Family means putting your arms around each other and being there.
The scene was bittersweet as I dropped off my twins at preschool this morning. Taylor, my daughter, has always had issues with clothing. The fit of the shirt, dress, or shoe, the texture, or the size -- all can send her into an emotional tizzy. After many frustrating years of morning battles to get ready, I now understand that she suffers from sensory processing disorder. It can be a common problem for multiples and in children with chronic ear infections. As the auditory system is being compromised by infections, the sensory system located right next to the auditory channels can also be affected. Children either become hypersensitive to a stimulus (meaning they have a greater struggle with it) or hyposensitive (which is a lack of a response to it). To make a long story short, there are just those days when Taylor struggles with what she has to wear.
The morning started out well. Our teeth were brushed, the clothes were on, and we were moving right on schedule. Well, today, the problem was the shoes. She didn't like the fit of her sneakers, and the tears began. As I began to lose patience, her twin brother, Griffin, went into her room and brought out her special blankets and handed them to her. In his subtle way of knowing, he was trying to comfort her.
The tears continued as we made our way into the schoolroom. She could not get her mind off the shoes as I tried my best to cajole her out of her mood. When we walked in, Griffin took her hand and led her into the room. The rest of the class was already seated on the rug for circle time as the setback had made us a little late. Griffin walked her over to the circle and found a place for both of them to sit. I explained the cause of tears to her teachers, but from the corner of my eye I watched a most beautiful picture play out. Taylor leaned her head on Griffin's shoulder, and he held her hand while she continued to sniffle. If I had a camera that would replay images from their lifetimes, I wish I had one at that moment.
A lot has been written about the twin bond and the truly unique connection that multiples share. But the true love and protection that Griffin offered his sister were awe-inspiring. In his five-year-old mind, he was only acting as her brother and caring for her, but it went so much deeper for me. Without being told, Griffin knew what to do for his sister. Her emotional well-being was more important than saying good morning to all his play friends. This isn't something we could have taught him; it was just a part of his being.
He and Taylor are connected through some deep and mysterious bond. They will always have this relationship, even when they grow older and move away. I thank God often for this wonderful experience of being allowed to raise twins and, more importantly, to witness every now and then a glimpse of the magical bond that links my twins.