They finish each other’s sentences

The movie ‘Three Identical Strangers’ changed how I parent them

The trauma and heartbreak of canada goose factory outlet the triplet boys in the movie “Three Identical Strangers,”who were separated at six months and adopted into different families, made me reconsider how my husband and I are parenting our canada goose outlet paypal identical twin boys, Axel and Aidan. It also caused me to challenge myself: Who am I to decide that my sons should be separated as often as possible?

canada goose In the 1960s, when Bobby, David and Eddy from the documentary were canada goose outlet mall born, childhood development theories emphasized canada goose sale uk the importance of the individual. Multiples canada goose outlet were split up in school, and this remains the prevailing mandatory policy in many districts across the United States. Subscribing to this theory of fostering independent identities, my husband and I took the advice of our pediatrician and many twin parenting books and separated our preschoolers for special one on one dates with each parent. We thought they’d love the individual attention. canada goose

“Why are you punishing us?” they asked instead.

“Is my brother getting ice cream too?” Axel canada goose outlet winnipeg address would say. “Because it’s not fair if I canada goose outlet in usa get some and he doesn’t.”

canada goose coats on sale The conversations in our parents of multiples club revolved around encouraging separate selves, too. Some moms split up their kids for special weekend trips with one parent. Another mom enrolled her girls in opposite kindergarten schedules so that one daughter was always home with her. A dad placed his twin boys on different baseball teams. canada goose coats on sale

canada goose coats My husband and I were self driven as kids, and this approach resonated with us. It was reinforced when the kindergarten teacher’s first canada goose outlet store new york sentence in our conference was “You ARE going to canada goose factory outlet toronto location separate them for first grade, right?” canada goose coats

canada goose black friday sale The boys went along with this plan but were inseparable during lunch, recess and PE. In third grade, their classrooms had canada goose outlet vip a movable dividing wall. On the first day of school, Aidan’s teacher found canada goose uk him on the floor, poking his fingers under the tiny gap. She started to discipline him, then realized Axel was on the other side, holding his brother’s hand. canada goose black friday sale

canada goose store Despite my boys’ resistance, I hustled to arrange play dates where one twin hosted a buddy at our house and his brother took a friend up the road to Grammie’s. Both boys complained this wasn’t nearly as fun as the canada goose outlet vancouver football game/Nerf war/water canada goose vest outlet balloon fight that could have transpired had they all been canada goose outlet toronto location together. canada goose store

cheap Canada Goose When the boys were 8, the 40 something facilities guy at the health club approached us. “I’m an identical twin, too,” he said. cheap Canada Goose

buy canada goose jacket “How cool,” I responded. “Are you still close?” buy canada goose jacket

buy canada goose jacket cheap [I was so focused on nursing my twins, I missed living in the moment] buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose clearance sale “Yup,” he said smiling. “We live together.” canada goose clearance sale

Canada Goose Parka Yikes, I thought. Grown, unmarried twins in their 40s living in a depressing bachelor pad! I doubled down on my efforts to split up my sons. Canada Goose Parka

Then, while watching “Three Identical Strangers” in a movie theater with tears running down my face as I listened to Bobby relate how he banged his head against his crib when he was first adopted, I flashed back to my twins’ birth experience.

canada goose deals In 2003, when I was 18 weeks pregnant, the boys were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome, where identical twins canada goose outlet boston share a placenta. This condition was most often fatal for one or both babies. Family and friends of all faiths prayed for them, and in my anxiety I talked to them out loud, encouraging them to be partners and work together. canada goose deals

Canada Goose Jackets Somehow the boys made it to 37 weeks, then thrived in the same bassinet in the nursery. Now I tried to imagine my canada goose outlet in canada babies surviving their birth, only to be separated six months later. It did not surprise me that the triplets in the movie struggled with mental health issues. Canada Goose Jackets

We had purchased two cribs, but the babies wept unless they were sleeping side by side, so one crib was for nighttime and the other stood in the family room for naps.

canadian goose jacket Like the brothers in the movie, my boys have a bond I can’t explain. They finish each other’s sentences, can choreograph synchronized break dancing routines without speaking and burst into simultaneous song as if cued by an invisible choir director. canadian goose jacket

They’re now sophomores in high school, and I’ve persisted in my efforts to individuate them. I’ve encouraged them to canada goose outlet montreal explore different sports, get separate jobs and take an interest in girls who aren’t also twins or sisters. They smile and nod as though considering my suggestions and then continue to behave as if physically conjoined.

Canada Goose sale I dug for more Kleenexes in my purse at the theater when David shared that he spent his 16th birthday in a psych ward. When I try to envision my boys in different lives, not consciously knowing the other exists, I imagine how sad and serious Axel would be. I picture Aidan as moody and self centered. Canada Goose sale

Canada Goose online I realized I really didn’t understand the dynamic between identical siblings. I remembered a mountain getaway we took when the twins were 4. We put them to sleep in one bed, then moved a boy with each parent in case they woke during the night. In the morning, Aidan stirred next to me. Canada Goose online

“Whoa, Axel!” he said in the voice of an excited adventurer, hopeful that maybe he had actually teleported during the night. “Where are we?”

Because he’d assumed Axel was with him, he wasn’t freaked out to wake up in a different place than where he went to sleep. With his brother at his canada goose outlet mississauga side, what could possibly go wrong?

canada goose clearance The triplets from New York lived canada goose outlet las vegas for 19 years wondering what was missing, and why they felt like they didn’t fit in. The first time they were reunited, they wrestled like puppies on the living room floor. When the credits rolled, I asked myself: who am I to determine that my sons should live separate lives? How should I know if being at different colleges or living in different cities would help them become more successful, more well adjusted emotionally or better people? canada goose clearance

This sure wasn’t the case for Bobby, Eddy and David.

In Vice Magazine, Bobby reflected on their childhood. “You can’t undo this,” he said. “But perhaps if we were together, the rough spots wouldn’t have been as canada goose outlet parka tough.”

Just after seeing the movie, we received the boys’ school schedules. They share band, math and their foreign language classes. This time, I didn’t object.

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