As a parent you go through many different emotions and experiences as you watch your babies grow up. The memory of what was once a growing miracle in your partners womb, now a tiny life in your hands is one which will never leave you. Warm and vulnerable, smelling like nothing you have ever smelt before, at once intoxicating and exhilarating full of life itself. As you look into the little young/old face, a father sees familiar characteristics of parents, grandparents and myriad of other genetic tie ins making itself apparent.
But the nature of life is that of change. The little vulnerable bundle which needed to be fed, changed and carried everywhere soon starts to make little steps on the process of growing up. For me the first “WOW” moment was when tiny little fingers could hold the feeding bottle all by itself, a sense of happiness mixed with a tinge of sadness, foretelling what was going to be repeated over and over again through out the years. What was once unintelligible “goo goo ga ga” soon becomes a very discernible ma ma and da da. From what appeared to be an olympian worthy effort of crawling soon became easy running.
What followed then was a quick succession of play school, kindergarten and grade school. It is at times difficult to think that the running, walking…and thinking human being is the same precious bundle that you brought back from the hospital. In my minds eye, my children are still the same little sweet babies with plum red cheeks begging to be pinched and kissed!
While all parents are lucky, I cannot but think that we are truly blessed having a twin set of girl and boy. I always joke that we are running a social experience as first time parents we have treated them the same since day one. And yet, even with that equality, I could discern very noticeable difference in the twins characteristics when they were still weeks old. When I approached the obstetrician with what I thought was a strange peculiarity, the old chap laughed and asked “Why do you expect them to be the same? Just because they came out at the same time, does not necessarily mean that they should be the same. They are individuals and what you are seeing is their individual idiosyncrasies. Get used to it. You will see more of it as they get older”.
And sure enough he was right! We did see a difference between the two as they got older. They are individuals in their own right. The girl has always been the ‘take charge’ type, one who was happy to do all the talking. The boy, having an external voice box next to him all the time, was quite content to be the strong silent type, staying in the shadows as much as possible. In fact when they started school, a question to the boy will invoke a response from the girl!
What stopped that was an intervention on our part placing them in different classes, allowing each to have their own friends and different experiences. But being a twin is wonderful as you have your own best friend gifted by nature. And as much as they have their own cliques and friends, at the end of the day, they look for each other for comfort and company.
What continues to amaze me though is how at times they do things that I never expected out of them. So out of character…well, or what I think is their character, which of course, is not necessarily the truth. While they are the sweetest kids around (a little biased I might be), they somehow have this natural ferocity when they are in their Karate class. After less than a year, they are currently on their green belt stage, but are sparring with those above their weight class and belt level.
Its not exactly Dina’s cup of tea, and she would come up with excuses why she should not spar for the day, but when it comes to her turn on the mat, she does give her best.
Irsyad however loves his Karate sessions. He takes it seriously and has gotten pretty good. Good enough for me to ban him from practicing with either Dina or myself, as his kicks have gotten powerful lately.
All I can say is that as I continue with them on this journey, I am always thankful for the gift of their company and am looking forward to see what else is in store as the days go by.