I Want to be Forever Young

Posted by mwallach on May 22, 2011 in My Kids, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

This may sound completely crazy, even for me, but I often forget that I have twins. Having one boy and one girl, with completely different personalities and no shared resemblances, it often slips my mind that they came as a package deal. We have also always made an effort not to refer to them as ‘the twins’ but yet to make them as distinct as possible, allowing each to develop his and her own personalities and identities. Despite all of those efforts and never dressing them alike, they still share a birthday, and as such, once a year, I remember that at one point there were three hearts beating in my body.

It was particularly sweet when, on the morning of their birthday, my son walked into my daughter’s room to wake her up, by singing “Happy Birthday.” He screamed, “Happy birthday to you – and to me!” at the very end and I could not help but laugh. While we do not go over board with gift giving, I thought it would be appropriate for them to give each other a gift. They have shared a womb, a crib and a bedroom and while those days may be over, they will share a birthday for the rest of their lives.

There’s been a lot of talk about birthdays lately, having looked forward to the day for a while, resulting in a lot of talk about age. I have never been embarrassed by my age, although no one has ever said, “You look good for thirty-five,” the way they never hesitate to comment that I look good for having six kids. 35 may not be over the hill, but in their opinion, being the mother of six permits me to look like death warmed over. I can’t stand that.

My daughter and I had been in the car when our most recent discussion about age and birthdays came up and she asked me how old I was. Most of my friends are older than I am, making my age a badge of honor and a detail about which I often boast. My daughter, however, was not impressed. “I am 35,” I told her. She responded with a deep sigh and her body almost seemed to collapse into itself. “That is SO close to 100,” she replied. Aghast, I screamed, “NO IT’S NOT!” but she could not be swayed. In her opinion, I was ancient. The sting of that comment, however, would not have been that sharp had another age related event not have happened soon thereafter.

Attending an event at my children’s school, parents milled around, talking amongst ourselves. My eldest brother who is nine years my senior, was at the event as well, as his sons also attend the school. He and I were talking when I noticed a friend of mine chatting with one of my nephews. Unsure as to whether or not he knew the boy was my brother’s son, I decided to make the connection for him. He was perplexed and asked how we were related. “His father is my brother,” I explained, then stood near my brother. The friend took a long look at us and said, “So, which one of you is older?”

My brother beamed. I steamed. So much for 35.

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