Twins and Birthdays

I was so thrilled that the moms at the New Zealand Multiple Birth Association conference celebrated my birthday with a stunningly delicious chocolate cake baked by one of the talented moms. I appreciated the thought and sentiment, especially after I told my audience that Jane and I had to share our birthday cakes and race to open our identical presents.

I was having coffee today with a colleague who is an identical twin herself and the author of a well-respected twin book. She was telling me an anecdote about a pair of twins celebrating their 50th birthday. One twin did not want to take the time and trouble to celebrate with his brother. When my friend suggested that he simply explain to his brother that it just isn’t going to work out for him this year, he admitted that he could not be that selfish. And so the shared birthdays continue. The longer twins wait to advocate for what they want, the harder it becomes to make a change.

I told my colleague about a pair of younger twin men turning 30. They had attempted to spend their birthday together, celebrating with their individual group of friends. However, the two groups could not compromise on a shared venue. So the brothers had to decide whether to celebrate with each other, celebrate with just one group of friends, or celebrate separately and attempt to get together another time. These young men are quite differentiated; although they were disappointed that the plans fell through, they each decided to spend their birthday with their respective friends. It was not the end of the world for either one of them. No terrible sacrifices or decisions had to be made because each one is comfortable and entitled to getting his needs met. This scenario provides a good example for twins who must learn to be comfortable being “selfish.”

How do you celebrate twin birthdays in your family?

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