Usually I find the twins’ birthdays bittersweet. Of course I love to celebrate another year passing, but it’s always tinged with a sadness that time is flying past too quickly, that it’s racing away from me.
For some reason this year felt a bit different. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I am suddenly more positive and more at peace. No tears were shed by me on their birthday this year.
For a start, the twins’ excitement about their birthday was catching. In fact, their excitement about life in general is catching. And I feel like life has opened up again. With each year that passes, the job of parenting twins seems just that little bit easier. And as it gets easier, it gives you more space to enjoy yourself and the days you spend together. I’m not for a moment suggesting everyday is sunshine and smiles but I do feel more able to cope with the bad days, and to see that the good days outweigh them and more than make up for them.
They turned four on their first day at a new pre-school. Ez took it in her stride, just as she did with their settling in session in the summer, but after tears on the first day, Fonz has amazed me by running into each session with a smile (and when Fonz smiles his face just comes alive with the most infectious joy). He absolutely loves it there, and seeing him (and his sister) so happy makes me feel wonderful. I had a nagging sense of guilt about pulling them out of the nursery where they had been for two years, especially given Fonz’s general aversion to change, but after their first week at pre-school every uncertainty evaporated and I know without doubt we’ve made the right choice for all of us.
And how are they together at four? Like all siblings they swing from best of friends to mortal enemies within the blink of an eye. Starting pre-school seems to have brought them closer. They look out for each other, support each other, defend each other, enjoy each other’s company. That magical twin bond becomes more visible every single day. They’re this little unit, and when they introduce themselves to new people, they always add that they’re twins. It’s a part of their identity and they are proud of it.
Their imaginative play has really taken off and having someone right there with them to share their playing must be fantastic (unless of course you both have a crystal clear view of how you want the game to pan out, and that view is at odds with your brother or sister’s). They are both interested in exploring their independence, usually led by Ez, with Fonz coming along for the ride. Ez has requested her first sleepover (at grandma and grandpa’s) totally on her own without us or her brother. I think Fonz is relieved he gets to stay with us.
Turning four in the first week of September means that, unlike most of their peers, it will be another year until my small people start school. I’ve always known that this will benefit them, but part of me wished they could go this year anyway. I feel passionately the opposite now. This year is like being given the best gift ever. I get another year of freedom with my children. Another year of their awesome company. Another year where their dad and I are still the absolute centre of their worlds. I feel so incredibly lucky – this year will be precious and I intend to treasure it.