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Twin Life

Written by Mari

National Geographic Portrait on Twins

One of our favorite identical twin articles and
portrait examinations is from National Geographic.


As the mother of identical twin girls, I read a great book called "One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular" by Abigail Pogrebin. It sparked all kinds of questions for me about my girls, and I listen closely now to stories from adult identical twins about what was it like for them growing up and how close they are to their twin now. I always learn something interesting.

For example, our family was on the way to the beach a few weeks ago when traffic came to a complete stop for about two hours because there had been an accident ahead. People started getting out of their cars and talking to each other. We started talking to the man in the car behind us. As people often do, he asked if our girls are identical twins. It turned out he is an identical twin, too. He said people always ask him, "What is it like to be a twin?" He replies, "Normal. What is it like to not be a twin?"

Another identical twin we met recently at the playground told us that he and his brother are hard to tell apart, even now as adults. When they were in college—they ended up going to the same school—people would talk to this man thinking that he was his brother. Sometimes he would keep pretending he was his twin so the person wouldn't feel bad about not knowing who was who. Later, he would report to his brother what was said so his brother would know the conversation that he supposedly had. His brother did the same thing.

A friend of mine is an identical twin, and she and her sister got married within a year of each other. One moved from the East Coast to the West Coast to finish a doctorate program. A couple years later, they were both pregnant at the same time. Now they live a few miles from each other, and their daughters are best friends. My friend thinks the worst part of being a twin when she was a little girl was that sometimes people would give her and her sister one gift to share on their birthday.

Another set of twins that we know just started college. They decided to go to the same school, enroll in the same program, and even be roommates for the whole four years.

I wonder what will happen when my identical twin girls are adults. Will they be really close? Will they be too close? Will they get married on the same day? Will people be able to tell them apart? I hope they are each other's best friends always so they will never be alone in life, but I also hope that they have their own identities and independent lives.


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