Friday, 24 August 2012

We are family

G&T - 2 years, 9 months   M - 10-and-a-half months

As soon as people see you have twins, their first question is always: 'Are they identical?' It has nothing to do with what they're wearing, their hair or eye colour. I've even known mums of boy/girl twins who've had the same question. It's just one of the things people say. And I don't mind. I like how the fact the girls are twins makes them stand out. But they don't look anything alike. Not even remotely. Willowy G is a mass of long limbs, with a headful of blonde curls and big brown eyes. Powerful little T is shorter and stronger, with long brown hair and bright blue eyes. Their personalities too are poles apart, and I've been very careful never to treat them as a pair. They don't have 'matching names', they don't dress alike and I never buy identical toys unless they both fall in love with the same one. They're twins simply because they happened to share my womb. Above all, they're sisters.
Since I moved back to my hometown from London nine months ago, I've had to get used to hanging out with my own sister again. We've always been close, irrelevant of geography, as we both are with our big sis. But I'd forgotten what it was like to live in the same town. I am forever getting funny looks from people in the street. Sometimes they seem curious, confused. Sometimes downright offended, as though annoyed I haven't said hello. It only clicked when my sister and I started going to the same Zumba class.
'Are you two twins?' asked the lady dancing next to us. Of course! Everyone here thinks I might be her!
My sisters and I are all carbon copies of our mother, who's a double of her mum before her. We have some pretty powerful genes. My eldest sister has the advantage of extra height to set her apart but, although I have darker hair, my little sis and I are similar in height and build, and always being mixed up. We don't mind being mistaken for twins (well, I don't, as I like to think it means I look younger) but it does make me a little sad that my husband's genes managed to break in on my three.I've mentioned this before, but T, and now M, are following in their mum's family tradition. Comparing pictures of the two of them to each other at the same age, then to my sisters and I is quite breathtaking. But G fell from a different tree. She is the image of her dad. I love how my twins have each other. They are confirmed best friends and, although they fight, a lot, I know that they are always there for each other. But will they be missing out because the rest of the world doesn't know they're sisters?
My family complain about being mixed up but we all know we love it really. It's tribal, I guess. We're family, and everyone knows it. T and M will doubtless spend their lives being asked if they're twins. G won't. Who knows if she'll mind or not. Perhaps it'll make her stronger, more independent. Or perhaps this is just another imaginary problem that no one will care about except their exhausted old mum. G and T are twins and will forever share that bond, but all three of my girls are sisters, first and foremost. They're so lucky that they're going to be facing the world together, no matter who looks like who.