When Nicky asked me to write a guest spot on twins for her blog, I didn't know what I should write about. The blessings and challenges of being a twin? What not to say to a twin? The fun twin stories? The special ‘twintimate’ bond?
But I figured there’s a lot of stuff like that on the web so I decided to write about the twinkle. That’s right. The twinkling of twins.
There used to be about 6 pairs of twins in my high school at any given time, and we also knew other sets of twins from camp and elsewhere. Some of them became friends, but mostly, acquaintances. But one thing my sister Krissy and I noticed was that there was a special bond between us all. Many of these twins, upon discovering we were twins also, would do the ‘twinkle’, which is essentially a nod with a twinkle in their eye, when we passed them in the halls.
This gesture was like a knowing wink, a nod that extended community to us. Here were others who related, others who automatically knew deeply what it is like to share the experiences of twinhood. These fellow twins also endured the scrutinizing stares, the stupid questions, the lame jokes, the good/evil labels, the comments meant to differentiate which often stung (I mean would you really go up to anyone else and say ‘you have the yellower teeth’!?!)…but I digress..
Yet these fellow twins also shared the joys, the grace, the deep emotional attachment, the built-in best friend, the hijinks, the knowing what the other is thinking without saying anything, the buying each other the same birthday present, the understanding of the importance of a name, the breaking out into the same song at the same time in the same key and thinking nothing of it. They were ones who, like us, must have wondered what it was like to not have a twin.
And in thinking about this 'twinkle'…I realized it was also about a commonality in knowing something about human nature, primarily, the need to have things figured out, to make sense of, categorize, label, and differentiate. Twins confound people's perceptions of identity. Twins confound people’s assumptions of self, of being, and of relationship norms.
My thought is perhaps that's one of the reasons why God made twins. To challenge our assumptions. To think about identity in terms of relationship. To wonder at the uniqueness of people who seem in many ways so similar. And perhaps, to reflect or ‘twinkle’ in some small way, the mystery of His being.
My sister and I spent over 5 months living apart when we were 23. I traveled to the islands of Hawaii, Fiji, and New Zealand, whilst she went to Australia and East Timor. What did we bring back for each other? The same colourful striped tank top, with the word ‘Sista’ on it. I bought mine for her at an indie surf shop in New Zealand. She bought hers in Australia. In both cases, it was the only one left on the rack.
ps. Some people comment to twins 'you don't even look like twins' which I feel is a moot point. Many twins don't look anything alike but that doesn't make them less twins. A twin is a twin is a twin. ~Jackie