Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Erez (Lebanese cedar tree) came first, and he had us all to himself. When he was two and a half years old we moved to Australia. A week after our arrival, we got pregnant...with twins. Six months later we decided to fly back home and deliver the twins in Israel.
When the twins were eight months old, we flew back to Melbourne and lived there for another year and a half before we finally (?) moved back to Israel.
Today Erez is eight and a half years old; Negev (the desert region of southern Israel) the boy and Ogen (a boat anchor) the girl are five years old.
Raising twins is simply something no one prepares you for. I read a book, received dozens of advice from other parents of twins, but essentially, there are certain things in life that one has to learn by oneself and on the go.
This type of parenting enfolds moments of pride and satisfaction, but also endless moments of frustration. It is rewarding but mainly exhausting. Challenges never go away, but perception always changes over time. This realization enables me to face them more comfortably.
As a father of twins, I often feel guilt.
I feel it whenever I can't spend as much time as I want with either one. There are certain moments that I want to have with only one and can't. There are others that they wish to have alone with me and can't. I know, it brings on many positive aspects, but this feeling is too alive in me and is taking over the keyboard.
I also feel guilty because no matters how much love I shower at Erez, I often see sadness in his eyes. As if he leads the game confidently, and at the last moment, the other team scores two goals and wins 1:2. I have nothing to do but compensate him with different treats that are filled with ...guilt.
I also feel guilt when I read one with one of them a story and have to gently but assertively push away the other who wants to join in the moment. "It's now X turn" I'd say gently, "and yours will follow", and then watching Y running to his room crying. This constant guilt which resides in me challenges my natural born authentic approach as I often feel I have to play a fair game, but I don't really agree with this. I'm more a: "You win some you lose some" type.
As a father of twins, I often learn a lot.
My kids teach me life-lessons, ranging from teamwork and friendship, to jealousy, compromise and kindness.
I learn from the twins about the notion of unbreakable bonds as they play. Sometimes the tension between them dims my judgmental on the story of Cain and Abel.
They have this ability to create an energetic bubble where no one but them exist, be that while singing in a car with us three, or when talking over us at the dinner table. They have their own dynamic, which includes laughing from each other's jokes, or playing certain roles in a game they just created, and no one else is invited. They have their secret "orbit" and they decide who can enter and for how long.
Erez has to constantly navigate within this climate sensitively and wisely. Often I witness him cracking their bond, in order to feel belonging, or in control. Sometimes he bonds with Ogen, whom is very similar to him, and Negev is expelled. In other moments he forms a coalition with Negev, playing the boys vs. girl card.
Yet, no matter what, they always look at him as the big brother with great respect and honor. He's their father when I'm gone, and he takes care of them when we enjoy our Saturday morning sleep in.
At the end of the day, we are lucky to have one another and we are proud of them and love them so much.