September 4, 2013

when one twin has special needs

This twin mom thing is not for sissies.  It’s tough.  Really, really tough.  When both babies are crying at the same time?  That’s where it starts … and I’m not quite sure if, when or where it ends.  Of course, being a mom of twins is also incredibly rewarding.  I think I’ve said this before, but I consider it one of the true privileges of my life to observe the twin relationship.

Twins Walking Their Own PathWhat I didn’t fully understand or anticipate is a fundamental challenge of that relationship.   Each twin has a same-age peer, in his or her household, presumably doing the same things at roughly the same time.   Or not.  Because sometimes one twin has challenges the other doesn’t have.  And whether those challenges are identified as special needs or “issues” or however you want to describe it … the fact is that there’s a living, breathing, built-in comparison who is with each twin All. The. Time.

Albert Einstein Everbody is a GeniusAs parents, we “know” not to compare our twins.   It’s actually healthy sometimes, though, when you realize that one twin is not meeting certain developmental milestones that the other is.  But what’s not healthy?  When Twin B compares himself to Twin A … and wonders why he isn’t as strong or fast or clever or fill-in-the-blank.  As parents, we also know that those comparisons aren’t fair.  Even identical twins are not truly identical.  As a child?  That concept is not so easy.  I do my best to support and nurture each child as an individual, but it is impossible to stop the twins from comparing themselves to each other.

What to do about it?  I don’t know.  I wish I had the answer.  We’re finding our way one day at a time.  I think that’s one reason I am so drawn to “The Distance Between Us,” an incredible book currently up for funding on Kickstarter.  Chris Capozziello, the author and photographer, is healthy; his fraternal twin brother Nick has cerebral palsy.  You really should read their story.  It puts the relatively minor struggles my little buddies face into perspective.  Chris writes, “I don’t know how the future will look, but soon it will be just ours to figure out.”   Will you help “The Distance Between Us” project reach its stretch goal?

Here’s to everyone just figuring it out.

Photo by Firewife Photography, my favorite Charlotte, North Carolina children’s photographer.  Graphic via Listen. Learn. Love.   Video via Kickstarter.  


  • Stephanie Lowder
    Sep. 04, 2013
    Thank you for the Humanity of this post, Traci. I can tell you a story. About a girl and a boy. Twins. One with cerebal palsy. The other, not. And how every single moment of their lives was built upon the idea of Love and Encouragement for each other, for siblings, for family, for mankind. It was the parents who instilled this love, and the idea of love, and care, for one another. And this love Never failed the twins. They sustained and championed and took up for one another, through every hurtful moment that a life encounters. And I know you are that kind of parent. Do not be discouraged, my friend. Hurt and difficulty come to visit every child, at some time, though of course more for some, less for others. You can be sure that...upon adulthood...Love will have prevailed. It's a taught behavior, and thank goodness for all parents everywhere who teach their children to love. Heart to heart...
  • kati
    Sep. 04, 2013
    Beautiful post, Traci.
  • Allison Jaquier
    Sep. 04, 2013
    Beautiful...sending you hugs from across the miles. And thank you for introducing me to this project.
  • Karen Davis (@markergirlhome)
    Sep. 04, 2013
    Great Post Traci!
  • Kara Cox
    Sep. 04, 2013
    Just sent this post to my sister in law, a mother of twins in a similar struggle. Thank you for your honesty and the recommendation of the book, something we could all read and learn from!
  • Jennifer
    Sep. 05, 2013
    Very touching post Traci! Thank you for sharing. ((((Hugs)))) xxoo
  • AJ Rogers
    Sep. 06, 2013
    You make "figuring it out" look beautiful! Thanks for sharing - LUV 2 U
  • Moira
    Sep. 09, 2013
    While my boys aren't twins they are only 16 months apart and we are facing a really similar struggle. Thanks for sharing-both the post and the link...we're finding our way one day at a time too :)

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