“And then she said, ‘We’ll just have a look and see if there’s any more in there, shall we?’” This is the punch line of the story I tell about how we found out we were having twins, at my twelve-week scan. It’s funny and people laugh, and I laugh. I laugh now, at the time I wasn’t laughing. I was horrified. More?!
That was five years ago this weekend. Five years of being a twin mommy, and I still can’t believe how lucky I am.
I didn’t always feel lucky, at the beginning what I most felt like doing was crying. Having twins was a major learning curve; having twins and trying to have a job, start a business, see friends, have date night, eat a full meal, watch a movie to the end, or enjoy a warm cup of tea, was an even bigger one.
But now they are five. Although I am still trying to do all those things and I still feel that I’m on a learning curve, I’m finally starting to think that I’m mostly getting it right. Even more, I get to do it all with two funny, smart, delightful sidekicks.
So I thought that I would write a letter to my girls, on their big birthday, telling them how they
amaze me and make me laugh. A long time ago I used to follow a blog called Dooce (which is now a major website with a shop and extremely well styled pictures. The early 2000’s were a very different place). The writer posted an open letter to her children every month, and explored their family life in a funny and irreverent way; it was great to read and I often wonder how they are – in the same way that you might wonder how an old colleague is, from when you worked together after school.
I didn’t set out to write a blog about my life and my children, and especially not to post pictures of them online, but posts with these pictures get the most likes, and when you’re trying to grow a business with a strong online presence, this counts. So instead of an open letter to my girls, what I want to know is, what would happen if I just stop posting about them? It’s tricky enough as an adult to work through issues of privacy and the perils of social media, and my daughters are so young and have a long life of navigating social media ahead of them. Am I right to take away some of their choice about how they are and the degree to which they are represented online? Is using them, and my family life, to sell soap exploitative?
I’d love to know what you think or how you have chosen to deal with this issue.
But in the meantime, because I am so proud of my wee-big five-year-olds, here is what my letter to you would say:
I never expected to laugh so much. Thank you for being mine. We love you.