Doubles in Dominica

Dominica is a lesser known island in the Caribbean. Its neighbors, Guadalupe and Martinique, are well recognized vacation destinations. When a woman in Dominica who was organizing a first-time twins festival contacted me almost a year ago, I was intrigued. I have just returned from a whirlwind week of twin-related activities—dinners, a jazz festival, a karaoke night, and most importantly, an educational symposium. The Dominican people are very warm and welcoming, and the island’s natural beauty is reflected in its lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and mountainous terrain.

The woman who envisioned the twins festival, Leandra Lander, is not a twin herself. She is a high school teacher who has had many twins in her classes, and she hoped to learn more about twin dynamics. The proceeds from the various events went to fund the neonatal intensive care unit at the local hospital in Roseau, the capital city.

I shared some of my core ideas in my presentation at the symposium. The themes focused on twin attachment, alone time, the pitfalls of trying to make life fair and equal, and the possible ill effects of too much togetherness. At the end of my talk the moderator invited the audience to share their impressions.

One mom of sixteen-year-old twin girls stepped up to the microphone and thanked me profusely. She told me that one of her daughters had recently talked to her and said, “This one-size-fits-all parenting is not working.” The mom said she had no idea what her daughter was talking about until she listened to my lecture. She shared that she is one of those twin moms who loves the attention that twins attract. She dressed them alike for many years, soaking up the special attention and pride she felt parading them around. Her husband, too, enjoyed being able to carry his younger daughters on his shoulders to the oohs and aahs of onlookers.

Afterward, I spoke with the mom privately and thanked her for her authenticity and honesty. I reiterated that her capacity to listen to her daughter’s needs as well as be receptive to my ideas reflected courage and self-awareness. In truth, this mom’s response in addition to other positive feedback was most gratifying. Enhancing people’s understanding and contributing eye-opening perceptions about twins is the essence of my work’s satisfaction and pleasure.

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