, 14, 14, and 9.
Seemingly, each new day reveals a different headline or restriction to stop the spread of this monster virus and with each new piece of information, the kids readjust their learning and expectation of what the foreseeable future holds. The bizarre schedule rides like a bucking bronco stuck in a living room, but one with clear perks for twins and multiples. I hear mine laughing from the other room and can tell you, it’s a good day to be a twin!
Growing up with a twin sister while attending public school was tricky. My sister, the smarter and more responsible one, always kept me in line. I liked it on the days of forgotten algebra textbooks in middle school and extra reading material for points in elementary, but I recall clear memories wishing away my sister’s explanations for my misdeeds. At school, we ran with different friends because of our own differences and I kept a clear distance away from home.
Hearing laughter from the other room reminds me that this offers a season to reconnect as a family.
At home, however, one thing stayed the same, we were twins, sisters, and friends, wombmates to share life with. At home, our differences added diversity to our favorite pastimes and we felt just fine. Better than fine, in fact, because we always had a peer to play with. We engaged in discussions over books read or movies watched, we experimented in the kitchen and practiced the latest hair trends on each other. Unlike school, we escaped the classmates’ opinions and teachers’ judgments and the restricting schedule. Home together as twins rarely went wrong and we built a friendship there which far outlasted the bumpy journey of public school.
Hearing laughter from the other room reminds me that this time could be a time of panic and uncertainty, but it offers a season to reconnect as a family. Having a twin amidst “stay at home” orders helps the time pass with less weight and the place we call home a place where friendship blooms.
Maybe these months will be the stuff of fond memories made similar to those of my childhood. While heavy worry with intermittent panic grows outside of our four walls, I desperately long to show my kids how safe home can be.
Someday, when talk of this virus dissipates, I don’t want my kids to remember the news anchors or the numbers or the missing toilet paper. I want them to remember the home-grown games and laughter and learning so the next time there is a panic, they long for this soft, safe place we all call home.
Like my yesteryears, this season of government-ordered “stay at home” showcases the positivity of twinhood. Without the pressures to conform to peers or professionals, twins focus on the things they know and love. In a season when other kids desperately long for a return to school for some company, a twin enjoys their built-in peer at home. Even managing virtual learning alongside a twin proves easier because someone is always there to help explain and discuss concepts, assignments, and inside jokes about the teachers. The fourteen-year-old twins in our home create scenarios about what a friend or teacher might say in response to a virtual assignment and then they grin and chuckle.
Yes, it’s a great day to be a twin!