The Fish and the Tree
It’s no secret that raising kids can be challenging. When you are raising twins that identify as girls, well, that can be a bit more tricky. However, what I am about to share could be relevant to anyone raising kids, not just twins. Remember, I do have another child, in addition to twins, so it can get complicated fast.
However, allow me to explain more about the twins.
They’ve always shared space. Hello, my womb. They were born together (technically four minutes apart, and believe me, with twins, that’s an important fact), slept at the same time, ate at the same time, and started preschool together. You get the picture.
They were almost one and the same, from the very start.
It took me quite a while to really, truly absorb this fact. They will always be the “twins”, the “twinsies”, the “babies”, and the “littles”. A pair. A duo. A set of…human beings. Individuals.
Wait, what? Like, with minds, thoughts, preferences, and differing ideas with alternate likes and dislikes.
Holy cow! I gave birth to individuals! They just happened to be born on the same day, from the same uterus, almost at the same time.
When I tell you that this realization hit me like a ton of bricks, well, it did. I mean, I spent so long combining my motherly worries, fears, and actions by two, that I forgot that they are going to grow into their own.
Twin moms, can I get an amen on this one? Did this happen to you?
Ok, so now, you may be asking, where do the fish and a tree come in? Well, I’m getting to that.
Have you ever seen a fish climb a tree? Have you ever seen a squirrel swim deep in the ocean?
I’m going to guess that the answer is no.
Why? Why haven’t you ever seen this and if you did, would you scoff and say that a fish trying to climb a tree is a failure? Would you fault the squirrel for trying to tirelessly paddle its way safely to land?
Hopefully, the answer is no.
The reality is that a fish survives in water and a squirrel will live its best life climbing trees and gathering random morsels of deliciousness to store away for hibernation. They know their place and how to succeed in that world.
How does that translate to twins, and to humans? Because we tend to think that everyone should be the same. We tend to assume that if you don’t succeed at the first thing, you are a failure. We judge, we push, and we think of ourselves and others as robots rather than the humans that we all are.
So, when I realized that my twins were, in fact, individual human beings and not just duplicate robots, I opened my eyes to so much more.
I realized that not succeeding at something is not a failure. It’s a lesson. Perhaps a lesson to try and try again, push a little harder, and think things through a bit more.
Yet sometimes, it’s not the right fit. The efforts that are being put forth, as strong and dedicated as they are, won’t work. Sometimes, you, as an individual, are a fish trying to climb a tree. It just doesn’t work. And that’s more than ok.
There’s a path that is meant for each person and sometimes it takes a little bit longer to find it. Hell, it took me until my 40s to figure out what I wanted to do, what fulfilled me, and what motivated me. I was that fish trying to climb a tree. I was out of breath and, at times, ready to give up.
But then, I found my path, or rather, my stream that allowed me to see where I was meant to swim, not climb.
The twins helped me with that. And now, I hope they can learn from me.
We will continue to try tumbling, piano lessons, drama club, and whatever else sparks their interest because I don’t want them to discover their world when they are in their 40s, and very, very tired.
This may be a bit jumbled but just reflect a bit and think about yourself, or perhaps your child. Are you a fish trying to climb a tree? Are they like a squirrel struggling in an ocean?
The perfect place won’t appear overnight. For some, it takes a long time. But isn’t that part of the journey?
Remember that what appears to be a failure is actually a lesson in learning what is meant for you, and what isn’t.
Thanks for crossing this fishy little bridge with me. Now, go find your happy. I’ll never stop trying to find mine.
Till next time.